Performers include: The Stylistics, The Trammps, The Delphonics, Brenda And The Tabulations, The Spinners, Wilson Pickett, Jerry Butler, Joe Simon.
By grafting strings and smooth horn charts to the Memphis groove, Leon Huff, Kenny Gamble, and Thom Bell created what became known as "the Philly Sound" in the 1970s, a formula that prefigured both disco (by dialing up the funk) and (once they factored in Al Green and Hi Records) contemporary urban soul. Examples of both strains can be found on this single-disc sampler, highlighted by the Spinners' "Could It Be I'm Falling in Love," Joe Simon's brilliant "Drowning in the Sea of Love," and William DeVaughn's wise and thoughtful "Be Thankful for What You've Got." A single disc can hardly do justice to the Philly sound, and there are perplexing omissions here (no O'Jays?), but when all is said and done, it ends up making a pretty decent introduction to a smooth and remarkably adaptable stylistic formula. ~ Steve Leggett