From Sister Sledge to Blue Magic to Teddy Pendergrass, the soulsters who came out of Philadelphia in the 1970s were known for their sophistication and sleekness. Philly was full of soul and disco stars who could handle funk, but bands specializing in hardcore funk (such as Cameo, the Gap Band and Parliament/Funkadelic) seemed to come from other cities. The unique thing about Instant Funk was that they had one foot in the Philly sound and another in the down-and-dirty funk of other locations. "Witch Doctor," "Bodyshine," "Why Don't You Think About Me" and other infectious classics on this 1996 CD are the work of a band that had Philly's trademark sophistication, but was also well aware of what Rick James and Cameo were up to. "Who Took Away the Funk" is clearly inspired by George Clinton's P-funk, while "Crying" (written by Philly's prolific Bunny Sigler) has a very O'Jays-ish appeal. And 1979's "I Got My Mind Made Up" (IF's biggest hit) is the perfect blend of funk and disco. Most of IF's Salsoul albums of the late 1970s and early '80s are worth hearing, but for a starting point, Greatest Hits would be the best choice.
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AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson