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The Philly Sound...

Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff, along with Thom Bell, defined the sweet, smooth Philadelphia Sound in the early '70s, producing hit records by the O'Jays, Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, Teddy Pendergrass and Billy Paul, among many others. The label was of course Philadelphia International Records...

The sound was much smoother - even slicker - than the deep soul of the late '60s, but the vocals remained as soulful as any previous form of R&B. Philly soul was primary a producer's medium, as Gamble & Huff and Thom Bell created the instrumental textures that came to distinguish the genre. The highly produced sound of Philly soul paved the way for the studio constructions of disco and urban contemporary R&B...

The PIR Story...

In tandem with his partner Leon Huff, producer and songwriter Kenny Gamble was the principal architect behind the lush and seductive Philly Soul sound, one of the most popular and influential musical developments of the 1970s. Gamble & Huff first teamed up during the late '50s while Huff was a member of the harmony group the Romeos, which also included Thom Bell, who would become crucial to Gamble & Huff's later success. "The 81," a 1964 single by the little-known Candy & the Kisses, was the inaugural Gamble & Huff co-production, and three years later the duo scored their first Top Five pop hit with the Soul Survivors' "Expressway to Your Heart." They soon recruited Thom Bell as arranger and gradually created their own distinctive sound.

Gamble & Huff's success on the Atlantic and Chess labels - as well as their own Neptune and Gamble imprints - they contacted Columbia in the hopes of opening a new affiliate company, inspired by the continued success of Berry Gordy and Motown. Columbia agreed, and in 1970 the duo's Philadelphia International Records was born. Gamble & Huff soon exploded into the national musical consciousness, selling some 10 million records in the span of nine months thanks to monster hits including Billy Paul's "Me and Mrs. Jones," Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes' "If You Don't Know Me by Now" and the O'Jays' "Back Stabbers" and "Love Train."

The Gamble & Huff signature was an intoxicating combination of sweeping strings, smoky horns and insistent rhythms and emerged as the definitive soul sound of the early and mid '70s, also becoming the blueprint for the rise of disco during the latter half of the decade.

More PIR history...

Kenneth Gamble & Leon Huff

The rest...

Several other acts have also released material on Philadelphia International Records.
- Jerry Butler
- City Limits
- Don Covay
- The Ebonys
- Force of Nature
- Norman Harris
- Phyllis Hyman
- The Jacksons
- Dick Jensen
- Shirley Jones
- Patti LaBelle
- Monk Montgomery
- Michael Pedicin Jr.
- Bobby Rush
- Bunny Sigler
- Spiritual Concept

The O'Jays

PIR discography
The complete PIR album discography.

All Music Guide
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How Band Got Their Names
Steely Dan: A dildo in the William Burroughs novel "Naked Lunch".

Lyrics World
Like to sing in the shower, but can't quite remember the words?

...and yes, - just what you were looking for!

Misheard Lyrics Archive
Hilarious! " 'scuse me, while I kiss this guy"

Museum of Bad Album Covers
What where they thinkin'?!

Billy Paul

Philadelphia International records - one of the greatest black record labels of all time celebrates its 40th anniversary.

Founded by Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff in 1971, the label launched with the album Going East by Billy Paul in October 1971 but really hit its stride throughout 1972 with a brace of international hits from veteran Philadelphia based signings like the O’Jays, Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes and the Three Degrees. Legendary A&R visionary Clive Davis was responsible for bringing the Philly hit machine to the Columbia group for distribution – a gamble which proved to be extraordinarily successful as the major distributor struggled to keep up with the hits that were pouring out from Sigma Sound studio in downtown Philadelphia – the recording home of P.I.R. where smashes like “Backstabbers”, “Love Train”, “Me & Mrs Jones”, “If You Don’t Know Me By Now” and numerous others all rolled out in 1972 alone. Just two years later, Philadelphia International became the second largest black-owned company in the U.S.A. following Berry Gordy’s Motown, which had similarly forged its identity with a trademark sound from Detroit. Jump forward 40 years and Philadelphia International is still independent and still owned by its original f founders, Kenny Gamble & Leon Huff – an extraordinary achievement in an age where most other independent companies (including Motown) have long since been absorbed into large conglomerates.

Archie Bell & The Drells:
Where Will You Go When the Party's Over (Edsel UK/PIR 1976)
Hard Not To Like It (Edsel UK/PIR 1977)
Strategy (Edsel UK/PIR 1979)

Produced by: Gamble & Huff/Dexter Wansel/Bunny Sigler
Texas funk group who first got on a Philly groove with early help from the team of Gamble & Huff on Atlantic -- here returning the favour with 3 good albums done for the pair's Philly International label. Mr Bell and the Drells are a perfect fit for the warmly soaring sound of Philly in the late 70s -- a style that still lets the group work on wonderful vocal interplay in their tunes, but also hit a more sophisticated adult level of themes that were perfectly in keeping with changes in vocal group styles at the time. The 2CD set especially has a great set of midtempo songs that seemed to work best for the group in the late 70s.

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Jean Carn:
Jean Carn (Edsel UK/PIR 1976)
Happy To Be With You (Edsel UK/PIR 1978)
When I Find You Love (Edsel UK/PIR 1979)
Sweet & Wonderful (Edsel UK/PIR 1981)

Produced by: Gamble & Huff/Dexter Wansel
Jean Carn can be heard on several of the mid 70's Buddah albums by drummer/producer Norman Connors. In 1975 she teamed up with Gamble & Huff's Philadelphia International Records. Her debut album, Jean Carn was a classy album that merged the best of '70s soul and jazz with solid songwriting, tight production and instrumental support by MFSB and Instant Funk.
Her second album on PIR Happy to Be With You, was released in 1978 and included the classic "Don't Let It Go to Your Head".
The 1981 Sweet & Wonderful featured a remake of the Spinners' "Love Don't Love Nobody," and a duet with Glenn Jones.
Her final PIR album, 1982's When I Find You Love, was more of a return to "Jean Carn". Produced by Dexter Wansel and including the smooth "My Love Don't Come Easy" and the sweepingly romantic "Lonely Girl in a Cold Cold World." Altogether 4 great Philly albums available as "2 on 1" on UK Edsel Records.

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Past, Present & The Futures (Westside UK/PIR 1979)
The Greetings Of Peace (Westside UK/PIR 1980) 

Produced by: Gamble & Huff
The Futures only two albums on PIR both failed commercially, but are nevertheless definitely worth checking out. The first release included "Part Time Party Time Man," an energetic dancer with a terrific vocal. Both albums are available as "2 on 1" on UK Westside Records.

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Leon Huff: Here To Create Music (PIR 1980)
Produced by: Leon Huff
As half of the legendary Gamble & Huff team and a co-owner of Philadelphia International Records, Leon Huff was among the top soul producer/songwriters of the 1970's. This is his only solo album and largely an instrumental effort. (Which was out of print for many years before finally being reissued on CD in 1999). On the excellent track "I Ain't Jivin', I'm Jammin'", Huff keeps hitting you with everything he's got on his his funky organ and keyboards. The weakest track is "Your Body Won't Move If You Can't Feel The Groove", a disco opener that wastes the talents of Teddy Pendergrass, Eddie Levert and other Philly International artists of 1980.

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Energy Of Love (TSOP 1974/Sony Jap 2011)
Cowboys To Girls (Compilation) (PIR/Sony 1995)

Produced by: Gamble & Huff
One of the earliest hitmaking vehicles for Gamble & Huff, the Intruders were a leading R&B act from the mid-'60s to the mid-'70s. They hit in 1966 with "(We'll Be) United" and the next year with "Together" on Gamble Records. Their breezy "Cowboys to Girls" and "Love Is like a Baseball Game" resulted in plenty of pop crossover action in 1968, and their slick cover of The Dreamlovers hit "When We Get Married" scored in 1970. The quartet enjoyed their last two important R&B hits in 1973, "I'll Always Love My Mama" and "I Wanna Know Your Name", before switching to Gamble & Huff's TSOP logo. Their last album, the 1974 Energy Of Love, has been reissued on CD by Sony Japan. Cowboys To Girls is a terrific 17-track overview of the Philly soul group's time on PIR, featuring all their big hits.

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Jones Girls:
The Jones Girls (Edsel UK/PIR 1979)
At Peace With Woman (Edsel UK/PIR 1980)
Get As Much Love As You Can (Edsel UK/PIR 1982)

Produced by: Gamble & Huff/Dexter Wansel
Valerie, Shirley, and Brenda Jones spent more than 10 years in the music business before they tasted success. The Jones Girls' self titled debut for PIR included the million-selling "You Gonna Make Me Love Somebody Else" along with the snappy, jazz-flavored "This Feelings Killing Me", the sweet "We're a Melody" and "Who Can I Run To?".
Recorded at Philly's legendary Sigma Sound in 1980, "At Peace With Woman" was their second album for PIR and features some of the sisters' best work. "I Just Love the Man" and "Dance Turned Into a Romance," both written by Gamble & Huff, were major hits.
Get As Much Love As You Can features 8 urban soul tracks. An excellent smooth jazzy version of Cynthia Biggs and Dexter Wansel's "Nights Over Egypt" (feat. Grover Washington) is a catch no urban soul lover can resist.

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McFadden & Whitehead: Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now (Compilation) (PIR/Edsel UK 2004)
Produced by: McFadden & Whitehead
A Philly songwriting, production, and performing duo who were responsible for many of the PIR classics of the 70's. Their first collaboration came on the Intruders' "I'll Always Love My Mama." They later wrote and/or produced such great classics as "Backstabbers" for the O'Jays, "Bad Luck," and "Wake Up Everybody" for Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, and "Let's Groove", "Soul City Walk", and "Strategy for Archie Bell & The Drells. They also scored a number one R&B hit in 1979 as vocalists with the dance classic "Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now". They also did projects outside PIR, writing songs performed by Melba Moore, Gloria Gaynor, Freddie Jackson, Willie Collins, and Beau Williams. Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now is available on UK Edsel Records, and contains 12 songs released under their own name, plus the rap version of "Ain't No Stoppin'" performed by Jocko Henderson in 1980.

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Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes:
Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes (PIR 1972)
Black & Blue (PIR 1973)
To Be True (PIR 1975)
Wake Up Everybody (PIR 1975)

Produced by: Gamble & Huff
Starting out in 1954 in Philadelphia as a doo-wop group with Harold Melvin as lead singer, the Blue Notes first recorded for the New York-based Josie label in 1956. But it was not until 1972, when drummer Teddy Pendergrass took over lead vocals and they came under the wing of Gamble & Huff that Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes became consistent chart-makers. Pendergrass' vocals smoldered with sensuality, and combined with the smooth harmonies that had always been a Blue Note trademark, together with Gamble & Huff's superior writing and lush productions, the superb TSOP house band recorded classics as "I Miss You", "If You Don't Know Me By Now", and "The Love I Lost". Pendergrass went solo in 1975 and the Blue Notes' glory days came to an end.
Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes was a fantastic PIR debut for the band, which was actually not ment to be. Most of the songs, including "If You Don't Know Me By Now," were originally written for the Dells, but the deal fell through. Harold Melvin got the opportunity because his ex-drummer Teddy Pendergrass had a voice similar to Dells lead singer Marvin Junior. Pendergrass did the songs like they were all written for him, and he sounds like he's about to lose it when he sings "I Miss You". "If You Don't Know Me By Now" was a huge hit and has probably been included on a zillion soul compilations over the years. It was an even bigger hit for Simply Red in 1989. Another outstanding track is the "Be For Real". Probably one of the finest pieces in R&B history. Altogether a great album that established Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes as a force to be reckoned with.
Lots of goodies on their second album on PIR, Black & Blue. "Satisfaction Guaranteed" and "Is There a Place for Me" are both tight, but the driving force is the excellent "The Love I Lost". Who was responsible for putting the disaster "Cabaret" on the album, is beyond me.
To Be True features many R&B classics. While Teddy Pendergrass was featured on this album, he did not sing lead on every track. Included are "Where Are All My Friends", "Bad Luck" and "Hope That We Can Be Together Soon", the latter features the smooth vocals of Sharon Paige.
Wake Up Everybody is a personal favorite. The title track, written by the excellent writing team of McFadden/Whitehead/Carstarphen, and the mellow "You Know How to Make Me Feel So Good" are both great! Also "Don't Leave Me This Way" is a classic in my book (later becoming a disco theme for Thelma Houston). This album was the final chapter of Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes featuring Teddy Pendergrass.

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Mysteries Of The World (TSOP 1980)
Love Is The Message (Compilation) (PIR/Sony 1995)

Produced by: Dexter Wansel
The PIR in-house band was playing on many hits produced by Gamble & Huff in the '70s. They were a blend of string, horn, and rhythm players. Including bassist Larry Moore, keyboardist Lenny Pakula, guitarists Norman Harris, James Herb Smith, and Roland Chambers, drummer Earl Young, and percussionists/drummers Miguel Fuentes and Quinton Joseph. Gamble, Huff, Don Renaldo, Dexter Wansel, and Vince Montana all took turns conducting the orchestra. While backing the O'Jays, Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes, the Intruders, and many others, MFSB also cut several LPs as performers from 1973 through 1980. "TSOP (The Sound of Philadelphia)", with the Three Degrees, was Soul Train's theme song in 1974 and also topped the R&B and pop charts. They earned another hit in 1975 with "T.L.C. (Tender Lovin' Care)". The title track of their final LP, Mysteries of the World, was a big hit in England in 1980 even though the disco boom that had supported the rise of MFSB. was on its way out the door. Their stylish sound was in need of a makeover to keep up with the times, and this was accomplished by allowing Dexter Wansel, the producer/writer behind a string of jazzy solo albums to take charge. The result was the quite stylish and jazzy.
Love Is The Message - Best Of is a comprehensive 16-track collection that features all of MFSB's big hits - "TSOP (The Sound of Philadelphia)", "Love is the Message", "Sexy" - plus a selection of highlights from the group's records, thereby resulting in a nearly definitive overview of the Philly soul/disco group's career.

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Backstabbers (PIR 1972)
Ship Ahoy (PIR 1973)
Family Reunion (PIR 1975)
Message in Our Music (PIR 1976)
So Full Of Love (PIR 1978)
When Will I See You Again (PIR 1982)
Together We Are One (PIR/Capitol 2004)

Produced by: Gamble & Huff
Perhaps the reigning vocal group of the '70s and '80s, the O'Jays started out as the Triumphs in 1958. The original lineup was Eddie Levert, Walter Williams, William Powell, Bobby Massey, and Bill Isles. They recorded as the Mascots in 1961 and were renamed by Cleveland disc jockey Eddie O'Jay. Isles departed in 1965 and Massey left in 1971 to become a producer, making the group a trio and signing up with PIR in 1972. The rest is history!
Although you could lean toward Ship Ahoy, it would be hard to argue with the general assessment that Back Stabbers is the O'Jays' greatest album. Certainly, no other single in 1973 was as definitive as "Love Train", one of their greatest tracks. "Back Stabbers" isn't far behind it; the message, harmonies, Eddie Levert's lead, and the group's refrains are all testimonies to soul's glory, and Gamble & Huff were in peak form.
The "other" O'Jays album masterpiece, Ship Ahoy, combined shattering message tracks and stunning love songs in a fashion matched only by Curtis Mayfield's finest material. From the album cover showing a slave ship to the memorable title song and incredible "For the Love of Money", Gamble and Huff addressed every social ill from envy to racism and greed. Eddie Levert's leads were consistently magnificent, as were the harmonies, production and arrangements. "Put Your Hands Together" and "You Got Your Hooks In Me" would be good album cuts, but on Ship Ahoy they were merely icing on the cake. Ship Ahoy is also available in MultiChannel SACD format.
In the 1970s, PIR could seemingly do no wrong where the O'Jays were concerned. They recorded one gem after another under Gamble & Huff's direction, and Family Reunion was no exception. Nothing on this CD has the angry bite of "Back Stabbers", "Don't Call Me Brother" or "Rich Get Richer" and the mood is upbeat and optimistic on everything from the uplifting "Unity" to the ballad "Stairway to Heaven" (not the Led Zeppelin song) to the party anthem "Livin' for the Weekend". With the intoxicating "I Love Music", the O'Jays stressed the soul side of disco and provided one of the most appealing hits of the disco era. From start to finish, Family Reunion was a valuable addition to a catalogue that already had its share of treasures.
None of the albums the O'Jays recorded for PIR in the 1970s were weak or disappointing, although some were stronger than others. So Full of Love isn't quite essential, and isn't in a class with Back Stabbers, Ship Ahoy or Family Reunion. But the platinum album does have a lot of great songs on it, including the major hit "Use Ta Be My Girl" and the heartfelt ballads "Cry Together" and "Brandy". The captivating "This Time Baby" was a hit for soul/disco diva Jackie Moore in 1979. A funk treasure that should have been a major hit was the intense "Strokety Stroke." Once again, the O'Jays worked with Philly's best - not only Gamble & Huff, but also Thom Bell and Bunny Sigler.
The O'Jays didn't have any big crossover hits or R&B chart-toppers with When Will I See You Again, but it was still a fine effort. The production and arrangements were outstanding, the harmonies and leads well done, and there were several fine songs, especially the excellent "Put Our Heads Together" arranged and produced by Keni Burke and written by Gamble and Burke.
Together We Are One consists of tracks originally recorded in the late '70s and '80s by Gamble & Huff that were not used on O'Jays albums of the time. Now resurrected, the tracks have been updated with new overdubs including vocal performances by O'Jays members Eddie Levert and Walter Williams. The title song is an excellent Linda Creed penned ballad. The rest is maybe not masterpieces from the vaults, but certainly welcomed by those of us who never get enough of the O'Jays PIR years.

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Billy Paul:
360 Degrees Of Billy Paul (PIR 1972)
Got My Head On Straight (PIR 1974)
When Love Is New (PIR 1975)
Let 'em In (PIR 1976)
Only The Strong Survive (PIR 1977)
First Class (PIR 1979)

Produced by: Gamble & Huff
Billy Paul had a good run in the '70s as an R&B vocalist, though he'd been recording since the '50s. He and had an extensive jazz background and worked with Dinah Washington, Miles Davis, and Roberta Flack, as well as Charlie Parker, before forming a trio and recording for Jubilee. He signed with PIR in 1971, and scored his biggest hit with "Me & Mrs. Jones" in 1972, topping both the R&B and pop charts. He remained on Philadelphia International until the mid-'80s. and most of his recordings on PIR reeked of class.
Paul's first album for PIR was Going East. A straight, club jazz album and sales were slow. On his second album, 360 Degrees Of Billy Paul, Gamble & Huff gave him much stronger material. He sounds believable and frustrated belting "Me & Mrs. Jones", a classic that many can relate to. A version of Elton John's "Your Song" introduced Elton to fans of soul music. "Am I Black Enough for You" fit in with the times of Black consciousness, a social message moved along by a perky bongo, a clavinet dominated beat, and well-spaced brassy horn.
Let 'Em In was originally released in 1976 and features a great Philly version of a great Paul McCartney song. Otherwise this is not one of Billy's best releases, but his vocalizing is so unique that you can't go wrong purchasing anything by him on PIR.
Only The Strong Survive features a slightly disco, but great version of the classic Jerry Butler song. The sax solo towards the end is great. Also a Philly version of the Michael McDonald/Doobie Brothers song "Takin' it to the Streets".
Billy's in great voice on First Class, his last PIR album. He is probably happiest singing in intimate, smoky night clubs and Gamble & Huff managed to create a similar atmosphere in the studio for this. Let 'Em In, Only The Strong and First Class are all available as "3 on 2" CD on UK Westside Records.

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Teddy Pendergrass:
Teddy Pendergrass (Edsel UK/PIR 1977)
Life Is a Song Worth Singing (Edsel UK/PIR 1978)
Teddy (Edsel UK/PIR 1979)
TP (Edsel UK/PIR 1980)
Time For Love (Edsel UK/PIR 1981)

Produced by: Gamble & Huff
Pure Philly class! Before going solo, Teddy Pendergrass started out as a drummer for Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes before he went on to do lead singing for the group. He went solo in 1977 with huge success and released 6 albums on PIR before a car accident in 1982 left him paralyzed from the waist down and wheelchair bound. After almost a year of physical therapy, Pendergrass returned to the recording scene, signing a contract with Elektra/Asylum in 1983.

People's Choice: Boogie Down USA (Sony/PIR 1975)
Produced by: Gamble & Huff
People's Choice was formed in 1971 in Philadelphia by Frank Brunson and David Thompson. They released 6 albums between 1975 and 1984. The first 3 and most interesting ones was on Gamble & Huff's PIR label. Their biggest hit was the instrumental "Do It Any Way You Wanna" from the excellent debut album Boogie Down USA.

Lou Rawls:
All Things In Time (Edsel UK/PIR 1976)
Unmistakably Lou (Edsel UK/PIR 1977)
When You Hear Lou, You've Heard It All (Edsel UK/PIR 1977)
Let Me Be Good To You (Edsel UK/PIR 1979)
Sit Down And Talk To Me (Edsel UK/PIR 1980)

Produced by: Gamble & Huff
With a career starting out in the early 60s, Chicago-born Lou Rawls signed to PIR in 1976 and immediately recharged his career becoming one of Gamble & Huff's most successful artists. All Things In Time was his 1976 PIR debut -- standing as one of the labels finest releases -- including the silky "You'll Never Find Another Love Like Mine," a gigantic R&B and pop smash tailor-made for sweeping across the classiest dance floors.
The follow-up Unmistakably Lou, the Gamble & Huff production really let's Lou take the spotlight. Incl. the classic "See you when I git There".
When You Hear Lou, You've Heard It All is another smooth and laid-back album, keeping Lou in the love/romantic/mellow circle that he does o well.
The title track on Let Me Be Good To You just missed the R&B Top Ten and the album almost made the pop Top 40. Rawls was still singing in a confident, relaxed, and convincing fashion, and the Gamble & Huff production team continued to keep his voice at the forefront with minimal arranging support.
Lou had temporarily enjoyed some disco success, but on Sit Down And Talk To Me he  he had returned to the blend of jazzy pop, soul, and blues that best showcased his skills. His voice now sounds even deeper and rougher, and his timing and technique made almost everything he sang very impressive. Again, - all pure Philly class!

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Dee Dee Sharp:
Happy 'Bout the Whole Thing (PIR 1976)
What Color Is Love (Westside UK/PIR 1977)
Dee Dee (Westside UK/PIR 1980)

Produced by: Gamble & Huff
This mid-'70s Philly sound outing has pop leanings that infiltrate the disco so important to Sharp's husband, Kenneth Gamble's dance music empire. The familiar sounds Sharp creates, are a perfect marriage with the Philly sound. On Happy 'Bout The Whole Thing, Dee Dee's cover of the Stan Vincent classic "O-o-h Child" is just excellent, and her co-write with Mendell on "Real Hard Day" is strong, music that any of today's R&B divas could send up the charts. The album has been reissued on CD in Japan, but is now deleted. Both What Color Is Love and Dee Dee are excellent Philly albums. The latter maybe a tad disco influenced, but nevertheless worth checking out. You'll get both as "2 on 1" on UK Westside Records.

  Dee Dee Sharp: Happy 'Bout the Whole Thing
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Soul Survivors: s/t (TSOP 1974)
Produced by: Gamble & Huff
Starting out in N.Y., the Ingui brothers formed Soul Survivors and released "Expressway to Your Heart" in the late 60's, which was Gamble & Huff's first crossover hit and brought their Philly Sound to to the mass market. Their self titled 1974 album was their last offering and contained the excellent "City Of Brotherly Love". Early Philly sound with some excellent keyboard playing by Neil Larsen. Jap CD only!

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Hurry Up This Way Again (Edsel UK/TSOP 1980)
Closer Than Close (Edsel UK/TSOP 1981)
1982 (Edsel UK/TSOP 1982)

Produced by: Gamble & Huff
After the Spinners and the O'Jays, the Stylistics were the leading Philly soul group produced by Thom Bell. During the early '70s, the band had 12 straight Top 10 hits, including "Betcha By Golly, Wow", "I'm Stone in Love With You", "Break Up to Make Up" and "You Make Me Feel Brand New." Of all their peers, the Stylistics were one of the smoothest and sweetest soul groups of their era. They didn't always get hits when they were with Gamble & Huff, but their albums sure sounded great. They signed to TSOP in in 1980 and released three albums on the label, all available as "3 on 2" CD on UK Edsel Records.

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Three Degrees: When Will I See You Again (Compilation) (PIR/Columbia 1996)
Produced by: Gamble & Huff
Starting out in 1963, The Three degrees were discovered by producer and songwriter Richard Barrett. In 1973, Barrett worked a deal with Gamble & Huff's PIR label and the single was "Dirty Ol' Man", a disco hit. A short time later, Don Cornelius, producer and host of TV's Soul Train, approached Gamble & Huff about coming up with a new theme song for his hit syndicated show. After some airings, public demand forced the TV show's theme to be released as a single. "TSOP (The Sound of Philadelphia)" by MFSB featuring the Three Degrees went gold hitting #1 R&B and holding the #1 pop for two weeks in 1974. Another great MFSB/Three Degrees single was "Love Is the Message". In the summer of 1974, the single "When Will I See You Again", went platinum, selling over two million copies. Their PIR debut album, The Three Degrees, was released at the end of 1974. This 14 track compilation includes most of the Gamble & Huff songs.

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Trammps - s/t (PIR 1975)
Trammps: Disco Champs (PIR 1977)

Produced by: Baker, Harris & Young
The Trammps were making some excellent dance music years before disco became a dirty word but their self titled 1975 album is their only release for PIR. When disco was in full bloom in 1977, PIR reissued the album as Disco Champs with a slightly different tracklist and a new and more sexy cover. Both versions contains the excellent "Where Do We Go From Here" and "Love Epidemic". All tracks was mixed by Tom Moulton.
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Dexter Wansel: 
Life On Mars (Edsel UK/PIR 1976)
What the World Is Coming To (Edsel UK/PIR 1977)
Voyager (Edsel UK/PIR 1978)
Time Is Slipping Away (Edsel UK/PIR 1979)

Produced by: Gamble & Huff/Dexter Wansel
Synth pioneer, keyboardist, arranger, producer and recording artist Dexter Wansel was also Philadelphia International’s director of A & R. Wansel’s first LP arranging assignment was several tracks on Carl Carlton’s 1975 album I Wanna Be With You, produced by Bunny Sigler. At PIR, Wansel worked for all of the label’s top stars; Teddy Pendergrass, O’Jays, Billy Paul, Patti Labelle, Lou Rawls and the Jones Girls, writing the all-time classic "Nights Over Egypt".

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Anthony White - Could It Be Magic (Sony Japan/PIR 1976) 
Produced by: Gamble & Huff
A rare and only release by Anthony White. Recently re-issued on CD by Sony Japan.

V/A: Philadelphia Uncovered (PIR/Passion UK 1999)
Forget about the other Philly compilations you might already have. This one's a gem with several great cuts that you probably didn't even know existed! This set moves way past the hits and the disco, and aims for the label's smooth soul tracks. 15 cuts incl. "I Can't Stop (Turning You On)" by Silk, "You're Leavin" by The Stylistics, "Baby Don't Go Away Mad" by The Dells, "Summertime & I'm Feelin Mellow" by MFSB, "When I Give My Love (This Time)" by Phyllis Hyman, "Tell Me Why" by MFSB & Carla Benson.

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V/A: The Story of Brotherly Love 1966-1976 (Columbia/PIR 1997)
Produced by: Kenneth Gamble & Leon Huff ++
Great tribute to the excellent 70's Philly Soul. A 3 CD/48 tracks with classic production work by Gamble & Huff and featuring O'Jays, Harold Melvin, Archie Bell, Jean Carn, Intruders, MFSB, Billy Paul, and The Jones Girls and more. Spanning three discs, this is a stunning chronicle of the Gamble & Huff team at their peak, featuring all of their biggest hits, plus a generous selection of neglected gems.

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V/A: PIR - The Re-Edits (Harmless/PIR 2012)
Produced by: Kenneth Gamble & Leon Huff ++
21 of the hottest PIR Re-Edits which have been done by PIR enthusiasts from around the world. Fully approved by Kenny Gamble & Leon Huff

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V/A: PIR - The Tom Moulton Remixes (Harmless/PIR 2012)
Produced by: Kenneth Gamble & Leon Huff ++
4 CD box set containing 31 glorious Tom Moulton remixes! The godfather of the disco mix and inventor of the 12 inch maxi single returns to the label where he started. Incl. 16 page booklet.

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V/A: PIR - The Roots of PIR (Harmless/PIR 2012)
Produced by: Kenneth Gamble & Leon Huff ++
What happened before Philadelphia International Records? Richard Searling have compiled the pre PIR gems from the Gamble & Huff stable. Incl. an exclusive DVD interview with Kenny Gamble.

V/A: PIR - 40th Anniversary Box Set (Harmless/PIR 2012)
Produced by: Kenneth Gamble & Leon Huff ++
The most complete and comprehensive study of the Philadelphia International catalogue to date. PIR expert Ralph Tee goes through the complete history of PIR with a lovingly compiled 10 CD super deluxe box set with 60 page booklet plus an exclusive DVD interview with Kenny Gamble. With this set, Ralph Tee returns to compile his second Box Set for the label following his previous ground-breaking 14 x vinyl LP box set in 1986 which still regularly sells for £100+ on e-bay and throughout collectors circles. This time Ralph has a lot more time to play with – almost 800 minutes or over 131/2 hours of pure quality music from one of the greatest labels of all time. Included in the 60 page booklet is for the first time ever, a fully comprehensive complete discography of all U.S. Philadelphia International and related labels compiled by Philadelphia International expert David Grimes (aka ‘Phillydave’). An absolute must for all Philly collectors and especially Philadelphia International archivists as there has never been an officially printed full discography before. All recordings have been fully re-mastered to the highest quality.

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Kenneth Gamble & Leon Huff