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Wake Up, Everybody: Edsel Reissues Seven from Philadelphia International

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When Sony Music Entertainment reacquired the rights to the full Philadelphia International Records (PIR) catalog in 2007 (after losing control of the post-1976 output in 1984 to EMI), hopes were high that much of that storied hit factory’s catalogue would finally be reissued on CD. Arguably the 1970s’ answer to Berry Gordy’s Motown empire, Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff’s label boasted a top-notch roster: Lou Rawls, The O’Jays, Harold Melvin and The Blue Notes, Teddy Pendergrass, The Three Degrees and the smokin’ hot house band MFSB, just to name a few. But after a promising start (rarities compilation Conquer the World, the outstanding box set Love Train: The Sound of Philadelphia, which also took in non-PIR artists sharing the Philly sound, and a few album reissues under the Total Soul Classics banner), the releases dried up, and to date, the only other exploitation of the catalogue has come via scattered entries in series like The Essential and Playlist.

Thankfully, Britain’s Edsel Records has picked up the slack. Edsel had previously released a number of PIR titles on CD in the early part of the decade, but they have reactivated their already-impressive reissue program in 2010 with a number of new releases designed for both the deep Philly fan and the novice listener. All seven titles released to date boast liner notes by soul authority Tony Rounce and some are making their first-ever CD debuts. Hit the jump to find out which albums are in the series, along with full discographical info and track listings, Second Disc-style! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

August 9, 2010 at 10:15