This wonderful 2 CD, 21 tracker is the first proper release in the onslaught of albums that will be released to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Philadelphia International Records. The collection’s been put together by Harmless records, who, working with the full co-operation of Gamble and Huff, have brought in some hotshot young remixers and producers to revisit some classic Philly moments. The good news is that said invitees have treated the material with huge respect. It seems that as their role model they’ve chosen the mighty Tom Moulton ‘cos, by and large, these new versions take few liberties. Like Mr. M, people like Morning Star, Tim McAllister, DJ Friction, J*Ski, Victor Rosaldo, the Noodleman, DJ Apt One and Todd Terje “simply” use what is already there and enhance and extend it.
The remix team have selected lots of well known material and the Womack and TOT re-edit of the Jones Girls’ ‘Night Over Egypt’ is a good example of what the albums about. It’s all very familiar as the cut begins with that classic intro, but beneath it there’s some subtle rhythms going on – all emphasised by a stark handclap. DJ Apt One’s twist on The Blue Notes’ ‘Wake Up Everybody’ is excellent too. Here the intro is eerily extended – showcasing the classic vocal style of Teddy P. They’re two of the better known songs (you also get stuff like ‘Darlin’ Darlin’ Baby’, ‘Free Love’ and ‘Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now’) but the team have also chosen some lesser exposed Philly gems to work on. These include Harold Melvin and The Blue Notes’ ‘Be For Real’, Dee Sharp’s ‘Easy Money’, The Trammps’ ‘Save A Place’ and Billy Paul’s ‘Let The Dollar Circulate’.
It’s all exhilarating stuff and augers well for the Philly 40th fest that is about to come. Find out more about the anniversary release by visiting our news archive.