Apr 15, 2017

RhoDeo 1715 Grooves


Today The Sound of Philadelphia in the 1970s was the bridge between Memphis soul and international disco and between Detroit pop and Hi-NRG (high energy; the ultrafast dance music popular primarily in gay clubs in the 1980s). African-American-run Philadelphia International Records was the vital label of the era; its sound was a timely mix of swishing high-hat cymbals and social awareness, of growling soul vocals and sweeping strings. The founding fathers were Philadelphian Kenny Gamble and New Jersey-born Leon Huff, writer-producers who had made their way through the collapsing Philadelphia music industry of the 1960s. They were reinforced by singer-turned-writer Linda Creed and writer-arranger Thom Bell, who had helped create the sound of the Delfonics at the city’s other main label, Philly Groove. Together they created a new kind of pop soul, which can appear clich├ęd when dissected but was immensely popular on the dance floor. Based on the rhythmic talents of the Sigma Studios session men, who had a hit of their own as MFSB, Philadelphia International music featured unusual instrumentation—French horns, for example—and adult sensibilities delivered by adult vocalists.

“Me and Mrs. Jones” (1972), a tale of implied infidelity, launched nightclub balladeer Billy Paul. After nearly 20 years in the business, Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes became stars, and lead vocalist Teddy Pendergrass became an archetypal 1970s sex symbol. The O’Jays, also veterans with a 10-year recording history behind them, reached the Top Ten with “Back Stabbers” (1972) and “Love Train” (1973), both social commentaries in a successfully naive vein. Where Gamble and Huff led, disco followed—the Ritchie Family’s “Best Disco in Town” (1976) was recorded at Sigma, as was the Village People’s “YMCA” (1978). Philadelphia’s final big hit, the anthemic “Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now” (1979) by (Gene) McFadden and (John) Whitehead, came as dance music underwent one of its episodic black-white schisms. A couple of years later, Daryl Hall and John Oates—the favourite white sons of Philadelphia soul—grafted their traditional rhythm-and-blues voicings onto the new black rhythms of hip-hop...  ..... N'joy

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Love Train: The Sound of Philadelphia, released by Sony Legacy in 2008, provided an excellent and deep overview of the Philadelphia International catalog, as well as Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff's outside work as songwriters and producers. The 40th Anniversary Box Set, released in 2012 by the U.K. label Harmless, sticks to PIR but goes ten discs deep. Naturally, there is a significant amount of overlap; 29 of the 71 songs featured on Love Train, including every big PIR single, appear here. In addition to featuring all the popular classics -- "Me and Mrs. Jones," "Wake Up Everybody," "T.S.O.P.," "Love Is the Message," "Love Train," "Back Stabbers," "You'll Never Find Another Love Like Mine," "Only You," and on and on -- the box showcases the label's stylistic breadth. There was neither one Philly sound nor one PIR sound. Picking five songs at random from five different artists will likely demonstrate the label's range from perfectly shaped soul-pop to progressive and experimental rhythm & blues, as well as its relevance beyond the '70s. Billy Paul's rollicking and explosive take on "Compared to What" (1971), Yellow Sunshine's eponymous Santana/War-like funk-rock hybrid "Yellow Sunshine" (1973), Dexter Wansel's jazz-funk floor burner "Life on Mars" (1976), the Jones Girls' transportive "Nights Over Egypt" (1981), and Phyllis Hyman's plush "Ain't You Had Enough Love" (1986) have their own placement as significant events in the PIR time line. (One minor quibble, possibly explained by a licensing issue: Edwin Birdsong's "Cola Bottle Baby" or "Phiss-Phizz" should be here.) This is a slick black box, albeit one prone to dulled and whitened corners, with a thick booklet stuffed with photos, liner notes, and detailed track information. There are meticulous singles and albums discographies, too. It's a lavish treat for anyone with serious interest in the label, and it should manage to stun hardcore PIR fans as well. No one has done such a loving job with the entirety of the label's catalog.

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Philadelphia International Records - 40th Ann. 06    (flac  466mb)

01 Teddy Pendergrass - The More I Get, the More I Want 4:28
02 Anthony White - Stop and Think It Over 4:21
03 The Jacksons - Living Together 4:27
04 Jean Carn - (No, No) You Can't Come Back Now 4:30
05 Teddy Pendergrass - You Can't Hide from Yourself 4:08
06 Jerry Butler - (I'm Just Thinking About) Cooling Out 3:37
07 Billy Paul - Only the Strong Survive 3:27
08 MFSB - Used ta Be My Guy 5:15
09 Teddy Pendergrass - I Don't Love You Anymore 4:00
10 The O'Jays- To Prove I Love You 4:12
11 Bunny Sigler - Things Are Gonna Get Better 2:57
12 Lou Rawls - Not the Staying Kind 3:54
13 Dexter Wansel - Holdin' On 4:53
14 Archie Bell & the Drells - Don't Let Love Get You Down 4:21
15 Philadelphia International All Stars - Let's Clean Up the Ghetto 4:53
16 The Jones Girls - You Gonna Make Me Love Somebody Else 4:32
17 Lou Rawls - What’s the Matter with the World? 5:57
18 Teddy Pendergrass - When Somebody Loves You Back 5:00

Philadelphia International Records - 40th Ann. 06  (ogg   172mb)

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Philadelphia International Records - 40th Ann. 07   (flac  500mb)

01 Dexter Wansel - Life On Mars 5:52
02 Michael Pedicin Jr. - Soncere (The Infinite Hour Glass)6:20
03 Leon Huff - Tight Money 4:48
04 Billy Paul - Compared To What 5:20
05 Thad Jones & Mel Lewis - For The Love Of Money 4:12
06 MFSB - Something For Nothing 2:58
07 Patti Labelle - Lover Man (Oh Where Can You Be) 4:06
08 MFSB - Manhattan Skyline 4:47
09 Norman Harris - In Good Faith 5:13
10 Monk Montgomery - Reality 5:37
11 Phyllis Hyman - Forever With You 4:18
12 The O'Jays - My Favourite Person 4:15
13 Leon Huff - I Ain't Jivin', I'm Jammin' 5:55
14 MFSB - Mysteries Of The World 5:28
15 Dexter Wansel - Theme From The Planets 4:52
16 Billy Paul - Malorie 3:48

. Philadelphia International Records - 40th Ann. 07  (ogg   185mb)

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Philadelphia International Records - 40th Ann. 08    (flac  498mb)

01 Teddy Pendergrass - Come Go With Me 5:48
02 Jean Carn - Don't Let It Go To Your Head 4:51
03 The Stylistics - Mine All Mine 4:31
04 Patti Labelle - I'm In Love Again 5:52
05 The O'Jays - Brandy 4:13
06 Dexter Wansel - The Sweetest Pain 5:42
07 The Futures - Ain't No Time Fa Nothing 5:29
08 The Jones Girls - When I'm Gone 4:48
09 Teddy Pendergrass Turn Off The Lights 5:54
10 Silk - I Can't Stop (Turning You On) 3:56
11 McFadden & Whitehead - I've Been Pushed Aside 5:11
12 Jean Carn - We Got Some Catchin' Up To Do 5:02
13 The Stylistics - Maybe It's Love This Time 4:09
14 The Jones Girls - Who Can I Run To 4:43
15 Teddy Pendergrass - Close The Door 3:33
16 The Jones Girls -Children Of The Night 5:12

Philadelphia International Records - 40th Ann. 08  (ogg     187mb)

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Philadelphia International Records - 40th Ann. 09  (flac 532mb)

01 McFadden & Whitehead - Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now 7:01
02 Jean Carn - Was That All It Was 6:28
03 Billy Paul - Bring The Family Back 5:00
04 The Jones Girls - Nights Over Egypt 4:40
05 The O'Jays - Put Your Heads Together 5:41
06 The Jones Girls - Keep It Comin' 4:48
07 McFadden & Whitehead - I Heard It In A Love Song 5:11
08 Patti Labelle - The Spirit's In It 5:49
09 Frantique - Strut Your Funky Stuff 3:37
10 The Stylistics - What's Your Name 4:53
11 The Jones Girls - Dance Turned To A Romance 4:28
12 Archie Bell & The Drells - Strategy 6:55
13 Dee Dee Sharp Gamble - I Love You Anyway 4:30
14 Jean Carn - Bet Your Lucky Star 4:51
15 Lou Rawls - Let Me Be Good To You 5:28

Philadelphia International Records - 40th Ann. 09 (ogg  193mb)

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Philadelphia International Records - 40th Ann. 10  (flac 494mb)

01 The O'Jays - Love You Direct 3:53
02 Phyllis Hyman - Ain't You Had Enough Love 4:13
03 The Dells - Somebody's Gotta Move 5:12
04 Shirley Jones - Do You Get Enough Love 4:36
05 Phyllis Hyman - First Time Together 4:03
06 Patti Labelle - I Can't Forget You 4:30
07 The Stylistics - Hurry Up This Way Again 5:54
08 Dee Dee Sharp Gamble - Easy Money 4:03
09 The O'Jays Summer Fling 4:49
10 Phyllis Hyman - This Too Shall Pass 5:27
11 The Dells - Baby Don't Go Away Mad 4:38
12 Shirley Jones - She Knew About Me 4:36
13 Patti Labelle - If Only You Knew 4:44
14 The O'Jays - Extraordinary Girl 5:19
15 Teddy Pendergrass - Heaven Only Knows 4:07
16 The Jones Girls - Baby Don't Go Yet 5:25

  Philadelphia International Records - 40th Ann. 10 (ogg  174mb)

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