The Second Disc

Expanded and Remastered Music News

Archive for the ‘Lou Rawls’ Category

Release Round-Up: Week of May 6

with one comment

Steeltown DeluxeBig Country, Steeltown: Deluxe Edition (Mercury/UMC)

The second, criminally underrated album by the Scottish rockers behind “In a Big Country” is remastered and expanded with a bonus disc of single sides and outtakes. (Amazon U.K. / Amazon U.S.UPDATE: This one’s been pushed back to September, folks!

Philadelphia International BoxPhiladelphia International: The Collection – 2o Original Albums / The Very Best of Teddy PendergrassLou RawlsThe Three DegreesThe IntrudersThe O’JaysBilly Paul and Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes (Sony Music U.K.)

Sony Music recently announced their acquisition of all post-1975 Philadelphia International Records masters (previously they were only licensed by Sony), so we can expect some more celebrating of all things Gamble, Huff and so on – starting with a 20-disc box set of some the best albums on the label and some new U.K.-exclusive compilations for PIR’s biggest artists.

Philadelphia International: The Collection (Amazon U.K. / Amazon U.S.)
Amazon U.K.: The IntrudersHarold Melvin & The Blue Notes, The O’Jays, Billy PaulTeddy PendergrassLou RawlsThe Three Degrees

Gloria GaynorGene Chandler, Get Down / Gloria Gaynor, Gloria Gaynor (Big Break Records)

BBR’s remastered/expanded release slate this week includes some interesting finds: “Duke of Earl” Gene Chandler’s first disco-oriented album for Chi Sound Records in 1978 and Gloria Gaynor’s tenth album (and only one for Atlantic), released in 1982 and featuring a cover of The Supremes’ “Stop in the Name of Love.”

Gene Chandler: Amazon U.K. / Amazon U.S.
Gloria Gaynor: Amazon U.K. / Amazon U.S.

Message from the MagicBlue Magic, Message from the Magic (Funkytowngrooves)

The Philadelphia R&B group’s fifth and final album for ATCO Records is remastered and released on CD for the first time ever! (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Ain’t No Stopping Them Now: Sony Acquires Entire Philadelphia International Catalogue, Box Set Coming Soon [UPDATED]

with 17 comments

Philadelphia International Box

UPDATED 4/9 WITH NEW INFORMATION, LINKS AND IMAGES: The love train is pulling back into the station.

Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff’s Philadelphia International Records, distributed by CBS Records, began life in 1971 with the release of Billy Paul’s Going East on LP and The Ebonys’ “You’re the Reason Why” on 45.  (Trivia fans, take note: Gideon Smith’s single “Arkansaw Wife” – yes, you read that right – has an earlier catalogue number, but the quintessentially Philly track by The Ebonys appears to have been released first.)  The R&B empire, which had built a catalogue of some of the most iconic soul music of all time, continued to be distributed by CBS until 1984.  At that time, control of the label’s post-1975 masters went to Gamble and Huff, with initial reissues (as well as new albums) coming under the EMI umbrella.  Pre-1976 recordings remained with CBS successor Sony Music Entertainment.  In 2007, Sony’s Legacy Recordings announced regained rights to the post-1975 recordings, and now, Sony and PIR have come full circle with the announcement that Sony has gained global ownership of all post-1975 PIR masters.

What this means for Sony is clear: the music industry giant now adds key titles to its roster from artists including Lou Rawls, Teddy Pendergrass, Jean Carn, The Jones Girls, The Stylistics, Archie Bell and the Drells, Jerry Butler, Phyllis Hyman, and others who began recording for PIR in 1976 and beyond.  What does this mean for fans and collectors?  In 2014, Legacy will launch a series of new physical and digital releases created from the combined PIR catalogue including “a definitive Philadelphia International Records box, budget single artist anthology titles, 12-inch and 7-inch vinyl replica collectibles and more.” 

In recent years, numerous PIR album reissues have arrived from Cherry Red Group’s Big Break Records (drawing on the pre-1976 recordings controlled by Sony) and Demon Music Group (the post-1976 recordings controlled by Gamble and Huff).    In early 2012, Legacy thrilled fans with the archival release of Golden Gate Groove, a Don Cornelius-hosted concert that brought together many of the label’s biggest and brightest stars, from the O’Jays to Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes featuring Teddy Pendergrass.  In 2013, Demon’s Harmless imprint issued a comprehensive (if oddly arranged) 10-CD box set drawing on the entire discography plus rare recordings from Gamble and Huff’s pre-PIR labels including Neptune, Gamble and North Bay and sister labels like TSOP, Golden Fleece, Tommy and Thunder.

The new catalogue activity from Sony starts in May!  What can you expect?  Hit the jump! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

April 9, 2014 at 13:21

Put Your Hands Together: Massive 10-CD Philadelphia International Box Due [UPDATED]

with 25 comments

Philadelphia International Records has turned 40, and you’re invited to the party!

Sony’s Legacy Recordings thrilled fans earlier this year with the archival release of Golden Gate Groove, a Don Cornelius-hosted concert that brought together many of the label’s biggest and brightest stars, from the O’Jays to Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes featuring Teddy Pendergrass.  The folks across the pond at the Harmless label have already dropped Philadelphia International: The Re-Edits, with 21 tracks on 2 CDs from DJs like Todd Terje (Dee Dee Sharp Gamble’s “Easy Money”) and Tim McAllister (Harold Melvin and The Blue Notes’ “Be For Real”), and next week sees the 4-CD box Philadelphia International Classics: The Tom Moulton Remixes.  This treasure trove from the father of the 12-inch mix offers the original seven Moulton tracks from the Philadelphia Classics LP, plus seven rare remixes and sixteen brand-new tracks created by Moulton especially for this set.  But these projects are just the tip of the iceberg where the celebration of Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff’s storied label is concerned.

April 9 May 21 is the current date for the Philadelphia International 40th Anniversary Box Set.  The title may be simple, but the music certainly isn’t.  For this 10-CD box set, compilation producer Ralph Tee has created a non-chronological cross-section of the label’s releases between 1971 and 1995 placing emphasis on both hits and rarities.  Tee, the man behind 1986’s 14-LP Philadelphia International box set, has brought under one package over 13-1/2 hours of music from familiar names like Lou Rawls, The O’Jays, Teddy Pendergrass, The Three Degrees and The Jacksons, as well as cuts from Dick Jensen, Bobby Bennett, Robert Upchurch, Derek & Cyndi, Elliot Hoffman and other names not nearly as recognizable.  Also included within the package will be a 60-page full-size booklet containing sleeve notes and track details from Tee, the author of Who’s Who In Soul Music) while David Grimes offers the first-ever comprehensive discography of all U.S. releases from Philadelphia International and its related labels like Gamble and Golden Fleece.

Hit the jump for more details on this tremendous project including a full track listing (as sourced from SpinCDs and numerous other sites) with exhaustive discography and a pre-order link! Read the rest of this entry »

Vintage, Retro Mixes Shine on U.K. Philadelphia International Box Set

with 2 comments

Now’s as good a time as any to get into the sweet sounds and lush arrangements of Philadelphia soul in the 1970s. 2011 marked the 40th anniversary of legendary writer/producers Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff’s creation of a label that set the groundwork for some of the best soul and R&B sounds of the decade, and this year’s seeing a lot of excellent catalogue projects honoring that legacy.

We’ve already told you about Legacy’s Golden Gate Groove: The Sound of Philadelphia Live in San Francisco 1973 (keep an eye out for a review from Joe!), and there are more great titles in store in the coming months as well. One of them is a stellar four-disc box set that combines the great arrangements of Philly soul with the ace mixing techniques of Tom Moulton.

Moulton, the father of the modern-day remix, is about as far from a stranger to Philadelphia International as you can get. In 1977, he mixed classic sides by The O’Jays, The Three Degrees, Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes and MFSB for the double album Philadelphia Classics. Over time, he was commissioned for a variety of other projects for the label, some of which never saw the light of day past a few rarer promo records or obscure compilations.

With the release of Philadelphia International Classics: The Tom Moulton Remixes, Harmless Records – a subsidiary of the U.K.’s Demon Music Group – has compiled all eight cuts from Philadelphia Classics and combined them with not only seven rare or unreleased vintage mixes, but another 15 extended versions commissioned just for this set. The Intruders, The Trammps, Billy Paul, Lou Rawls, Teddy Pendergrass – those are just a few of the artists ripe for rediscovery on this set. In addition to the four separately packaged discs, the box will also feature 16 pages of newly-written liner notes by acclaimed British music journalist Lloyd Bradley and rare photos of Moulton at work in Sigma Sound Studios, birthplace for countless classics of the label.

The box will be out February 27 in the U.K., and it can be yours to pre-order (for a rather stellar price, given the worth of the music) at Amazon after the jump.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

January 30, 2012 at 10:24

Tuesday Takes: Rolling Stones Offer “Some Girls” Vinyl Single, Ace Goes to Muscle Shoals with Aretha, Etta and Irma

with 3 comments

  • When a classic soul fan thinks of the “Muscle Shoals” sound, chances are he’s referring to the music made at Rick Hall’s FAME (that’s Florence Alabama Music Enterprises!) Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama.   Though the House that Hall Built has been celebrated on past anthologies, none has been quite so comprehensive as the 3-CD set due for release from U.K.-based Ace Records.  The FAME Studios Story 1961-1973 (KENTBOX 12, 2011) is the result of two years’ worth of research conducted by Ace in the FAME vaults and the latest release in an ongoing series of FAME-related titles from Ace and sister labels Kent and BGP.  Its 75 tracks have been curated in true Ace style, spotlighting both the familiar and the criminally unknown.  Over one-third of its tracks are new to CD, and more than a dozen cuts are previously unreleased, including recent discoveries from Otis Redding and Arthur Alexander!  Producer Alec Palao told that “I have worked on master tapes and multi-tracks from the great studios of the world — Stax, Gold Star, Abbey Road, etc. — and Rick’s stand up there with the best of them for the sheer quality of recording and the way he put things on tape.”  In addition to the artists mentioned above, you’ll hear Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, Etta James, Arthur Conley, Irma Thomas, Joe Tex, Joe Simon and Lou Rawls. Behind the scenes, writers, producers and players including Dan Penn, Spooner Oldham and George Jackson are represented.  Though The FAME Studios Story offers scorching Southern Soul, pop fans needn’t be discouraged, either.  The Osmonds, Tommy Roe and Bobbie Gentry all make appearances!  Visit Ace for the full track listing and sound samples!  The FAME Studios Story arrives today as an import.

Hit the jump for news of The Rolling Stones’ addition to the Black Friday Record Store Day campaign! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

November 8, 2011 at 14:03

Legacy Readies New Playlists for 2011

leave a comment »

Legacy Recording has got another batch of titles in the long-running Playlist series for next month.

The line-up is particularly diverse, stretching from soul (Lou Rawls, Patti Labelle) to more recent pop acts (Five for Fighting, Ace of Base, Bowling for Soup) and even touching on some gospel acts (including a spiritual disc from Willie Nelson). They’re not as heavy on the rarities, although some of the sets have some appealing rare cuts; Mr. Mister’s compilation will feature four tracks from the recently-released Pull, and The Outfield will debut a new single (from a forthcoming album) on their set.

All these titles are coming out January 25. Order them here and check out the track lists after the jump!

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

December 14, 2010 at 17:25

News Round-up: A Soulful Tuesday

with 4 comments

Soul music enthusiasts have had a lot to cheer about this year, with boutique labels (Reel Music, Cherry Red’s Big Break and Super-Bird) and majors (Hip-O Select) alike delivering the goods with deluxe reissues of many classic albums. is offering two new releases this week, one on its own label and one coming from Expansion Records.

Thelma Houston’s 1969 LP Sunshower (Dunhill 50054) was previously available on CD as an expensive Japanese import, but brings it to the masses with an expanded edition. This reissue includes the entire album plus 6 bonus tracks, collecting her complete Dunhill catalog on one disc. Sunshower was produced, arranged and written by Jimmy Webb, and stands proudly alongside his similar efforts for The Fifth Dimension (The Magic Garden) and Richard Harris (A Tramp Shining). Sunshower boasted 11 Webb songs plus a cover of The Rolling Stones’ “Jumpin’ Jack Flash,” and it remains a unique blend of styles. Houston brings her own soul fervor (which reached full expression via her 1977 Motown smash, “Don’t Leave Me This Way”) to Webb’s baroque pop experiments which took in rock, gospel, MOR and country influences along the way. One of the great “lost” albums, Sunshower’s reissue is reason to rejoice. One standout track is “Cheap Lovin’,” which Webb would produce with The Supremes for their Produced & Arranged by Jimmy Webb LP; another is “Mixed-Up Girl,” also recorded by Dusty Springfield. The album’s “Everybody Gets to Go to the Moon” was actually released by Dunhill on a special single to celebrate the Apollo 11 mission. For sheer drama, “Someone is Standing Outside” and “This is Your Life” can’t be beat. Three double-sided singles (including one that has never seen American release) comprise the bonuses, including Houston’s soulful take on Laura Nyro’s “Save the Country.” The booklet promises a new essay by Charles Waring and the release is endorsed by Houston herself, who told, “I still think that Sunshower is the best album I’ve ever done.”

Complementing Sunshower is Expansion’s two-fer release of Lou Rawls’ 1982 and 1984 efforts for Epic, which followed his departure from Gamble and Huff’s Philadelphia International Records. With this disc, Now is the Time (Epic 37488) and Close Company (Epic 39403) are both restored to Rawls’ catalog after a long absence. Few artists had a career the length and breadth of the late Rawls. With his versatile, velvety pipes, he successfully traversed many styles ranging from jazz and vocal pop to smooth soul.  These albums, while largely overlooked, feature some of Philly’s top talent, alumni of the Gamble and Huff hit factory. The legendary Thom Bell produced and arranged four of the tracks on Now is the Time, while the team of Mtume and Lucas handled the balance of the album.Dexter Wansel, Norman Harris and Jack Faith all contributed to Close Company.  See the track listings for both releases after the jump! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

June 15, 2010 at 08:30