Norman Jay

Philadelphia: Underground Anthems of Philadelphia Soul, 1973-1981

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Compilations from the Philadelphia International archives seem to pop up on a weekly basis, but given the consistent quality of the music, there hasn't been a dud yet. This collection is especially sweet since it contains some outstanding lesser-known tracks. Nice to see the O'Jays' "The Big Gangster," a dynamite track from the forgotten Lets Clean up the Ghetto LP. The group also shines on "Give the People What They Want," "Darlin' Darlin' Baby (Sweet Tender Love)," and the ecological "The Air I Breathe." You'll also like Lou Rawls' funky "See You When I Git There," the Jacksons' "Blues Away," and the Futures' "Ain't No Time Fa Nothing." You may never have heard Anthony White's "Where Would I Be Without You," the Trammps' "Trusting Heart," Norman Harris' "In Good Faith," or "Bump de Bump," by Monk Montgomery, but they're worth a listen. Also included are some ear-pleasing selections from Archie Bell & the Drells, Billy Paul, Teddy Pendergrass, the Jones Girls, M.F.S.B., and Jean Carn.

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