Here at Second Disc HQ, tomorrow is the biggest day of basketball season – because tomorrow is when we’re unveiling Second Disc Records’ first release of the year! Thom Bell’s soulful, all-star soundtrack to The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh – featuring The Spinners, The Four Tops, Loretta Lynn, Phyllis Hyman, Doc Severinsen, Eubie Blake, and more – arrives from Second Disc Records and Real Gone Music for the very first time in a newly expanded, freshly remastered edition! Trust us: this is one R&B release primed to get you on the basketball court…or the dancefloor!
The 1979 cult favorite film The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh featured an all-star team from the worlds of basketball and Hollywood – Julius “Dr. J” Erving, Meadowlark Lemon, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Jerry Tarkanian, Stockard Channing, Jonathan Winters, Flip Wilson, Debbie Allen, Harry Shearer, and more – for its fantastical tale of a struggling Pittsburgh basketball team that beats the odds with a little help from the heavens.
The movie’s soundtrack was equally illustrious. Philadelphia soul maestro Thom Bell, renowned for his work with The Spinners, The Stylistics, The Delfonics, and Johnny Mathis, wrote, produced, arranged, and conducted his very first motion picture score, and the result was a slam-dunk soul symphony incorporating funk, disco, and jazz rhythms, and of course, Bell’s trademark luscious balladry. An A-team of R&B’s finest artists was enlisted to perform Bell’s all-new songs, including The Four Tops, The Spinners, Bell and James, Phyllis Hyman, The Delfonics’ William “Poogie” Hart, and The Sylvers, plus country superstar Loretta Lynn, ragtime legend Eubie Blake, and the one and only Doc Severinsen. Yet, when the movie came and went from theatres, so did the soundtrack album…until now!
The Fish gained a cult following on television, VHS, and DVD, and now, it’s time for its sizzling soundtrack to have its chance on the court, too. Hip-hop’s most tuned-in artists have already sampled its lost rhythms; now you can hear the originals! The first-ever CD release of The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh boasts a sparkling new remastering from the original Lorimar Records tapes by Sean Brennan at Sony’s Battery Studios, and trust us – these timeless grooves have never sounded so crisp and fresh! Three rare bonus tracks (all in their CD debuts, as well) make this Fish even more robust: two distinctive 12-inch mixes of Bell and James’ infectious title song, and The Thom Bell Orchestra’s lush, orchestral “Pisces Theme.” The booklet, winningly designed by John Sellards to incorporate the original album artwork and period graphics, features my own liner notes drawing on a new, extensive interview with Thom Bell!
The original soundtrack of The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh brings Second Disc Records full circle, as our first release was Johnny Mathis’ Life is a Song Worth Singing: The Complete Thom Bell Sessions, celebrating the great vocalist’s collaboration with Bell. This deluxe Expanded Edition of The Fish is nothing but net, and a must-have for classic soul fans from Philly to Motown…and of course, Pittsburgh. Look for it tomorrow, February 3 from Real Gone Music and Second Disc Records, as part of Real Gone Music’s diverse February line-up, also including titles from Lesley Gore, Lynn Anderson, Delaney and Bonnie, and more! Pre-order links are available below. The Doctor is in!
- A Theme for L.A.’s Team (Thom Bell/Casey James) – The Thom Bell Orchestra feat. Doc Severinsen (4:07)
- Magic Mona (Thom Bell/Leroy Bell/Casey James/Jack Robinson) – Phyllis Hyman (3:24)
- Mighty, Mighty Pisces (Thom Bell/Leroy Bell/Casey James) – The Sylvers (3:48)
- (Do It, Do It) No One Does It Better (Thom Bell/Leroy Bell/Casey James) – The Spinners (4:05)
- The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh (Thom Bell/Leroy Bell/Casey James) – Bell and James (3:28)
- Moses Theme (Thom Bell/Leroy Bell/Casey James) – Frankie Bleu (4:32)
- Chance of a Lifetime (Thom Bell/Leroy Bell/Casey James) – The Four Tops (5:00)
- Follow Every Dream (Thom Bell/Leroy Bell/Casey James) – William Hart (4:11)
- Ragtime (Thom Bell/Jack Robinson) – Eubie Blake and Thom Bell (1:18)
- Is It Love, Must Be Love (Thom Bell/Leroy Bell) – Loretta Lynn and Frankie Bleu (4:57)
- Pisces Theme (Thom Bell) – The Thom Bell Orchestra (Lorimar single ZS9-8004) (2:49)
- The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh (Thom Bell/Leroy Bell/Casey James) (12-Inch Mix) – The Thom Bell Orchestra feat. Bell and James (Lorimar 12-inch single 4Z8-8005) (5:23)
- The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh (Thom Bell/Leroy Bell/Casey James) (Instrumental 12-Inch Mix) – The Thom Bell Orchestra (Lorimar 12-inch single 4Z8-8005) (5:30)