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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 6 May 2010
A fantastic album of content and sound quality. Edwin Birdsong's "Phiss-Phizz" would still be very much appreciated on a "Twisted Disco" dance-floor, a Folsom fair-feel. Still as good now as it was back then. "Let's clean up the Ghetto", of course, brilliant and relevant to the mid 70s. The whole album takes us (the old funksters)through an amazing, nostalgic dance upon the mirror balled dance floors of the seventies.I shall be looking out for other compilations in the series.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 7 April 2010
In the introductory liner notes, written by Tony Rounce ('Blues & Soul' Magazine), the success of the PIR label is associated with the rise of the 12" single, and the stated aim of this collection is (according to Rounce) to cover "PIR's golden era of 12 inch remixing", from 1976 to 1983.

Opening with the ever popular McFadden & Whitehead 'Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now' (1979) (featured here in the full 10.45 mins mix) the auspices appear good, although this is a record that has featured on a great many other compilations and, as a result, it might be considered 'over exposed'. Edwin Birdsong's 'Phiss-Phizz' (1979) has a low slung groove that suggests what might happen if 'Fashion' period Bowie met with Eddie Grant's short vocal interjections, whilst Jerry Butler's 'I'm Just Thinking About Cooling Out' (1978) is a pleasant old fashioned track that possibly would yield a greater impact as a shorter single or album version. 'Let's Clean Up The Ghetto' (1977) is interesting - an instrumental mix or re-edit might work wonders - as a window to the social concerns of the period. The Jones Girls are widely known for 'Nights Over Egypt' (1981) (also included) and here they can also be heard in 'You Gonna Make Me Love Somebody Else' (1979), a fine record but looking to Funk and Soul rather than the commercial Disco aesthetic. Dexter Wansel was an accomplished musician, widely recognised for his excursions in Jazz-Funk, but here sounds uncomfortable in an apparent attempt for commercial success. Rare Groove fans may warm to The Future's 'Ain't No Time Fa Nuthin'' (1978), which owes a great deal to Earth, Wind & Fire. Jean Carn's 'Don't Let It Go To Your Head' (1976) is a classic record, but (like the McFadden & Whitehead track) is available on other collections.

Jocko's 'The Rocketship' (1979), according to Rounce, contain "elements of both Electro and New Jack Swing", and it is a curious sounding track that combines rock and jazz with a scatting nonsense vocal that might be part of Hip Hop's heritage. Is the track actually any good? Have a listen and decide for yourself! Billy Paul's 'It's Critical' (1979) opens with a beautiful piano flourish before launching in to a record very much of the period, with some nice horns and sounding (almost) like something the Mizzell Brothers might have liked. Disc One ends with Edwin Birdson's 'Freaky Deaky Sities' (sic) (1979), a record screaming for a re-edit to really bring out the strength of the production, which would work particularly in a 'House' context.

Disc Two begins with Frantique's 'Strut Your Funky Stuff' (1979), another obvious attempt to mimic mainstream Disco. Jean Carn's 'Was That All It Was' (1979) is another classic, and fans of UK DJ Norman Jay (MBE) will have heard this countless times. Other highlights include Edwin Birdsong's 'Goldmine' (1979) (think of a syncopated Herbie Hancock / The Headhunters with vocal accompaniment!) and the O'Jays 'Put Our Heads Together' (1983).

So do you buy?

The previous reviewer described some of the material included as execrable, and I consider that judgement harsh. Undoubtedly the PIR label (with many others of the period) had to contend with the commercial Disco aesthetic, and the demands of an often simplistic syncopated style, but the label still contributed to what was to follow. I would strongly suggest that part of the problem is the fact that many of these 12" mixes pre-date the eventual emergence of an acknowledged (and almost universally accepted) 12" mix format, with an extended instrumental or vocal intro, middle break and outro. Teddy Pendergrass, Jean Carn, Billy Paul, these great artists were working to an unfamiliar commercialised style that may not have been suited to their particular talents. This applies equally to the production also.

The quality of the material is generally good, but some of the records would work better in a different context - with similar material from different labels included against which to contrast and compare. The overall effect here is very much of a incoherent 'mix and match', and one has to ask to what extent the inclusions reflect the personal choice of Rounce. This is also particularly important when one remembers some of the records that have NOT been included here.

Worth buying and exploring, especially for the musically adventurous DJ looking to rescue and reinvent a possibly neglected gem (through a reconstruction or sample), but not a collection likely to work as a domestic listening experience.
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on 3 September 2009
PIR was not a powerhouse disco label, at least not after 1975, when most of their session players defected to labels like Salsoul and PIR failed to capture the emerging sex'n'hedonism aesthetic. This compilation features tracks released between 1976 and 1983, and a ropey old collection it is, too.
The leadoff track, McFadden & Whitehead's Ain't No Stopping Us Now, might lead you to think the compilation will be killer, but it's the strongest track on the whole set and the only really big hit for PIR during this period. Much of the rest plays like copies of better songs, with the occasional gem such as The Jones Girls' Nights Over Egypt or Jean Carn's Don't Let It Go To Your Head alleviating the tedium. And the two "rapping" tracks by Jocko are execrable, giving pause to anyone thinking PIR knew what they were doing.
It's well mastered, with good clean sound, and there are a generous number of tracks, but even at the low price you will find little here that's compulsive.
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on 22 January 2014
2 CD's of hits and classic tracks from the Philly International label featuring some of the more well known and lesser known artists. With a label such as this, who has released so many records, it must have been a nightmare picking what was included and what was left out. But the result is that this is not your normal compilation output, but a finely balance headline artists and as I said before, artists that I knew less of. Altogether a very good album, in my opinion.
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on 11 November 2014
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on 19 June 2015
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 25 August 2014
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