Saturday, May 27, 2017

10 essential Philadelphia International Records classics

10 essential Philadelphia International Records classics10 essential Philadelphia International Records classics… The establishment of an identity happened to be the ultimate key word by the end of the 70’s. Be it musically with the arrival of producers settin’ up a distinctive sound. As visually with trends applying to social if not political categories. With the same applying for many independent structures which came to symbolize what a label is supposed to be: an entity synonymous with a certain standard of quality!

Among them and without an oz. of a doubt, Philadelphia International Records which, during its 15 years of activities, has pretty much contributed to the evolution of music with the establishment of a distinctive sound – The Philly Sound – synonymous with the best in Disco and Soul vibes. But also pretty much illustrative of a unique state of mind. A spirit which saw people hailing from different horizons coming together as one, as explained to me by King Britt back in the day. From the so called Rednecks on guitars, to Jewish and Italian classically trained musicians on chords and strings. Not to mention the Blacks on rhythm sections…

No need to say how this selection is way from being exhaustive. Nevertheless, you should find thereafter a pretty much illustrative sample of jams which have contributed making P.I.R. one of the most brilliant and enlightening ventures in the establishment of music such as we’ve known since then…

10 essential Philadelphia International Records classics / Teddy Pendergrass – Love TKO (PIR)
Written by Cecil Womack and Gip Noble, Jr., ‘Love TKO’ first appeared on David Oliver‘s ‘Here’s To You’ album back in 1980. It would nevertheless got to higher recognition the same year as sung by Teddy Pendergrass on his ‘TP’ album. The former Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes‘ leader scored one of his biggest successes ever with it. This cool swingalong has been covered by countless luminaries since, from Regina Belle, to Boz Scaggs, Michael McDonald and Seal among others. Ahmad Lewis using its melody on a remix of his 1994 song, ‘Back In the Day’. And Xscape sampling it on their remix of ‘Who Can I Run To’ the year after…
10 essential Philadelphia International Records classics / Lou Rawls – You’ll Never Find Another Love Like Mine (PIR)
The most remembered Philadelphia Sound at one of its definitive peak times. From the 1976 released ‘All Things In Time’ album that would mark Rawls‘ debut on PIR, but also remains as his greatest success of the likes, as led by this single which also stands as his biggest selling one ever.
A man speakin’ of which Frank Sinatra said he had “the classiest singing and silkiest chops in the singing game”, therefore finding the ideal environment, as surrounded by label heads Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff productionwise…
10 essential Philadelphia International Records classics / McFadden & Whitehead – Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now (PIR)
PIR famous songwriting and production pair Gene McFadden & John Whitehead makin’ their debut under their own guise on what would be their biggest classic, taken from their 1979 released eponymous album. Such a positive and inspiring song recapturing the way we feel for quality music here on IDMW. The late US radio presenter and recording artist Douglas Wendell Henderson, Sr., better known as Jocko, eventually givin’ it a Rap / spoken word answer, titled ‘Rhythm Talk’ (also on PIR).
Soon after given a Spanish cover version – ‘No Nos Pararan’ – by Hispanic NYC-based outfit Charanga 76. But also obviously inspiring Italian singer Pino D’Angio the year after with the memorable ‘Mi Quale Idea’.
10 essential Philadelphia International Records classics / Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes – Don’t Leave Me This Way (PIR)
Written by PIR label heads Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff along with Cary Gilbert, this song first appeared back in 1975 as a part of Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes‘ ‘Wake Up Everybody’ album with Teddy Pendergrass responsible for the lead vocals. Strangely enough, it didn’t get released as a single Stateside, although it happened to be one of the group’s biggest classics. It would nevertheless reach further heights as sung by Thelma Houston the year after. (*) It eventually became an unofficial theme song for the AIDS epidemic in the gay male community in the beginning of the 80’s (* Wikipedia).
About indamixworldwide 2171 Articles
Story teller, record pusher, compiler & web designer...

Be the first to comment

Speak up your mind!

%d bloggers like this: