Unless you’ve been away on another planet for these last several months, you can’t help but have noticed that Philadelphia International Records is celebrating its 50th anniversary! As a tie in there’s been a plethora of releases and reissues – and why not? Great music needs to be shared and celebrated!

The latest Philly commemoration comes via Brookside Records with a wonderful compilation of some of the label’s biggest tunes in new, fresh MIKE MAURRO mixes.

Maurro is an acknowledged master of the craft and unlike plenty of young Turks, he knows there’s little point in messing with a thing of beauty. So, rather than reimaging these classics Mr M simply highlights all the beauty of the music – homing in on vocal or instrumental hooks, repeating familiar phrases and extending the magic in the music to rapturous lengths.

Longest track on this collection is a fourteen minute plus overhaul of Dexter Wansell’s ‘Life On Mars’  while elsewhere you can enjoy over eleven minutes worth of things like The Blue Notes ‘The Love I  Lost’ and Lous Rawls’ ‘You’ll Never Find Another Love Like Mine’ – surely one of THE songs that defines the classic Philly International sound?

The album is a 14 tracker and other artists include The O’Jays (obviously), Archie Bell and the Drells, Teddy Pendergrass and MFSB.

There’s going to be some 12” vinyl spin offs very soon – with the first pairing The 3 Degrees ‘Love Is The Message’ with the O’Jays ‘Message In Our Music’… are they trying to tell us something?