Sunday, 25 April 2010

“Family Reunion…Plus” by THE O’JAYS. A Review of the 1975 Philadelphia International LP now reissued by Edsel on a 2010 extended CD.

The O'Jays "Back Stabbers" and "Ship Ahoy" are part of my "SOUNDS GOOD: Exceptional CD Remasters Soul, Funk & Jazz Fusion" Download Book available to buy on Amazon to either your PC or Mac (it will download the Kindle software to read the book for free to your toolbar). Click on the link below to go my Author's Page for this and other related publications:


"…Going Across Town…Gonna Pick Up My Lady…Gonna Party Down…"

"Family Reunion...Plus" is part of a mid-price series of Philadelphia International reissues by Demon's EDSEL label in the UK (see PS below). Most of the albums seem to be focusing on the year 1975.

Released April 2010, Edsel EDSM0001 breaks down as follows (52:57 minutes):

Tracks 1 to 7 are the LP "Family Reunion" released November 1975 on Philadelphia International Records PZ 33807 in the USA and on Philadelphia International Records S PIR 69196 in the UK. It was their 6th studio LP for the famous soul label - and along with “Ship Ahoy” from 1973 and “Survival” from March of that year – also reached the coveted Number 1 spot on the US R'n'B charts. In fact November and December 1975 were exceptional months for Philly Soul - “Family Reunion” was immediately replaced at Number 1 only weeks later by another of the label’s gem LPs - “Wake Up Everybody” by Harold Melvin and The Blue Notes (also in this series).

Track 8 is "I Love Music (Tom Moulton Mix)", a 9:42 extended version remixed for the “Philadelphia Classics” 2LP set on Philly from 1977.

The 12-page booklet provides you with production credits, mini pictures of the 7” singles taken off of it as well as superb liner notes by noted soul expert TONY ROUNCE. The CD has been mastered by TALL ORDER of the UK and the sound quality is fantastic – clear and hiss free – it really allows the lush GAMBLE & HUFF production values to shine.

Label founders Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff stumped up most of the album’s songs (Tracks 1, 2, 5, 6 and 7) and along with Norman Harris and Tony Bell’s arrangements gave the whole record their lush TSOP production values. The other ace writing team of John Whitehead, Gene McFadden and Victor Carstarphen gave us “She’s Only A Woman” while Bunny Sigler and Louise Bishop wrote "You And Me”.

Both “I Love Music” and the brilliantly infectious “Livin’ For The Weekend” (lyrics above) went to Number 1 on the R’n’B singles chart too. I also like the two big ballads “Stairway To Heaven” and “She’s Only A Woman”.

To sum up - this is another superb Philly album - and pitched at a marketplace price that's less than a fiver - it's an absolute steal.


PS: other titles in the series are/will be...
1. Dance Your Troubles Away - ARCHIE BELL and THE DRELLS (1975) [due Summer 2010, Edsel EDSM0006]
2. Wake Up Everybody…Plus – HAROLD MELVIN and THE BLUE NOTES (1975) [April 2010, Edsel EDSM0002]
3. Philadelphia Freedom - M.F.S.B. (1975) [due Summer 2010, Edsel EDSM0005]
4. When Love Is New - BILLY PAUL (1975) [April 2010, Edsel EDSM0003]
5. The Three Degrees Live [aka Live In London] (1975) - THE THREE DEGREES (due Summer 2010, Edsel EDSM0004)

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