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Archive for the ‘The Trammps’ Category

Their Feet Keep Dancing: Rhino U.K. Updates CHIC Compilation, Plans Triple-Disc Disco Set

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Up All Night Disco EditionRhino U.K. is bringing disco back with a new triple-disc compilation of dance classics, and an updated reissue of a successful compilation released earlier this year.

First up, Rhino’s reissuing the new Nile Rodgers/CHIC compilation Up All Night. The double-disc set, originally compiled by Wayne A. Dickson of Big Break Records and mastered by Dickson and BBR engineer Nick Robbins, with liner notes from Christian John Wikane, was released in July to capitalize on Rodgers’ highly enjoyable wave of success this year. (The legendary guitarist/producer played and co-wrote several tracks on Daft Punk’s critically-acclaimed album Random Access Memories, including international chart-topper “Get Lucky,” and played several key dates in Europe. Since then, CHIC has been once again nominated for induction in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.)

Up All Night: The Disco Edition features a slightly rearranged track list, with several lesser-known hits dropped in favor of five newly-added tracks: the CHIC-produced “Frankie” by Sister Sledge; two Rodgers-produced ’80s hits (Madonna’s “Like a Virgin” and Duran Duran’s “The Reflex”), a megamix of CHIC Organization tracks and a live cut from Rodgers’ performance at the Glastonbury Festival this summer.

12%22 Disco CollectionThe fine folks at Big Break (Dickson along with compiler Malcolm McKenzie) have also produced another forthcoming discofied Rhino set: 12″ Disco: The Collection compiles 34 tracks – mostly from the Warner Bros., Elektra, T.K. and Atlantic vaults, naturally – including four cuts that have never been released on CD before. In addition to CHIC and Sister Sledge, tracks from Chaka Khan, The Trammps, Ben E. King, The Spinners, Change, George McCrae and Narada Michael Walden are all featured herein.

12″ Disco: The Collection is available in U.K. shops today, while Up All Night: The Disco Edition is out next Monday, October 28. Pre-order links, full track lists and U.K. discographical info for both titles can be found after the jump!

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Written by Mike Duquette

October 21, 2013 at 08:32

Burn, Baby, Burn: The Trammps Go “Definitive” From Music Club Deluxe

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At the crossroads of silky Philadelphia soul and pulse-pounding disco, you’d likely find The Trammps.  Hailing from the City of Brotherly Love, The Trammps earned their immortality when the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack included their hit “Disco Inferno.”  But that classic track is only one small part of the vocal group’s story, which is now being retold by Demon Music Group’s Music Club Deluxe label on the 2-CD, 34-track The Definitive Collection.  Boasting recordings from Atlantic, Buddah and Golden Fleece/Philadelphia International, the set aims to live up to its lofty title.

Like many of their Philly brethren, The Trammps evolved from other groups, in their case The Volcanos (who later changed their name to The Moods).  Although the group’s line-up has altered over the years, the group’s roster notably included Jimmy Ellis, Stanley Wade, Harold Wade, Robert Upchurch, and Earl Young.  Teamed with Ronnie Baker (bass) and Norman Harris (guitar), drummer Earl Young guided The Trammps to success as producers.  The Baker-Harris-Young triumvirate began as part of Philadelphia International’s MFSB house band before striking out on their own for labels such as Salsoul Records.  Their first work with The Trammps was for the Buddah label, where the group announced itself with a soulful revival of “Zing!  Went the Strings of My Heart,” a song most closely associated with the legendary Judy Garland.  Neil Bogart (future head of Casablanca Records, but then a Buddah executive) picked up “Zing…” and the record went to No. 17 on the R&B chart in Summer 1972.  Buddah later issued an LP, The Legendary Zing Album, from existing single sides, and Tom Moulton handled the remixing.

Before decamping for Salsoul, Baker-Harris-Young first established Golden Fleece under the umbrella of Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff’s Philadelphia International.  The Trammps scored three minor hits on Golden Fleece, all of which are heard on The Definitive Collection: the proto-disco “Love Epidemic,” (No. 75 R&B, 1973), “Where Do We Go from Here” (No. 44 R&B, 1974), and “Trusting Heart” (No. 72 R&B, 1974). Buddah continued to release material from The Trammps, though, and “Hold Back the Night” (later a hit for Graham Parker) scored on that label late in 1975 after the group had signed with Atlantic Records.  “Hooked for Life,” their initial Atlantic single, didn’t fare much better, however, hitting No. 70 R&B in the fall of 1975.

There’s more on the Trammps and this new collection after the jump! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

June 12, 2012 at 12:16

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

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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.

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Written by Mike Duquette

January 30, 2012 at 10:24