People's Choice

We Got the Rhythm

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The People's Choice went through its share of personnel changes in the '70s and '80s. When the Philadelphia outfit recorded We Got the Rhythm for TSOP/Philadelphia International in 1976, its lineup included original members Frankie Brunson (lead vocals/keyboards), David Thompson (drums, percussion), and Darnell Jordan (rhythm guitar) as well as more recent additions like Guy Fiske (lead guitar), Roger Andrews (bass), and Donald Ford (keyboards). Despite changes in membership, the People's Choice never had a problem being recognizable; the band was as distinctive on up-tempo disco-funk numbers as it was on romantic soul ballads. But there are no ballads on We Got the Rhythm, which usually takes dead aim at the dance floor. This vinyl LP (which Kenny Gamble & Leon Huff produced at Philly's famous Sigma Sound Studios) wasn't a huge radio hit, although club DJs found infectious tracks like "Jam, Jam, Jam (All Night Long)," "Cold Blooded and Down-Right Funky," and the instrumental "Movin' in All Directions" to be quite useful. The People's Choice detours into jazz-influenced territory on two sleek Leon Huff instrumentals, "Opus-De-Funk" and "A Mellow Mood." Neither are straight-ahead jazz, but they do bring jazz overtones to an R&B foundation. We Got the Rhythm isn't as essential as the People's Choice's previous album, Boogie Down U.S.A., but it's a generally pleasing effort that confirmed fans will enjoy.

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