Sunday, 25 April 2010

“When Love Is New” by BILLY PAUL. A Review of his 1975 Philadelphia International LP now reissued by Edsel on a 2010 CD.

"…Unemployment On The Rise…Interest Rates Going Up…Please…Let The Dollar Circulate…"

"When Love Is New" 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 EDSM0003 breaks down as follows (37:43 minutes):

Tracks 1 to 7 are a straightforward reissue (no bonus tracks) of the LP "When Love Is New" released December 1975 on Philadelphia International Records PZ 33843 in the USA and early 1976 on Philadelphia International Records S PIR 69207 in the UK. It was his 5th album for the famous soul label and peaked at Number 17 on the US R ’n’ B charts.

The 12-page booklet provides you with production credits and superb liner notes by noted soul expert TONY ROUNCE. But the real deal is in the sound. The CD has been mastered by TALL ORDER of the UK and the sound quality is truly fantastic (Rounce name checks this). Clear, ballsy and wonderfully detailed – the remaster allows the lush GAMBLE & HUFF production values to really shine.

The album seemed to be a tale of two halves – Side 1 had 3 socially conscious tunes in a row ending with a slightly upbeat 4th ditty (“Marjorie”), while Side 2 was a full-on lover man suite with all 3 tunes provided by label founders Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff.

My personal favourite (and recently sampled by rap/soul artists Jay Dilla, Steve Spacek and Cartie) is “Let The Dollar Circulate” (lyrics above) which is a brilliantly funky tune with a top ‘message’ that unfortunately reverberates to this day. I also like the album opener too “People Power” - which is arranged by jazz-funk favourite Dexter Wansel.

As the years have passed by some soul fans have deemed Billy Paul to be just too – well, lightweight. But I’d say this album should be revisited so as to change that opinion.

It’s not a masterpiece by any stretch of the imagination – it’s not - but there are goodies on here – and they now have superlative sound and a dirt-cheap price tag thrown in.

Worth investigating…

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] - see REVIEW
3. Philadelphia Freedom - M.F.S.B. (1975) [due Summer 2010, Edsel EDSM0005]
4. Family Reunion…Plus – THE O’JAYS (1975) [April 2010, Edsel EDSM0001] – see REVIEW
5. The Three Degrees Live [aka Live In London] (1975) - THE THREE DEGREES (due Summer 2010, Edsel EDSM0004)

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