March 26, 2017 Let’s Promo The Ghetto

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The Philadelphia International All Stars, Let’s Clean Up The Ghetto, Philadelphia International JZ-34659, 1977

I know I just wrote the other day about promos and how I never buy them.  Naturally, that meant I was bound to discover a record I’ve always wanted to find moments after publishing that, but with a promotional label on it.

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The first time I ever heard The Philadelphia International All Stars’ Let’s Clean Up The Ghetto, all 8:42 of it, I couldn’t believe it.  It’s really half of a monologue about garbage, crime and cockroaches by the great Lou Rawls followed by four minutes of amazing Funk & Disco.  The fact that I was driving in rural Argentina at the time made it seem even more unreal.  It was one of those times when you hear a song you love, but have no way to identify it so you can look for it later.  I had to ask all kinds of record people about this bizarre Lou Rawls social commentary until one of them knew about it enough to tell me what it is.

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And what it is is an attempt by the beginning to fade Philadelphia International Record Company to stay relevant in the later 70s with the rise of disco music.  It’s basically a compilation from the roster of the label in 1977 with the added “all star” track specifically written to give it a relevant theme.  Of course, songs about hot smelly garbage don’t get much airplay so the record never really sold.  But that doesn’t mean that it’s not a great record to have, with the Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff production team at the height of their game.  Since it didn’t sell, it’s a pretty rare record to find, and I was thrilled to find this promo for $1!  It took me over a decade to find this one from when I first heard it, and while I’ll keep looking for a standard release, I’m really happy to have this version, ring wear and all.

Today’s Summary:
Cost: $5, $272 Remaining

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November 29, 2016 Don’t Let The Ring Wear Fool You

3z0a7972_4152Wilson Pickett, In Philadelphia, Atlantic SD-8270, 1970

I’m pleased to report that one of the best movies ever made about soul music is now on Netflix!  The Commitments may be an Irish movie, but it drips soul out of every scene.  While he doesn’t actually appear in the film, the band forms around the idea of getting to perform in front of The Wicked Wilson Pickett.  So I had to dig out this record an see how wicked it really is.

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At first I thought it was going to be a live album, owing to the cover photo and the cryptic title.  But apparently, it was such a big move for Mr. Pickett to not record an album at Atlantic Studio’s Muscle Shoals operation, that they named the whole record after the studio.  It’s actually just the second full album produced by the team of Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff.  They would go on to form their own label, Philadelphia International, that would dominate the 70s soul scene and surpass Motown in sales and influence.

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So, while I was a tad disappointed to not hear the wicked one live, I did get to hear a really wonderful soul record from one of the all time greats.  While his 60s records are the ones that made the legend, his 70s sounds are somehow even more intense.  His gravelly voice is now rocky, but he still manages to hold it together and his screams are world class.  The material is a bit meh, but it’s still a great record.  Don’t let the ring wear fool you either, it’s in pretty decent shape!

Today’s Summary:

Cost: $2, $615 Remaining