"Issued in July 1977 as Let's Clean Up the Ghetto by the Philadelphia International All-Stars, this is one of Philly soul's most socially aware efforts. The album's title track was a coming together of artists signed to Gamble & Huff's Philadelphia International Records: Lou Rawls, Billy Paul, Archie Bell, Teddy Pendergrass, Dee Dee Sharp Gamble, and Eddie Levert and Walter Williams of the O'Jays. The compelling track with its "we're on the move'' bassline went to number four R&B, number 91 pop on Billboard's charts in summer 1977. The profits were allotted to a charity program. Even though the rest of the LP consists of various unreleased tracks, the result is consistent. The brassy "The Big Gangster" by the O'Jays got airplay as an album track. Other highlights are the fervent "Now Is the Time to Do It" by Teddy Pendergrass; the buoyant, optimistic "New World Comin'" by Billy Paul' and Archie Bell & the Drells' celebration of seniors, "Old People," produced by Bunny Sigler."
This comprehensive compilation includes every track Wansel recorded for PIR as a solo artist between 1976 and 1979 that featured on his 4 jazz-funk oriented albums for the label. Life On Mars (R&B #44), What The World Is Coming To (R&B #45), Voyager (R&B #37) and Time Is Slipping Away (R&B #58) allowed Wansel to show his myriad talents to the fullest and explore his deep interest in the cosmos.
In 1977, Pendergrass released his self-titled album, which went platinum on the strength of the disco hit, "I Don't Love You Anymore." Its follow-up single, "The Whole Town's Laughing At Me," became a top 20 R&B hit. It was quickly followed by Life Is a Song Worth Singing, in 1978. That album was even more successful with its singles including "Only You" and "Close the Door." The disco single, "Get Up, Get Down, Get Funky, Get Loose" was popular in dance clubs. The year 1979 brought two successes, Teddy and the live release, Live Coast to Coast. Hits off Teddy included "Come and Go With Me" and "Turn Off the Lights." His 1980 album, TP, included his signature song, "Love TKO" and the Ashford & Simpson composition, "Is It Still Good to You."
Released by Sony's Legacy division in 2014, Original Album Classics offers a compact bundling of Teddy Pendergrass' first five solo albums, all of which were originally released by Philadelphia International. This contains Teddy Pendergrass (1977), Life Is a Song Worth Singing (1978), Teddy (1979), TP (1980), and It's Time for Love (1981) – all Top Ten R&B albums, and all platinum, with the exception of the fifth release, which merely went gold. When this was issued, it retailed for roughly the same amount as a double-disc anthology – a reasonably priced way to obtain a major chunk of the great Philly soul singer's catalog.
MFSB was the legendary multicultural house band for the label Philadelphia International. Debuting as an act in 1973, the band released seminal early-disco tracks like "TSOP," "Love Is the Message," and the ballad "Something For Nothing." Although this effort didn't reach the heights of its predecessor, Love Is the Message, Universal Love has the band exhibiting even more skill as a hitmaking enterprise. As with the earlier hits, seven out of the eight tracks on Universal Love were arranged by Bobby Martin, who always got a classic sound out of any Philly production. The tracks "Sexy" and "T.L.C. (Tender Lovin' Care)" both effortlessly employ intonations of big band that came from the horn charts and Zach Zachery's tenor sax solos. At this point the gloss and rhythm style of the MFSB players, primarily the sound of bassist Ron Baker and drummer Earl Young, helped to initiate disco. Although they were no doubt influential, the songs "MFSB" and the hard-driving "Let's Go Disco" have an inimitable production. MFSB was no doubt known as a dance outfit, but this effort also displays its skill with ballads. The last track, the reflective "My Mood," with a vibes solo from Vince Montana, all but sums up what made this particular incarnation of the band arguably the best. Although it often doesn't make the list of Philadelphia International classics, Universal Love perfectly captures the grace of MFSB and the Philly sound.
The Three Degrees were hugely successful internationally throughout the seventies, particularly in the UK where
they enjoyed ten top forty hits including Year Of Decision, Take Good Care Of Yourself and the anthemic ballad When Will I See You Again, all on Philadelphia International Records.
“Unquestionably one of the greatest pianists of all time” is how Gramophone magazine has described Martha Argerich. Her relationship with Warner Classics goes back to 1965 and her victory at the International Chopin Competition in Warsaw. Over several decades it has produced a rich catalogue of live and studio recordings, embracing a repertoire that spans three centuries, a diversity of genres, and collaborations with such figures as Renaud Capuçon, Charles Dutoit, Nelson Freire, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Gidon Kremer, Mischa Maisky and Itzhak Perlman.