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An early 80s gem from Aretha Franklin – one of the best of her years at Arista Records, thanks to solid help in the studio from the mighty Arif Mardin! Mardin's in perfect form here – the same blend of older soul and jazzier, more sophisticated styles that he was also bringing to Chaka ... CD
A seminal album by this legendary Philly instrumental group – essentially the house band at Sigma Studios, and an incredible ensemble filled with top-shelf musicians! The sound here is virtually the blueprint for Philly soul of the 70s – a blend of wickedly tight rhythms and fuller ... CD
Damn soulful work from Erma Franklin – the lesser-known sister of Aretha and Carolyn Franklin, working here on 60s sides cut for the Epic and Shout labels! Most of the material here was only issued as singles back in the day – so the set's an essential full-length overview of Franklin's ... CD
Smooth soulful jazz from Harvey Mason – one of his strong 70s winners for the Arista album, and a record that really brings a new level of class to his sound! There's less of the grit in the grooves than you might expect from the down-home reference of the title – and in a way, the ... CD
A key moment for the Philly soul scene of the 70s – and the first album to feature the MFSB backing group as a solo act on their own! The ensemble were responsible for key sounds on countless soul singles of the time – yet also find a way to soar beautifully on their own – in a ... CD
A pivotal album from The O'Jays – and an undeniable Philly classic! The record was the third the group cut for the Philadelphia International label – but it was really the first one that pushed their strong righteous soul agenda, sort of a mix of message-oriented lyrics and heavy soul ... CD
A great one from Gil Scott-Heron – and another wonderful collaboration with Brian Jackson – who handled all the arrangements on this set, and gave the record that sweet jazzy sound that makes Gil's work from this time some of his best ever! There's loads of excellent electric piano ... CD