Various Artists

The Sound of Philadelphia [Movie Play]

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The Sound of Philadelphia is a two-disc collection of the R&B and soul music that Philadelphia was putting out in the '70s. What is most interesting about this collection is how much of the music was produced by Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, the two men who crafted the Philadelphia sound as it was developing. Their driving beats and orchestrated backgrounds laid the foundation for disco, and those early roots are apparent on many of these tracks. There is some obscure music to be found on here, but mostly it consists of fairly well-known hits. Highlights include the O'Jays' joyous "Love Train," the sultry and sensual "Lady Marmalade (by Labelle), Harold Melvin's passionate "If You Don't Know Me by Now," and MFSB's groovy funk fest, "Family Affair." Anyone curious about what Philadelphia's contribution to the R&B and funk genres, as well as the music that would go on to become disco, should give this album a listen. This is a great sampler of a scene that never quite got the same respect as Memphis or Detroit did around the same time.

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