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Your Ten Top P.I.R. favorite titles...?

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3 hours ago, kev cane said:

Philadelphia International Records, a topic so close to my heart, in no particular order

Ebony's-It's Forever

Billy Paul-Me and Mrs Jones

Harold Melvin and The Bluenotes-If you don't know me by now

Trammps-Down Three Dark Streets (Hope Golden Fleece counts) Jimmy Ellis, so underrated

Ojays-Who am I

Silk-I cant stop turning you on

Anthony White-I'm so much in love with you

Teddy Pendergrass-The whole town/And If I had

Trammps-Where do we go from here (The late and great Jimmy Ellis is awesome on this)

Jean Carn-Free love

Will probably change in an hour, so much incredible soul on this label, impossible for a top ten, I could have done one with Harold Melvin alone, Ebony Woman, Be for real, I miss you etc etc as I have a whole album crammed with awesome ballads by them, but can't be bothered to see if they came out on 45's, same with The OJay's

Kev

Hey, mate! Jimmy Ellis had a very gospel voice. I have had the maxi single "The Move" on CNR with the acapella version by Jimmy solo on the B side and James Cleveland seems "a little cheese" in comparison. Another great "gospel" voice in the P.I.R. roster is Frank Brunson from People's Choice ("Don't Send Me Away" is, IMHO, a gospel masterpiece).

I remember my copy of Teddy's first solo LP, in the track-list says "And If I Had" (Previously entitled "Somebody To Love Me") and remember also the Alan Rudolph film "Choose Me" inspired in the track by the same title from T.P. Elektra album "Love Language";  the film includes also in the OST "And If I Had"

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Talkin' about P.I.R. and gospel, I knows some stuff published in the TSOP, North Bay and Peace International subsidiaries (Ted Wortham & Co., the two compilations entitled "Gospel Biennal Festival" or something like that, Louise Williams with Rev. Isaac Douglas album, Rev. James Cleveland feat. Lou Rawls & Phyllis Hyman's "Run, Jesse Run" single, the singles by Brockington Singers or by Dandridge Choral Ensemble, Five Blind Boys and Young Delegation stuff produced by Cecil Womack and G&H,...).

And here's a nice gospel version of "If You Don't Know Me By Now" as "If You Don't Know HIM By Now" by Rev. Isaac Douglas (I have heard reagge cover as the one by Zap Pow, pop-soul cover as the one by Simply Red,... but this one is da bomb!):

 

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I've always been a big Philly fan.  Here's my top 10:

Free Love/Jean Carn

The Love I Lost/Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes

Love Is The Message/M.F.S.B.

Love Train/O'Jays

Let's Groove/Archie Bell & The Drells

The More I Get, The More I Want/Teddy Pendergrass

When Will I See You Again/Three Degrees

I'll Always Love My Mama/Intruders

Love Epidemic/Trammps

Happy 'Bout The Whole Thing/Dee Dee Sharp 

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1 hour ago, EnricoACM1899 said:

If I can have one bonus on my previous list I would go with Teddy Pendergrass' The more I get, the more I want

Hi, mate! You can add the bonus you want! 8after naming the "top 10" you can add "special mentions", for example, :))

In my case, I posted my particular top 10 the other day, when I feel mellow and listed some mellow - mood tracks. Today I'm feel more "positive" and my top ten can we the more "dynamic" and up tempo ones:

01- People's Choice: "Party Is A Groove Thing"

02- Monk Montgomery: "Bump - de - Bump"

03- McFadden & Whitehead: "Mr. Music"

04- Jones Girls: "You Can't Have My Love"

05- Whitehead Brothers: "You Lift Me Up"

06- MFSB: "When Your Love Is Gone"

07- Dee Dee Sharp: "Breaking & Entering"

08- Edwin Birdsong: "Gold Mine"

09- Trammps: "Trammps Disco Theme"

10- The O'Jays: "Get On Out And Party"

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So hard to choose, but here is my top ten.  Brings back such happy memories of seeing the O'Jays, Billy Paul and the Intruders, all supported by MFSB, live at the Hammersmith Odeon on 7 December 1973 and Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes with Hot Chocolate (!) at the same venue a few months later.  Billy Paul and members of MFSB, came into the Fuller's pub opposite the Odeon before the concert.  Fortunately he avoided the Fuller's Extra Special Bitter (ESB) - then Britain's strongest beer (allegedly).

1. Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes                                                 I Miss You (1972)

2. Intruders                                                                                             I Wanna Know Your Name (1973)

3. Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes featuring Sharon Paige       I’m Searching For A Love (1975)

4. O’Jays                                                                                                   Family Reunion (1975)

5. Teddy Pendergrass with Stephanie Mills                                      Feel The Fire (1978)

6. Futures                                                                                                Party Time Man (1978)

7.  McFadden and Whitehead                                                             I’ve Been Pushed Aside (1979)

8. Jean Carn                                                                                             Intro/My Love Don’t Come Easy (1979)

9. Lou Rawls                                                                                            Let Me Be Good To You (1979)

10.Silk                                                                                                       I Can’t Stop (Turning You On) (1979)

 

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13 minutes ago, KesalocaSoul said:

So hard to choose, but here is my top ten.  Brings back such happy memories of seeing the O'Jays, Billy Paul and the Intruders, all supported by MFSB, live at the Hammersmith Odeon on 7 December 1973 and Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes with Hot Chocolate (!) at the same venue a few months later.  Billy Paul and members of MFSB, came into the Fuller's pub opposite the Odeon before the concert.  Fortunately he avoided the Fuller's Extra Special Bitter (ESB) - then Britain's strongest beer (allegedly).

1. Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes                                                 I Miss You (1972)

2. Intruders                                                                                             I Wanna Know Your Name (1973)

3. Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes featuring Sharon Paige       I’m Searching For A Love (1975)

4. O’Jays                                                                                                   Family Reunion (1975)

5. Teddy Pendergrass with Stephanie Mills                                      Feel The Fire (1978)

6. Futures                                                                                                Party Time Man (1978)

7.  McFadden and Whitehead                                                             I’ve Been Pushed Aside (1979)

8. Jean Carn                                                                                             Intro/My Love Don’t Come Easy (1979)

9. Lou Rawls                                                                                            Let Me Be Good To You (1979)

10.Silk                                                                                                       I Can’t Stop (Turning You On) (1979)

 

Nice stuff! I have the vynil "The O'Jays Live In London" and in the liner notes writed by Tony Blackburn, says they are back with their own rhythm section (I think in Dennis Richardson keyboardist and ignore who are the others, in the 60's they are backed by Dyke & The Blazers on stage)... and says also "and a UK group of musicians" (??)... so I don't knows if Baker-Harris-Young, Montana, Pakula, Washington, Eli, etc. come to the UK and this "UK group" added the horn section.

Good mention on "I'm Searching For A Love"!! During years my favorite track from "Wake Up Everybody" album and , in justice, should be credited to the real singer, THE GREAT SHARON PAIGE.

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There is no mention of the backing musicians in the programme (produced by Black Music magazine).  Tony Cummings, in his very unsympathetic reviews of the two London concerts (Croydon and Hammersmith) in Black Music (February 1974), mentions three different rhythm sections.  And John Abbey confirms that MFSB didn't come (as anticipated) and that there were three different rhythm sections augmented by a nine-piece horn section put together in London (Blues and Soul 125 - December 1973).  So it was wishful thinking on my part that they were there!

Sharon Paige certainly deserved greater recognition and an album of her own.  She appeared with Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes at Hammersmith in March 1974, although her contributions then were covers of two recent Diana Ross recordings Good Morning Heartache (from Lady Sings The Blues) and Touch Me In The Morning.  Sharon Paige was managed by Harold Melvin, so her time with PIR presumably came to an end when the Bluenotes left the label.

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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, KesalocaSoul said:

There is no mention of the backing musicians in the programme (produced by Black Music magazine).  Tony Cummings, in his very unsympathetic reviews of the two London concerts (Croydon and Hammersmith) in Black Music (February 1974), mentions three different rhythm sections.  And John Abbey confirms that MFSB didn't come (as anticipated) and that there were three different rhythm sections augmented by a nine-piece horn section put together in London (Blues and Soul 125 - December 1973).  So it was wishful thinking on my part that they were there!

Sharon Paige certainly deserved greater recognition and an album of her own.  She appeared with Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes at Hammersmith in March 1974, although her contributions then were covers of two recent Diana Ross recordings Good Morning Heartache (from Lady Sings The Blues) and Touch Me In The Morning.  Sharon Paige was managed by Harold Melvin, so her time with PIR presumably came to an end when the Bluenotes left the label.

I get the impression from several sources, including interviews with Kenny Gamble, that Harold Melvin made some poor choices. He made sure that when David Ebo replaced Teddy P that Ebo would never have the same prominence as Teddy, and so despite the fact that Ebo could sing his socks off, there's a lot of what Gamble called "crooning". There's some great duets between Ebo and Melvin on the ABC albums and on the "All things happen in time" LP on MCA in 1981. But the most commercially successful post-PIR track was the Ebo-only "Prayin'", originally on Source in 1979.

Sharon Paige followed Melvin and also got a track to herself on the "Blue Album", as well as turning up on the 1976 ABC LP "Reachin for the World":

Bruce Hawes writes about this on YouTube:

This was the result of me traveling to the Mt Airy section of Philadelphia. Late one night I stopped for a drink off of Stenton Avenue. I had my customary one drink. I have never over indulged. It was not very late so I stopped at Harold's home which was three blocks away from where I was. In fact he answered the door in his lavish dinner lounging robe. Harold had a lot of class. We proceeded to his beautifully decorated family and guest lounge in the basement section of his home. I sat behind the piano. That's the seat I would always prefer when a piano was present in a room. Herald began singing and then he instinctively began recording us. Later, before this song was finally formally recorded, Kenny and Harold collaborated on the lyrics. That is the story of how "After You Love Me" was created. Thank you for writing to me and for the kind words, +Kid Sanders. Gratefully, #BH

In addition, Sharon Paige had a single released on ABC in her own name in 1977, produced by Melvin and arranged by Hawes:

 

Edited by Mickey Finn

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"Reaching For The World" IMHO is a great and underrated album. I likes a lot all the tracks except "Sandman", and the tracks feat. Sharon Paige, specially her high motes in the intro of "He Loves You And I DO Too" are fantastic, or the deep voice by David Ebo on "Big Singing Star"... or the mellow piano intro on "Here There's A Way, There's A Will"... Recently, I discovered that Derek Boyd, the writer of the tittle track, is the same Derek from Derek & Cyndy ("You Bring Out The Best In Me" single on Tommy Records). He also collaborated along years with Bobby Womack.

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Wowwwww!!! How times I have played the whole side B of "We Got The Rhythm", the jazzy "Opus-de-Funk" and "Mellow Mood"... a big contrast between the "raw - funk" side A (incredible deep voice by Frank Brunson on "Cold Blooded") and the jazz / jazz funk flavor in the B side. Sadly, their next album "Turn Me Loose", IMHO, was inferior in quality (some R&B ones as "Changing My Life").

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Here's my favorite track from Spiritual Concept' settled album on PIR, "California Woman". I found the album in the first 90's with the PIR logo in the sleeve an the Epic logo in the label (?), seems a reedition. Rock music with some soul elements... T.G. Conway and T. Life the two main responsibles, little after go to very different ways, the production (Evelyn Champagne King) and disco-funk music in his own. Perhaps this is the most rare album on PIR catalogue (or the one by Jean Claude T, that advanced Guru, US3, etc more than 10 years earlier!)

 

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Hi, Enrico

This is probably the O'Jays' LP most underplayed in my turntable... the only track I likes is "You're The Girl Of My Dreams" on which there's some reminiscence of Backstabbers / "999 Arguments". Until "So Full Of Love" I likes all the tracks by all their albums; from "Identify Yourself" on, IMHO, their material went more and more "bland"... but their final album for PIR, IMHO, 1987's "Let Me Touch You" was a great and joyful exception

 

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10 hours ago, algsoul said:

tune

Very nice indeed. Amazing to think how many times I saw that album as a cheap as chip wrapper cutout in bargain bins throughout the 80s, just a victim of fashion.

The same year Blue Magic put out a Norman Harris produced LP on Capitol, which completely missed the fashion train as it kept to the Sigma Sound formula of real strings and things:

 

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Hello again, soul brothers and sisters!

 

I don't knows if some of you knows the entire PIR "gospel catalogue" (Dandridge Choral Ensemble, Brokington Singers, Ted Wortham & Co. Gamble and TSOP singles, Louise Williams & Isaac Douglas' North Bay album, the Ted Wortham album on TSOP, the two TSOP LP's entitled "Triennial Gosepel festival" or something like that), the stuff published under the subsidiary logo Peace International (Five Blind Boys, Young Delegation,...)... If its worth to find or not. I only have some tracks by Louise Williams, Brockington Singers, there's some Ted Wortham tracks on Youtube,... perhaps its' interesting a CD compilation with those stuff (and the whole 45's A & B sides of Huff Puff, Gamble, Neptune, North Bay, TSOP, Golden Fleece, G&H, Tommy, Thunder,...)

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The word "Hurt" reminds me in, IMHO, the most BLUESY record from the PIR catalogue (more than the Bobby Rush album! or the bluesy "Sweeter than the Berry" by Bunny Sigler): People's Choice's "The Big Hurt" (here in spain appeared as the B side of "Do It Anyaway You Wanna" 45). In the video appears as a "Columbia" 45 (!?)

 

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