The Delfonics

Definitive Collection

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While Philadephia's Delfonics have had their share of collections and best-ofs, all of them have been left wanting for the exclusion of a key B-side, a necessary if little known album track, or even an excluded A-side that helped write their story. This Belgian collection of 20 tracks from virtually every period of the band's successful years mends that hole in the fence. Budget priced -- perhaps because of the lack of detailed discographical information (there are no chart placements, session details, or even source tags) -- it nonetheless collects virtually every single important track by the trio of William Hart, Wilbert Hart, and Randy Cain. And it does so, as the label name suggests, in audiophile sound on a gold disc no less! It also documents, however unintentionally, the ever-changing thoughts and refined production nuances of producer Thom Bell, whose Philly Groove label issued these sides originally. Along with the obvious selections such as "La-La (Means I Love You)" and "Didn't I (Blow Your Mind This Time)," there are stunning hidden nuggets such as "Think It Over" and "Walk Right Up to the Sun." With the inclusion of "Lying to Myself" and "When You Get Right Down to It," what began as a collection of hits becomes an indispensable collection of seminal soul sides from an amazing band that embodies the silky smooth immediacy of the very roots of the Philly sound (and paved the way for MFSB, among others) and provides an unbroken link to the doo wop of the late '50s and early '60s. Essential listening that is budget priced and beautifully remastered.

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