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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sweet Soul Music At Its VERY Best,
I too can add little to Jay's very extensive and, by the way, bang-on review for this album, save to say that this is terrific set of extended remixes by the impeccable Tom Moulton.
As you gently slip the first disc of this 4-setter into your CD player, you'll hear the familiar intro to The O'Jay's Backstabbers. And boy, are you in for a treat - 9 minutes and 36 seconds worth to be exact. After that comes, track, after track of brilliant Philly Soul mixed for your aural delight. It's so good you almost don't want to get the discs out of their covers so precious are they.
Mr Moulton's passion for soul music is apparent at every turn - a true love-affair with the incomparable Sound of Philadelphia.
Oh, If you think you know these songs by the way, then think again. These remixes bring, if this is possible, even more to what are already some of the finest soul recordings ever made.
Never has £11.99p brought me quite so much enjoyment. Buy it, buy it, buy it!
61 of 66 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE ULTIMATE TOM MOULTON MIX,
PHILADELPHIA INTERNATIONAL CLASSICS-THE TOM MOULTON REMIXES.
March 18, 2012 by dereksmusicblog
PHILADELPHIA INTERNATIONAL CLASSICS-THE TOM MOULTON REMIXES.
After a long wait since the project was first announced, one of the most anticipated box sets will soon be released. 26 March 2012 is the day when Philadelphia Classics-The Tom Moulton Remixes will be released and thankfully, I've been given a sneak preview of this box set. I'm pleased to tell you that Philadelphia Classics-The Tom Moulton Remixes has been well worth the wait, featuring thirty-one Philly classics, including seventeen brand new remixes. Truly, the music is stunning, having spent some time just reveling in the magnificence of the music. It's a fitting tribute to Tom Moulton, a man who is an innovator, and whose influence on dance music has been huge. Without Tom Moulton, there would have been neither remixes nor twelve inch singles, and doubtless, the history of DJ-ing would be very different. Single-handedly Tom invented both the remix and twelve inch single, while creating some of the best remixes in the history of music. Before I tell you about the music on Philadelphia Classics-The Tom Moulton Remixes, I'll tell how Tom Moulton inadvertently invented both the remix and twelve inch single.
How Tom Moulton invented the remix is a fascinating tale of how fate and being in the right place at the right time can change history. Throughout Tom's career, he'd been steeped in music, working firstly as a junior promo man for United Artists, RCA and then King Records from the late fifties onwards. By the late sixties and disillusioned with the dishonesty and corruption that scarred music, Tom left the music industry. From there, he became a model, working on photographic shoots and on the catwalk. While he was making a living, his real passion was music. However, when a colleague invited him to Fire Island to club the Sandpiper, he'd have a eureka moment that would change his life and music.
Having arrived at Fire Island, Tom headed to the Sandpiper, where he'd change musical history. When watching a DJ mix the old seven inch singles, he realized that just when dancers were gaining momentum and getting into the groove, the single was over. After this there another single was mixed in and the same thing was happening. Realizing this must be hugely frustrating for dancers and DJs, Tom decided to rectify the problem.
Back home, he spend nearly a week editing a forty-five minute reel-to-reel tape designed keep the dance floor going. Now this wasn't easy. He extended parts of tracks, looping the most exciting parts and ensured there was a seamless changeover between tracks, so much so, that dancers hardly noticed it. Using his own collection of soul music, the tape was compiled, but this hadn't been easy. It meant editing the tape using razor blades, tape and fluid, constantly joining and rejoining the tape. Dexterity, patience, skill and an ear for music were needed, but Tom had all that. So after a week, the tape was finished, and was given to a DJ at the Sandpiper. The result was as he'd expected, the dance-floor loved it. This would be Tom's first step on the road to remixer extraordinaire.
Having made his first disco mix, Tom set about finding tracks to remix. This turned out to be relatively easy, mainly because Tom wasn't a DJ. The reason for this was radio was still King, with DJ's in clubs and record companies neither communicating nor perceived as important in the great scheme of thing. This is very different from today. So, when Tom approached record companies to remix one of their tracks, then often they say yes. Starting with The Carstairs' It Really Hurts Me Girl, remixed by Tom for Red Coach Records, Tom's nascent remixing career was underway. By 1974, Tom Moulton had perfected his craft, remixing BT Express' Do It Till You're Satisfied. Although the group didn't like the track, Tom's remix became a big hit. Suddenly, Tom was remixing Loleatta Holloway, Eddie Kendricks and First Choice. By now he'd arrived, with the Tom Moulton remix a surefire sign of quality. Having invented the remix inadvertently, fate intervened again, with Tom inventing the twelve inch single.
The first twelve inch single was made cut purely because of fate and a shortage of seven inch singles. After remixing I'll Be Holding On by Al Downing, Tom took that remix to have an acetate cut. However, when the single was going to be cut, engineer Jose Rodriguez realized that there were no seven inch singles left, so cut it on a twelve inch single. When Tom saw this, he realized that it didn't look right. It looked like a seven inch single on a twelve inch piece of vinyl. Then Tom hit on the idea of spreading grooves so that they reached the end of the vinyl. The effect this had was to increase the volume and dynamic range because the groove was much wider. This mean the music was much louder than other singles, resulting in clubs and DJs complaining that the single nearly blowing their speakers. This begs the question, why didn't they just adjust the volume?
Although they might have complained about volume, they liked the break midway through Al Downing's I'll Be Holding On. Everything bar drums and percussion dropped out and then the started to rebuild. This was Tom's way of dealing with a key change. He gradually took out parts one by one, leaving merely drums and percussion. This breakdown grabbed the attention of record companies, DJs and dancers, with people asking why didn't Tom put these breakdowns in other records. After this Tom would add breakdowns to other tracks, something that's since been copied by remixers worldwide. However, the next step in Tom's career would see him Philly bound, where he'd remix some of his most famous mixes for Philadelphia International Records, which cane be heard on Philadelphia Classics-The Tom Moulton Remixes.
In 1974 Tom discovered the Philly Devotions' I Just Can't Say Goodbye on the Don De label. Having worked on the track at home, Tom took this to Columbia Records in New York. They loved what he'd done, and wanted him to remix the track. Although Columbia offered to send the tapes to New York, Tom decided to head to Philadelphia, having fallen in love with the Philly Sound.
Once he'd moved to Philadelphia, Tom fell in love with the city and its slower pace of life. He was constantly in demand. Having established himself in Philly, Tom hooked up with the two men who'd responsible for the Philly Sound, Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff. Gamble and Huff and Tom Moulton met through The Trammps manager Harry Chipetz. At first, Tom thought that Gamble and Huff hadn't any need for Tom's help. However, eventually, Harry Chipetz brought Tom into the "Philly family." Initially, Harry brought the forthcoming albums about to be released, to see whether Tom could do anything with the music. The first song Tom chose was a People's Choice track Do It Any Way You Wanna. However, when Tom first got involved with the Philly Sound, there was a backlash against with music coming out of Philly.
The problem was some people in the black community felt that the Philly Sound was being transformed into music for white people, with the addition of strings and horns. Tom like many people, was amazed and even annoyed. Tom decided to make a point, but needed the right track. He chose the People's Choice track Do It Any Way You Wanna, mixing it without strings or horns. This would dispel the accusation that Philly were making soul music for white people. He offered to do the song without taking a fee, but asked for his name to be put on the label, which it wasn't. On the release of Do It Any Way You Wanna, it became a huge hit, reaching number one in the US R&B Charts, while reaching the top twenty in the US Billboard 100. This would be the start of a long and fruitful relationship between Tom and Philadelphia International Records. Gamble and Huff would supply the soundtrack to the seventies and early eighties, with much of this music being remixed by Tom Moulton.
After the success of People's Choice single Do It Any Way You Wanna, Harry Chipetz approached Tom with an idea to produce an album entitled Philadelphia Classics, complete with a cover of an old Rolls Royce on the album cover. This was because Harry saw the music as rich and classy, which it really is. There was one caveat, Tom couldn't include M.F.S.B.'s Love Is the Message, as it had already been a hit. However, Tom wasn't keen, because Love Is the Message was the track he desperately wanted to remix. Eventually, the label changed their mind, allowing Love Is the Message to be on the album. This changed Tom's mind and his album of remixes went ahead, including Love Is the Message, the song which he's most proud of. The resulting album was a huge success, and over the next few years, Tom became Philadelphia International Records' go-to-guy for remixes. Tom remixed many of the label's biggest singles, with many of these tracks featuring on Philadelphia Classics-The Tom Moulton Remixes, which I'll now tell you about.
Philadelphia Classics-The Tom Moulton Remixes is a four-disc box set which features thirty-one tracks. These track are chronologically arranged, with Disc One covering the period between 8 July 1972 and the release of The O'Jays' Back Stabbers to 6 October 1973 and the release of The Three Degrees' Dirty Ol' Man. In total, there are eight tracks on Disc One, with tracks from Philly giants The O'Jays who have two tracks on Disc One, while Harold Melvin and The Blue Notes, Billy Paul and The Three Degrees have one apiece. The other three tracks include a duo from The Intruders and one from Johnny Williams. Among the highlights of Disc One are The O'Jays' Back Stabbers and Love Train, Harold Melvin and The Blue Notes' The Love I Lost and Billy Paul's The Whole Town's Laughing At Me, which I'll tell you about.
The O'Jays released Back Stabbers on 8 July 1972, whilst Tom mixed the track in September 2011. This was from The O'Jays debut album for Philadelphia International Back Stabbers, reaching number ten in the US Billboard 200 and number three in the US R&B Charts. When released as a single, Back Stabbers reached number three in the US Billboard 100 and number one in the US R&B Charts. Opening with flourish of piano, rhythm section and chiming guitars that combine with lush sweeping strings, the introduction is extended by Tom. This gives way to the vocal, which is frustrated and angry vocal. Quickly, the lead vocal changes hands. Behind them a stunning arrangement unfolds. It's an infectious combination of dramatic, yet beautiful music, thanks to the combination of lush strings, chiming guitars, piano and drums, while the horns and rhythm section deliver punchy, brief bursts of drama. When combined with the vocal the result is an O'Jays classic, made even better by Tom's near ten minute masterpiece of a mix.
Billy Paul was Philadelphia International's male superstar, releasing a string of successful albums, including 1974s War of the Gods, which reached number 110 in the US Billboard 200 and number twelve in the US R&B Charts. It featured The Whole Town's Talking which Tom remixed in December 2011, totally transforming the track. The tempo is quicker, with a myriad of swirling strings, percussion and the rhythm section combining, during an extended introduction, before giving way to Billy's vocal. It's soft, full of sadness and regret, accompanied by backing vocalists. Behind him, the strings sweep, while the punchy rhythm section inject drama as Billy's vocal grows in power. Flourishes of piano, percussion and the rhythm section combine when Billy's vocal drops out, before the strings rejoin and the track starts to rebuild. Tom's decision to extend this part of the track and highlight the frenzied, flourishes of piano is a masterstroke. After that Billy and his backing vocalists rejoin, as the track heads to its glorious finish, with an emotive and impassioned vamp from Billy. Truly, this is an irresistible remix from Tom Moulton, the godfather of the remix.
One of the biggest groups on Philadelphia International were Harold Melvin and The Blue Notes, with The Love I Lost one of the many highlights of the Teddy Pendergrass era. This track was from their Black and Blue album, released in September 1973, reaching number five in the US R&B Charts and fifty-seven in the US Billboard 200. When The Love I Lost was released as a single, it reached number seven in the US Billboard Hot 100 singles' charts and reached number one in the R&B Charts. Originally it was meant to be recorded as a ballad, but Kenny Gamble the cowriter and producer asked the group to speed the song up, and sing it with a swagger. In doing so, this transformed the track. Keyboards, then chiming guitars enter, before the pounding drums and strings sweep in. Here, Tom extends the glorious introduction, building up the drama, and providing the perfect backdrop for Teddy's impassioned vocal. Meanwhile, the rest of the group compliment his lead vocal with tight harmonies, against an arrangement that's dramatic and emotive. M.F.S.B., Philadelphia International's house band surpassing themselves, producing a impassioned and dramatic arrangement. Here, Tom Moulton extends the track to over twelve minutes, allowing you to revel in the emotion and sadness of a true Philly classic, as a seminal arrangement reveals itself.
During the time The Three Degrees spent with Philadelphia International they recorded the best music of their career. This included The Three Degrees which reached number twenty-eight in the US Billboard 200 and thirty-three in the US R&B Charts. Dirty Ol' Man only reached number fifty-eight in the US R&B Charts on its release as a single. As the track opens, the tempo is quick, with the arrangement having a fuller sound. Swirling, lush strings, a punchy rhythm section and chiming guitars are at the heart of the arrangement while Sheila's voice is loud and scathing. She's accompanied by Valerie and Fayette's equally powerful, backing vocals, which later become softer and subtle. Throughout the track the tempo is quick, with no let up in what's a catchy, bright and sweeping arrangement. Part of the track's success is down to the way the strings, guitars and quick, punchy rhythm section combine. Add to that the excellent vocals and it's a winning combination. Remixed by Tom in October 1976, his remix adds to the track's drama and emotion, highlighting the excellent arrangement and scathing vocals from Sheila.
With so much great music on Disc One of Philadelphia Classics-The Tom Moulton Remixes, choosing just a few tracks to talk about wasn't easy. After all, this meant neither mentioning The O'Jays classic Love Train nor tracks from The Intruders and Johnny Williams. Each of these tracks are worthy of mentioning giving their quality, especially since (Win, Place Or Show) She's A Winner by The Intruders is one of Tom's new remixes. However, given the importance of the tracks I've mentioned in the Philadelphia International story that wasn't possible. Will choosing the best tracks on Disc Two be as difficult?
On Disc Two of Philadelphia Classics-The Tom Moulton Remixes the music covers the period from the release of The Trammps Love Epidemic on 29 December 1973, through to their single Trusting Heart on 23 November 1974. During this period, several of Philadelphia International's most memorable tracks were released, including T.S.O.P. The Sound of Philadelphia by M.F.S.B. and The Three Degrees and the remix Tom Moulton is most proud of M.F.S.B.'s Love Is the Message. Meanwhile, The Trammps were going through the hottest period of their career, thanks to the Baker, Harris, Young rhythm section. Disc Two features four tracks from The Trammps, two from M.F.S.B. and The Three Degrees, plus Robert Upchurch's The Devil Made Me Do It. With so many great tracks, choosing the highlights isn't easy, but here goes.
T.S.O.P. The Sound of Philadelphia by M.F.S.B. and The Three Degrees reached number one in the US R&B and Billboard 100, and number twenty-two in the UK. Opening quickly, a hugely melodic, soulful vocal is accompanied by cascading strings, rhythm section and percussion before it's punctuated by bursts of horns. Quickly, this soulful sounding track is transformed into a beefy slice of funk, thanks to M.F.S.B. Then a rasping horn signals all change. This doesn't worry The Three Degrees. They rise to this challenge. Their voices unite sweetly and soulfully, while M.F.S.B. give a funk laden masterclass. It's a combination of driving rhythm section, blazing horns, percussion and not forgetting some grand, yet lush strings. Here, the vocal plays second fiddle to the arrangement, with the vocal drifting in and out of the arrangement. Still they give everything they have, as M.F.S.B. seemingly having brought their A-game produce a brilliant arrangement, funky yet soulful, made all the better with the help of The Three Degrees' soulful interjections.
Where Do We Go From Here by The Trammps was released on 18 May 1974 and remixed by Tom in 1977. Featuring the legendary Baker, Harris, Young rhythm section and the vocal of Jimmy Ellis, this is one of The Trammps best tracks. Cascading strings, the rhythm section and backing vocalists combine as the track opens. The drums have Earl Young's trademark sound, before the track heads to an extended string drenched break. When Jimmy's vocal enter, it's powerful and impassioned, accompanied by backing vocalists, while the strings sweep and swirl and the rhythm section drive the track along contributing drama and emotion. Listening to this track is quite poignant, given the sad death of Jimmy Ellis recently, but this track demonstrates his talent as a soul vocalist. Add in the greatest rhythm section of the seventies and give the track to the godfather of the remix Tom Mouton, and the result is five minutes of emotion, passion and drama.
Of all the tracks in the Philadelphia International back-catalogue, the one Tom wanted to remix was M.F.S.B.'s Love Is the Message, released in July 1974. Anyone who knows the track will realise why. Once Tom got the opportunity to remix the track in September 1976, this became a career defining track, lasting over eleven minutes. This is Tom's Magnus Opus, the remix he's most proud of. When the track opens it's a mass of the lushest strings, blazing horns, percussion and the rhythm section. From its soulful beginnings, the track quickly decides to reveal its drama and delights. On the signal of the drums, a sizzling saxophone solo enter, while Lenny Pakula's Hammond adds atmosphere. After that, the track briefly heads in a direction marked funk, before returning to its soulful sound. Later, the Three Degrees add their soulful strains, as the track combines soul and funk seamlessly. With Tom looping and extending parts, building up drama, then breaking it down, only to rebuild, no wonder he's so proud of this track. He truly should be, it truly is one of his greatest remixes, one blessed with a contemporary, timeless sound, that sounds as good today as in 1976.
Choosing just a trio of tracks from Disc Two of Philadelphia Classics-The Tom Moulton Remixes wasn't easy. The obvious choice were T.S.O.P. The Sound of Philadelphia by M.F.S.B. and Love Is the Message, but choosing just one Trammps track wasn't easy. During their career, they recorded so many great tracks. They truly were a special group, being one of the first seventies disco band. With Baker, Harris, Young, part of M.F.S.B. and later, the Salsoul Orchestra, they'd the hottest rhythm section of the seventies. They feature on every track on Disc Two, and most of the tracks on this compilation. Add in Jimmy Ellis' vocal to The Trammps and they were the complete package. Sadly, Jimmy died recently and these four tracks are a tribute to his talent and that of Baker, Harris, Young, who helped make this music so memorable.
By Disc Three of Philadelphia Classics-The Tom Moulton Remixes we've got to the period between the release of Harold Melvin and The Blue Notes' Bad Luck on 15 March 1973 and the release of People's Choice Jam, Jam, Jam (All Night Long) on 15 January 1977. This includes music from Archie Bell and The Drells, Lou Rawls, The O'Jays and People's Choice. Truly, it's a veritable feast crammed full of the finest Philly soul. Again, choosing from such a feast of music is problematic, what to choose and what to leave out. Anyway, here goes.
Bad Luck was a track from Harold Melvin and The Blue Notes 1975 album To Be True, which reached number twenty-six in the US Billboard 200 and number one in the US R&B Charts, resulting in the group's only album to be certified gold. The track has a bold, punchy introduction with the rhythm section, piano and percussion combining before Teddy's powerful, passionate vocal enters. Strings enter, sweeping and swirling above Teddy's vocal as he rues his Bad Luck. Then the rest of the group enter, contributing joyous, sweet backing vocals, as Teddy's vocal takes centre-stage. Punchy, rasping horns enter as Teddy starts to vamp his way through this anthemic track. Like so many of Tom's remixes, it has an irresistible, dramatic sound during its eight minutes. Not only has he the uncanny ability to know exactly what will work best, by extending and looping parts of the track, but his remixes have a timeless quality and are deserving of the work classic in the compilation's title.
Lou Rawls' You'll Never Find Another Love Like Mine is one of his best known tracks. It's from his All Things In Time album, released in June 1976. It reached number seven in the US Billboard 200 and number one in the US R&B Charts. When You'll Never Find Another Love Like Mine was released as a single, it reached number two in the US Billboard 100, and number one in the US R&B Charts and US Dance Charts. What makes the track work so well is how Bobby Martin's arrangement and Lou's vocal unite. They compliment each other perfectly. Piano and rhythm section combine before Lou's slow, smooth, sensuous vocal enters. As Lou sings, it's almost call and response between Lou and the piano. He leaves a space which the piano fills dramatically. Then when the tempo increases, with drums, rasping horns and the piano adding brief flourishes of drama, Lou's voice rises, becoming stronger, full of emotion and passion. Meanwhile, female backing vocalists cut in, their gentle voices a contrast to Lou's powerful vocal. What makes this track is an arrangement that builds and builds. Layer upon layer of sumptuous music reveals itself, with the rhythm section and piano key to success of the track, with the horns adding just the finishing touch. Add to this Lou's fantastic vocal, and the result is one of the best songs Lou Rawls ever recorded made even better by Tom's magnificent mix recorded in September 2011.
Opening with a slow sultry saxophone solo, Where Will You Go When The Party's Over by Archie Bell and The Drells quickly reveals its beauty. Joining the saxophone are hissing hi-hats, the rhythm section, keyboards and cascading strings. Together they produce a sound that's sweet and dramatic. Then, the backing vocalists enter, before the strings and rhythm section drive the track along. Punchy, rasping horns enter before Archie's vocal enters. It's sassy and impassioned, accompanied by sensuous backing vocalists. With strings and horns accompanying Archie, the track takes on a joyous and uplifting sound that's irresistible. By now the track has an anthemic quality. After the emotion and passion of the track, Tom inserts a break after five minute, allowing dancers to get their breath back. It's just the piano and horn that combine, before Archie's vocal reenters, becoming a vamp, as the track starts to rebuild gradually. By he end of this nine minute epic, you can only marvel at the talents of Tom Moulton. Using his considerable talent and a dancer's ear, he remixed this track in December 2011, resulting in an anthemic, dance-floor classic for the twenty-first century.
Disc Three of Philadelphia Classics-The Tom Moulton Remixes sees the quality of music just get even better. With a combination of three classic mixes and four new remixes from 2011, Tom proves he's still able to produce classic remixes. One of the best is his remix of Where Will You Go When The Party's Over by Archie Bell and The Drells, which I'm sure will be one that DJs will love. Play that in a club and I'm sure the place will explode. It has an anthemic quality, and deserves its place beside a classic like The O'Jays' I Love Music. Another new remix is Lou Rawls' You'll Never Find Another Love Like Mine, which is transformed into a ten minute epic. Truly, from track one to seven, Tom never misses a beat, with seven fantastic remixes, including four new ones. However, given Tom's set the standard so high, will the music on Disc Four match the quality on the other three?
The fourth and final disc of Philadelphia Classics-The Tom Moulton Remixes covers the period between the release of Teddy Pendergrass' I Don't Love You Anymore on 30 April until the release of The Jones Girls Nights Over Egypt on 13 February 1982. This period covers the end of Teddy Pendergrass' time with Harold Melvin and The Blue Notes and the start of his solo career. It also covers tracks from Philadelphia International veterans The O'Jays, through Lou Rawls second album and albums by Blue Notes and the start of his solo career. It also covers tracks from Philadelphia International newcomers Jean Carn and The Jones Girls. Really, it covers the changing of the guard, with old favorites saying farewell to the label, new careers being launched and the next generation of artists signing for the label. This was an exciting time, as you'll discover when I tell you about the highlights of Disc Four of Philadelphia Classics-The Tom Moulton Remixes.
I Don't Love You Anymore was from Teddy Pendergrass' solo album Teddy Pendergrass. Released in June 1977, it reached number seventeen in the US Billboard 200 and number five in the US R&B Charts, while I Don't Love You Anymore, reached number five in the US R&B Charts and forty-one in the US Billboard 100. Opening with percussion, before blazing horns and swirling strings combine to provide a backdrop for Teddy's quick, passionate vocal. Adding to an already joyful upbeat sound are piano, strings and backing vocalists whose voices unite soulfully. Later shimmering guitars interject, combining with a piano during a mini-breakdown. Then Teddy's vocal drops way down, before quickly returning to it's previous joyful, impassioned sound. Tom's remix from October 2011 takes the song and combines Teddy's impassioned vamp with a dramatic, string and horn drenched arrangement. In doing so, he transforms it, adding to it's drama and passion, while giving it a contemporary sound.
Of the tracks Lou Rawls recorded for Philadelphia International, my favorite is See You When I Git There, from his Unmistakably Lou album, released in May 1977. It didn't match the success of All Things In Time, reaching just number forty-one in the US Billboard 200 and number fourteen in the US R&B Charts. When See You When I Git There was released as a single, it only reached number sixty-six in the US Billboard 100 and number eight in the US R&B Charts. This is an uptempo track with a real feel-good sound, with pounding drums, an organ and chiming guitars combining during the extended introduction. They give way to a husky spoken word introduction from Lou. After this, the track quickens up, a lovely lush sound string laden sound, combining with percussion, rasping horns, rhythm section and guitars. Lou's vocal is full of love and emotion, with female backing vocalists accompanying him. His vocal about going home to the woman he loves in beautiful, especially when sung against Bobby Martin's stunning arrangement. The lush strings, rhythm section and guitars combine beautifully with the keyboards, and occasional bursts of horns. For me, this was one of the highlights of Lou's career with Philadelphia International, given its timeless sound. Tom's remix from November 2011 takes a great track and makes it even better, turning it into ten minutes of beautiful, lush string drenched music.
This Time Baby was a single from The O'Jays album So Full of Love. It reached number one in the US R&B Charts and number six in the US Billboard 200.Originally arranged and produced by Thom Bell, a combination of swirling, sweeping strings, driving rhythm section, piano and guitars open the extended introduction. This builds and builds for three minutes, before a flourish of drums and strings eventually signal the entrance of the vocal. Against a quick arrangement, Eddie's vocal enters. Meanwhile, Walt and Sammy contribute backing vocals, while blazing horns, swirling strings and a punchy rhythm section combine to create a fast, driving arrangement. Combined with the powerful vocal, it's a winning combination, with the original four minute track transformed into a ten minute epic. What I love about Tom's remix, is how the track builds and builds. It takes three minutes before the vocal enters. The sense of anticipation is tantalizing, as you await to see how Tom will structure the track. Thankfully the anticipation is matched by the delivery on another of Tom's new remixes from December 2011.
My final choice from Philadelphia Classics-The Tom Moulton Remixes is the final track on the album, The Jones Girls, Nights Over Egypt, from their 1980 album Get As Much Love As You Can. Nights Over Egypt still retains the magical, timeless sound it had back in 1980. Opening with hissing hi-hats, the mystical, meandering introduction begins. A combination of synths, rhythm section, harp and acoustic piano combine. The funkiest of basses plays its part before the sisters unite to sing gentle, tight harmonies. Their voices grow in strength and power, as the arrangement peaks, before giving way to a lush, almost mystical and exotic sound, before lush strings sweep and swirl, as the vocal rejoins. Jack Faith plays flute on the track, while gentle, rasping horns escape from the arrangement. By the end of the track, you realize that you've been fortunate enough to hear a classic remix, never before released from the godfather of the remix, Tom Moulton, a true musical genius and innovator.
Like the music on the previous three discs, Disc Four of Philadelphia Classics-The Tom Moulton Remixes the music is just as good. This demonstrates Tom's talent as a remixer. It's a combination of classics and new tracks, with the music is of the highest quality. With the new tracks, Tom's remixes are just as good as his older remixes, demonstrating that he's still a hugely talented remixer. In fact, listening to these tracks, there much better than anything the new generation of remixers are producing. Compare these tracks, and its like master and pupil, with Tom very much the master. Other remixers are just pretenders to Tom's throne. For nearly forty years, Tom Moulton has been remixing music, with his remixes some of the most innovative and influential in the history of music. Without Tom Moulton, music, especially dance music wouldn't be the same. There would be no remixes, no twelve inch singles and maybe, no superstar DJs. Instead, DJs would still be scrambling about mixing seven inch singles, with dancers suffering when the momentum they'd built up dropped as they'd just got into the groove. Of course maybe another DJ would've invented the remix, but would fate have intervened for them and the twelve inch single have been born? Who knows, but they wouldn't have had the influence, skill and determination Tom Moulton would have on music. I doubt it. Truly, Tom Moulton is one of the real heroes of music. On 26 March 2012, Philadelphia Classics-The Tom Moulton Remixes a stunning four disc box set of thirty-one of his remixes will be released by Harmless Records. This gives everyone the opportunity to either rediscover or discover the genius of Tom Moulton, inventor of the remix, twelve inch single and remixer extraordinaire. Standout Tracks: Harold Melvin and The Blue Notes The Love I Lost, M.F.S.B. Love Is the Message, Archie Bell and The Drells Where Will You Go When The Party's Over and Teddy Pendergrass I Don't Love You Anymore.
by Derek Anderson....re-posted from dereksmusicblog
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Movin' In All Directions.,
Tom Moulton is presented with the task of re-cutting some of the most highly regraded soul classics into a 4 cd box set. Only he could describe the the thrill of receiving the multi-tracks and reliving a host of forgotten moments, previously hidden within the original mixes. And only he would be capable of revisiting the 'reels' with the means of re-telling one of the greatest stories in soul music. I assume Tom was furnished with the digital 'stems' rather than the original one and two inch reels - partly through reasons of practicality but primarily for ease of editing. Tom has approached the mixes with respect for the original and has not taken liberties with the use of hyper-compression and unnecessary over eq-ing. Clearly there are going to be those who reside in the 'Any Philly is Great Philly!' camp, particularly as we roll and tumble away from the heady period of the great soul recordings of the '60s and 70s, moving into the continuing cut and thrust of the 21st century's political and cultural landscape. But I still think it's important to view even Tom's work with a critical eye.
I was first aware of Tom's work when I bought Metropolis's 'I love New York' 7" and from then on made a point checking him out - to the point of buying any cuts with his name on. Tom's workmanship took me through the disco period with not as much as a scratch. A Tom Moulton mix assured you this was going to be more than worth parting with you hard-earned greens. Back in the disco days you could've spun a whole evening of Moulton mixes and kept everyone on their feet. Tom was the DJ's patron saint. Even on a wet Tuesday night, with Tom's good luck charm, everything was going to be ALRIGHT!
NB - As a side note, 'Metropolis's LP 'The Greatest Show On Earth' is one of the great forgotten classic of the period. Just sayin...
To the Philly remixes.
Of particular note are...
'BACK STABBERS' - The re-eq'd piano introduction felt a little heavy, considering the general attention to track's eq throughout. Once over the piano, things settle in beautifully. I can imagine that this and 'Love Train' were two of the most 'straight forward' to remix. Tom's note that certain tunes mix themselves. Push up the faders and you're on your way is fully understood here.
'BAD LUCK' - Earl Young shows that his reputation for the four on the floor, meat and potatoes approach was not the whole story. Here he shows a nimbleness and articulation in his funk, which is both a revelation and a delight for the uninitiated. Great energy from all the performers here, particularly the rhythm section. The mix almost blew the wing mirrors of the car doors.
'DON'T LEAVE ME THIS WAY' - A loooong mix this but worth it for the build and release elements. The drum groove is different, as the bass drum marks a steady four, rather than the broken pattern on the original cut. Could be another take I guess. One of the nicest parts of this tune is the bitter-sweet horn phrases written for the verse. Great to hear those again. Teddy's adlibs tear your heart out.
'LOVE TRAIN' - Always loved the scrappy timing of the first note of the tune. It kind of falls together, which is great. I'm glad they kept it. It sounds so 'live'. What more can I say but 'A childhood fully revisted'.
'NIGHTS OVER EGYPT' - Really like the song and the reworking. Didn't think I would initially. That's about it..
'SEE YOU WHEN I GET THERE' - I was never very fond of this tune. For me, it's the verse chords - they don't sound particularly 'at home' but the chorus pulls things together. Any borderline tune needs a deal-breaker and for me it's the horn/flute lines on the instrumental verse. It just injects some pathos into the galloping groove and this is where Philly always scores - 'bitter-sweet verses the groove'.
'SLOW MOTION' - Never heard this before. Didn't like it much on first hearing but it's growing on me.
'WHEN WILL I SEE YOU AGAIN' - Tom, did you bring out the organ more in this mix? This was of the true revelations for me. What a great part! What more can you say about this tune? It's part of my DNA. Inseparable.
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow!,
Can't add anything to the extensive review above, only to say this is an exceptionally well put together collection of genuinely great tracks, remixed with real attention to detail and not just 'housed' like some projects. The packaging is great (it comes in a small box) and the liner notes are informative yet concise. Absolutely essential for the bargain price. Go get it!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Noisy Philly .,
Records on the Philadelphia International label were a bit of a sensation when they started coming out in the early 1970s . The great sound , the great songs , the great artists , the fantastic house band and as much as anything the crisp clean beat layed down by their famous rhythm section , which set the standard for the whole "Disco" era . But I must say that on this collection I find they often sound a bit noisy . Maybe its these remixes . Tom Moulton doesn`t always help by repeating noisy sections of songs , and it can get very wearing on the ear . But many of these records are too densely arranged for these kind of remixes . Theres always too much going on and things rarely stop long enough for a decent breathing space . Things work better on certain tracks like Harold Melvin`s "The love I lost " where you`ve got fewer musicians and a string section still creating a great sound . Its the old story where less is more . Theres still a lot of great stuff here , to be taken a little at a time . Some things work much better than others .
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars PIR Philadelphia Classics,
I can only totally agree with most of the reviews of this terrific Tom Moulton Remixed boxed set, if you love Soul/Disco music you should not be with out this set. As I am typing this I am listening to Track 3, CD1 Slow Motion by Johnny Williams, a track I have never heard before.
I just have one negative comment, I have the original CD Various Philadelphia Classics on the PIR label 468991 2 which has 8 of these remixed tracks which are on this box set, think that is a shame that Demon or Harmless Records didn't put the 8 tracks that are on the PIR CD together on one of these CD's leaving the 3 other CD's with new remixes.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant,
My friend described these cd's as 'champaign music' I would call this box set 'champaign & dancing music'. When will I see you again addictive :-) Tom Moulton is a composer of beautiful things.
Searing strings, funky base and an orchestral majesty fitting of the Philly sound. I have been waiting for this release for some time............and it did not disappoint.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Master at Work,
This is so good. Tom Moulton at his best - lots of lovely very long mixes (just how they should be) and all in crystal clear quality. It is like being back in 1975 ! My favourite is She's A Winner by the much unheralded Intruders. The Trammps tracks in here are especially welcome too, a fitting tribute to the late great Jimmy Ellis. I don't know what's planned next but I'd vote for a whole lot more remasterings of the Trammps back catalogue. Thank you so much to Tom M and all those to have made this marvellous music available to all.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Maestro Moulton Musical Materpiece (I wish I could give it six stars),
Philly plus Tom Moulton, a match made in heaven.
You'd be forgiven for thinking, how can some of these original classics get any better.... well get this and see how Tom still has what it takes. Absolutely awesome philly sounds.
No need to review this collection track by track as they speak for themselves but the extended version of Backstabbers by the O'jays is just goosebumping!!!
I couldnt wait to receve it having ordered it a long time ago and I can only say it was well worth the wait!!!
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A stunning achievement,
As an avid music collector, sometimes I take for granted how much great music I have in my collection. But once in awhile a CD comes along that really knocks me off my feet and becomes a prized possession in my collection; "Philadelphia Classics: The Tom Moulton Remixes" is one of those CDs.
I've been familiar with Tom Moulton's work for many years - from his Grace Jones productions, to his glorious "suites" on Gloria Gaynor's classic disco albums - but this compilation demonstrates Moulton at his best. His ability to make these classic records even better is nothing short of genius. I am a fan of remixes, but my favourite remixes are the ones which extend the best features of a song, but do not take out the vocals. Moulton does both, extending instrumental breaks and keeping vocals intact (the gorgeous harmonies of the Three Degrees being one example).
What is most impressive about this set is that it inclues a number of Moulton's classic mixes from back in the day, including "Love is the Message" and "I Love Music", but it also includes a number of newly created Moulton mixes. I cannot believe the mix of Lou Rawls' "You'll Never Find Another Love Like Mine" is a brand new mix. It sounds timeless.
The combination of Tom Moulton and Philadelphia International has resulted in some of the most enjoyable and influential music in the last 40 years. This well packaged and superb sounding box set is a keepsake of the magic Moulton brought to these classic records.
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Philadelphia International Classics: The Tom Moulton Remixes by Various Artists
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