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Philly Re-Grooved !!!!
on 20 July 2010
That's what I have to say after listening
to this for the very first time today!!! I was blessed to get this in my
mailbox today and I was flabbergasted as to what I heard!!
I'm here to give you a full report!!
This is not for your everyday 1979 Donna/KC/BeeGees Disco Fan.
This is for the Philly Sound Fans--(like me)
and it does not disappoint one bit!!
Twelve tracks all newly remixed by Tom Moulton.
And I say he is at the top of his game here!!
The Good Parts first;
Let's go thru them 1 by one:
1 - "We're On The Right Track" - Ultra High Frequency - 6:36
from the first 10 seconds I knew I was gonna love this--As many times as I played the original single, I knew the differences right away.
The bongos are right up front and clear this time around; and it starts with the Instrumental verse for the first 2:40--the rest is just like
the original but with a W I D E dynamic quality that was absent with the
original---the train at the break is lowered (thank goodness),
and it goes to a long instrumental fade out
for the last 41 seconds--DYNOMITE!!
It is credited to Ultra High Frequency featuring Ben Aiken.
(now we know who was the lead singer)
2 - "Armed And Extremely Dangerous" - First Choice - 6:34
I expected the least surprises from this one but I was wrong.
The intro bangs into the song right away (no elongated looping), but takes a little different turn going into the instrumental a
bit earlier at 4:13, keeping the momentum up. The strings & horns
are clear as can be during this part and the police siren is gone!!!
At about 1 minute left the rhythm section is louder, the vocals &
strings are lowered and you can hear Baker-Harris & Young Jam out till the end. Fabulous!!!
3 - "I Told You So" - The Delfonics - 5:44
If you love the original track (as I do) you will love the double length of this version---it starts out Instrumental for the first
No extra parts here but the orchestra sounds so much FULLER than before.
4 - "This Is The House" - First Choice - 6:41
This version was released last December digitally on Traxsourse so the true Philly fans should know this one already. Instrumental until 2:30,
Rochelle & the girls kick it on their original first Philly Groove
single; a great extended version of a too short original song.
5 - "Ruby Lee" - Nat Turner featuring Major Harris - 4:43
I never heard the original of this track, so it would be unfair for me to comment but listening to the instrumental intro & outro it would be a good guess that Moulton hooked that up.
Not a 'hit-em-hard' floor stomper like the previous 4 above, this is Classy Philly Sound, much like "Just Say The Word" by The Trammps or aThom Bell record.
It is growing on me with every listen!!! (really--no hype)
6 - "Let Us Entertain You" - The Philly Groove Orchestra featuring First Choice - 7:00
This is the track that was the first part of the "First Choice Theme/Ain't He Bad" track from the 1976 LP "Let Us Entertain You".
Moulton starts this off instrumental for 2 minutes before the girls come
in with the "Do-Do...."--Very nice, but to me, not a standout.
7 - "Second Best Is Never Enough" - Finishing Touch - 5:15
Another floor stomper from BITD gets a wonderful extention.
Moulton starts off just like the original keeping the vocals in the beginning,
but the instruments are spaced out and you hear them jamming!!
At 2:08 the vocals cut off so we can hear the bongo & violin bridge on it's own (yes!!) and then goes into the instrumental for 2 minutes
where we hear the band VERY clear---before going into the full on vocal fade out!!!
8 - "Gotta Get Away" - First Choice - 7:44
Moulton had a remixed version of this track out before and I'm glad he switched it around this time. The vocals didn't start off with "Gotta
Get Away, gotta get away....." ;
it starts off with instrumental for 1:23 then Rochelle singin the lead verse instead.
(I always thought songs get burned out quicker when they start off with the chorus that
they are gonna repeat 3x or more during the track anyway).
This song goes into ANOTHER instrumental (@4:30) and then goes into the breakdown featuring the bongos, guitar, and keyboard. The vocal chorus
comes back for a minute then fades out instrumental.
9 - "Big Stone Wall" - Tapestry - 4:17
Only 4:17 you say? It's still almost double the 2:13 original.
This track Jams!!!! True Philly Classic, not unlike Sons Of Robin Stone's "Got To Get You Back"--It breaks into the instrumental right
from jump street and goes there again @2:03. One of my all time Philly
Faves--so I'm glad Moulton hooked this one up!!!
10 - "Gonna Keep On Lovin' Him" - First Choice - 4:34
This was the flip side of the original "Armed And Extemely Dangerous" 45 back in 1973. It has a semi-mellow "Hold Back The Night" beat. Not my style, but I guess they had to mellow out sometime on the CD.
(my opinion only)
11 - "Don't Put Me Down" - Finishing Touch - 9:09
One of my favs from this CD---I love what Moulton did with this joint!!!
A lower beat (105 bpm?) but funky like "Everyman" or "Hooked For Life"--Moulton extended the break like forever; from 3:03 to 6:36 is pure Philly Heaven
and it breakdowns again @7:35 till the end---WOW!!!
12 - "Whatcha Gonna Do" - Heaven 'N' Hell- 9:49
This track was originally on the 1979 'Noctura' Soundtrack (originall mixed by Wayne Scott)
and is the only one here Produced by Reid Whitelaw & Norman Bergman.
(Moment Of Truth's "Helplessly" & Ralph Carter's "When You're Young & In Love")
It was recorded in Philly, and has that hypnotic sound with some deep soulful vocals.
Nice remix by Moulton and a welcome inclusion on this CD.
Liner/Sleeve Notes: Introduction by Ian Dewhirst;
A Bio/Interview of Tom Moulton by Steve Handbury;
A Philly Groove Bio;
and tracklist with all credits, musicians, publishing, etc.
Notably absent is credit for who mastered this Comp???
I do not think it was Moulton cause it is wayyyy loud, but still sounds great!!
I didn't put it thru the PC yet to see the levels but it sounds great!
I will get back to you on that!!
Now this CD, like I said up top, is not for everybody,
but if you are a Philly Sound fan it is a MUST HAVE!!
Dimitri's Get Down With The Philly Sound CD & this one are 1 and 1A in my book--
I don't know which one I favor--probably never will !!!
I'm so happy that we are FINALLY after 35 years getting to hear the music in FULL like it should have been back then!!
Thanks Reid Whitelaw & Thanks Tom Moulton.
This release is the best birthday present in years!!!