Although it predated the true emergence of the Philly sound as an identifiable soul genre by close to half a decade, the Delfonics' 1968 hit "La-La (Means I Love You)" is arguably the Rosetta stone of the style. Writer/producer Thom Bell's first hit for his Philly Groove label -- the precursor to the hugely successful Philadelphia International imprint that Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff would ride to fame -- "La-La (Means I Love You)" didn't sound like anything else on the charts in 1968, the pinnacle of the Memphis sound and Southern soul in general. The backbeat is almost entirely gone, replaced by a simple snare hit on the downbeat of every bar, and the bass is mixed so far back that you have to hunt for it behind the exceedingly prominent string section. Guitar is minimal, and there's no piano or organ at all. Most strikingly, the weightless three-part harmonies of William Hart, Wilbert Hart, and Randy Cain are pure sonic cotton candy: next to William Hart, the Temptations' David Ruffin, previous owner of the coveted "Sweetest Voice in Soul" award, sounded like Captain Beefheart. Though the Delfonics went on to create many similarly astonishing singles, "La-La (Means I Love You)" remains the template, not only for their own career, but for Philly soul as a whole.