Welcome to this week's Release Round-Up! Various Artists, Get on Board the Soul Train: The Sound of Philadelphia Vol. 1 (Snapper/United Souls) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada / Burning Shed) Get On Board the Soul Train: The Sound of Philadelphia International Records Vol. 1 is the first in a series of box sets from the U.K.-based United Souls label, an imprint of Snapper Music, which will ultimately collect the entire Philadelphia International albums discography on CD.
While The Second Disc prides itself on connecting people to reissues and box sets they can keep on their shelves, it's no secret that listening audiences are also digital - catalogue music lovers, too - and our passion is connecting people to music from the past that they might adore. So we've introduced a new Saturday feature: The Weekend Stream, which focuses on hidden gems that recently made it to digital channels that might make your playlists a little brighter! Various Artists,
Back in late January, we shared news of Philadelphia International Records' 50th anniversary plans. The centerpiece of the campaign announced by Sony Music's Legacy Recordings was a series of CD box sets presenting every PIR album in chronological order. Now, the first of those box sets is available for pre-order with a release date of May 28. Get On Board the Soul Train: The Sound of Philadelphia International Records Vol. 1 is a product of the U.K.-based United Souls, an imprint of
MFSB - a.k.a. Mother, Father, Sister, Brother (or a rather more off-color series of four words, depending on whom you ask) - remains one of the all-time great aggregations of studio musicians, right up there with The Funk Brothers, The Wrecking Crew, and The Nashville Cats. The legacy of the Philadelphia International group has just been celebrated by Cherry Red's Robinsongs imprint on a new 2-CD, 32-track anthology entitled The Definitive Collection. The talented, versatile musicians at the
Listen to the ground...there is movement all around... Saturday Night Fever didn't invent disco...but in many ways, it epitomized the genre. With the December 1977 release of the John Badham-directed drama and its soundtrack album, the onetime underground dance movement which had been rising to the mainstream since at least 1974 became the mainstream. Disco's alluring blend of the gritty and the glamorous gained a face in the form of John Travolta, whose tough yet tender Tony Manero of Bay
Get ready to strut into record stores--Saturday Night Fever's immortal soundtrack is being reissued as a super deluxe set alongside the film itself. Based on a New York Magazine article that was later found to be fabricated, Saturday Night Fever ironically solidified the image of disco in popular culture. John Travolta's rough-edged but sympathetic Tony Manero--a Brooklyn bum working in a hardware store by day and tearing up the floor of the 2001 Odyssey by night--established the young TV
Big Break Records is letting the love come through - Universal Love, that is! - with its new reissue of the third album from Philadelphia International Records' inimitable house band, MFSB. The only mystery about the 1975 album is how this No. 2 R&B smash (and respectable No. 44 Pop success, as well) has avoided compact disc release after all these years. Happily, it follows 1972's MFSB and 1973's Love is the Message into Big Break's catalogue in a newly-expanded and remastered
UPDATE 9/10/13: Just yesterday, we published the following review of Monk Montgomery's 1974 album Reality, produced, arranged, and co-written by a true legend of soul music and architect of The Sound of Philadelphia, Mr. Bobby Martin. Today, word has arrived that Martin, 83, has passed away following a brief illness. A masterful orchestrator of horns and strings with a background steeped in jazz, Martin created music that was sweet and sophisticated, romantic and wrenching. and always
Though London, England is some 3,500 miles away from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the United States, the spirit of the City of Brotherly Love is alive and well thanks to Cherry Red’s Big Break Records label. Two more remarkable artifacts from Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff’s Philadelphia International empire have recently arrived from BBR, and though both titles have previously been available on CD, these new reissues are their best representations in the format yet. Fans who only know The
From the streets of Philadelphia to the deepest vaults of soul and R&B, this coming week's slate of reissues from Big Break Records has got just about something for everyone. Enchantment, the Detroit soul group behind 1978's hit "It's You That I Need," would make some changes in the '80s, having moved labels a few times (from Roadshow/United Artists to RCA and finally Columbia for two albums) and also subtly altering their sound from a lush, disco feel to a Fairlight-led modern groove.
Wings, Wings Over America: The Paul McCartney Archive Collection (MPL/Hear Music/Concord) Paul McCartney's first great U.S. tour was chronicled brilliantly on this 1977 live album, and it's been greatly expanded herein for McCartney's ongoing reissue campaign. 2CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. 3LP: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. 3CD (Best Buy exclusive) 4CD/1DVD box: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. Tony Bennett & Dave Brubeck,
There was clear irony in Bart Forbes’ cover artwork for MFSB’s Love is the Message. The 1973 album showed off Philadelphia International Records’ hallowed house band at its smoothest, espousing the gospels of peace, love, tolerance and unity. The cover illustration, however, depicts a skull clad in a military helmet, a mushroom cloud, a swastika, death, a howling dog, a Klansman and a grief-stricken man among its disturbing images. This was heady stuff, but then again, Kenneth Gamble and Leon
No love, no peace, no shoes on my feet…no home, just a shack where I sleep… In the fall of 1971, Philadelphia International Records launched its long-playing series with Billy Paul’s Going East, and the title opus in which the velvet-voiced crooner spins a slow-burning yarn of slavery. It was hardly Top 40 fare (Paul would have to wait till producers/songwriters/label entrepreneurs Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff gifted him “Me and Mrs. Jones” the following year) but signaled the dramatic
Now's as good a time as any to get into the sweet sounds and lush arrangements of Philadelphia soul in the 1970s. 2011 marked the 40th anniversary of legendary writer/producers Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff's creation of a label that set the groundwork for some of the best soul and R&B sounds of the decade, and this year's seeing a lot of excellent catalogue projects honoring that legacy. We've already told you about Legacy's Golden Gate Groove: The Sound of Philadelphia Live in San
When Sony Music Entertainment reacquired the rights to the full Philadelphia International Records (PIR) catalog in 2007 (after losing control of the post-1976 output in 1984 to EMI), hopes were high that much of that storied hit factory’s catalogue would finally be reissued on CD. Arguably the 1970s’ answer to Berry Gordy’s Motown empire, Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff’s label boasted a top-notch roster: Lou Rawls, The O’Jays, Harold Melvin and The Blue Notes, Teddy Pendergrass, The Three Degrees