The commemorations for the 50th anniversary of Philadelphia International Records continue apace. The latest celebration comes via a wonderful 10 track album ‘BALTIMORE PHILADELPHIA INTERNATIONAL’ curated by everyone’s favourite soulful house don, TEDDY DOUGLAS.
All self-respecting soul and soulful house folk will know all about Teddy. He’s worked with anyone who’s anyone in the world of soulful dance – I mean… Michael Jackson, Lenny Kravitz, Crystal Waters, Erykah Badu, Martha Wash and Ultra Nate for starters. Then there’s his pioneering work with Baltimore’s Basement Boys and then (over 30 years) release after release and remix after remix cementing his position at the top of the soulful house tree!
‘Baltimore Philadelphia International’ offers 10 Douglas takes on (mostly) Philly classics – stuff like ‘Bad Luck’, ‘Don’t Leave Me This Way’ and ‘Stairway To Heaven’. In creating his new tweaks, Mr D has drafted in some stellar vocalists to help him deliver… people like Richard Burton, Carmen Brown, Sharlene Hector and – wonderfully – the UK’s rising star S.E.L. (Soulful Emma Louise). Emma takes lead on the cover of Dexter Wansell’s ‘The Sweetest Pain’ with the young UK soulstress taking on (magnificently) the original Terri Wells vocal part.
Mention of ‘The Sweetest Pain’ should indicate that in picking his tunes Teddy has mixed the biggies with the less obvious and the collection is all the better for that. Which brings us to the “cuckoo in the nest” (hence our “mostly” above). One of the many highlights on this album is a Teddy D take on ‘I Wish I Didn’t Miss You’ – a song originally recorded, of course, by Angie Stone.. so not a Philly original. However, you’ll know that it relies heavily on the opening riffs of ‘Backstabbers’ – so it’s inclusion is well merited!
Now many of these tracks have been issued a single over the last year or so – but that doesn’t make the album any less worthwhile. It’s wonderfully convenient to have all this quality in one package and as a whole unit it underlines the legacy of Philadelphia International and the consummate craft of Teddy Douglas.
‘Baltimore Philadelphia International’ Album will be released on Traxsource Promo October 29th / Full release November 12th 2021 on Quantize Recordings.