The art of ‘Re’ (as in remixed, reimagined, remastered, etc) hits a new high as Tom Moulton ReGrooves the classic sound of Philly with some mighty remixes that you can’t miss out on.
And when we say Philly in this context, we don’t mean PIR/TSOP, this is the small independent label Philly Groove who, as Ian ‘Mastercuts’ Dewhirst points out in the sleeve notes, probably came to the attention of 1973 dancers (or as he might say, U.S. Black Music fans) with a single by First Choice called ‘Armed And Extremely Dangerous’. Although, in the UK, that’d be on the Bell label where it was a huge summer hit and no doubt Radio 1 Road Show favourite (with the then in vogue ‘Police’ breaker call sign intro). Still a massive tune on this CD and with their previous Northern Soul hit, ‘This Is The House’, there’s reason enough to get this compilation in my view.
If you don’t sing along to the chorus of ‘Armed And Extremely Dangerous’ during any part of it’s 6:34 length, there’s something very wrong with you (and the rest of the world) indeed – you need arresting.
As Moulton made his name as the Disco 45 remixer of choice (having invented the 12 inch) and whilst ‘This Is The House’ is pure stompin’ Northern Soul strings (for nearly 7 minutes) this was unheard of at the time of Broken Wheel, Casino, Torch etc. Who says the modern generation are attention deficient?
Another First Choice track, ‘Gonna Keep On Lovin’ Him’ has been given an ‘Ordinary Guy’ style intro (that means it’s fantastic). And then back to the land of Northern Soul, the Philly sound arose in that period when Northern Soul ruled everything north of Wolverhampton and the opener ‘We’re On the Right Track’ (apart from the fantastic steam train whistle efx) has the magic string and vibe combination with the bongo beat (the vocals of Ben ‘Satisfied’ Aiken are just bonus).
Still after train connections, First Choice turn up later on with ‘Gotta Get Away’ – blow that whistle train driver. And still on Northern, the name Major Harris is a big as Michael Jackson in terms of Wigan Casino and he turns up on a Nat Turner track.
If you love strings, there’s balls full of them on here all the way down to ‘Big Stone Wall’ as well as some proper horn arrangements.
Not sure why the last two racks are deemed as ‘Bonus Tracks’ as they don’t need that type of put me down as they are as big as the rest; or in the case of the closing track ‘Watcha Gonna Do’ it’s arguably the best of the lot (certainly the longest).
So twelve new 2010 Tom Moulton remixes of Philly Groove classics and some rejuvenation dusty gems all on one CD! As Major Lance might say, lovin’ you is my destiny or even better, Finishing Touch, ‘Second Best Is Never Enough’: this is first choice in more than one way. Dance you white sox off as if it was 1973 – brilliant must have.
Oh! And if you’re still not convinced, those sleeve notes has a handy reminder to check the credits of some of your favourite records as you’ll find Tom Moulton credits on quite a few (but particularly Joe Bataan and Gil Scott-Heron‘s respective versions of ‘The Bottle’ – about as good as you can get in my book) and the musicians that played on the original Philly Groove label.
Let’s say no more as this is a fantastic and suitable celebration of the 100th release (not out) for Harmless and no hint of a no ball scandal!
Reviewed: V/A – Philly ReGrooved : The Tom Moulton Remixes (Harmless) Cat. No. HURTCD100 Release date: 6th September 2010
1 Ultra High Frequency featuring Ben Aiken – We’re On The Right Track (6:36)
2 First Choice – Armed And Extremely Dangerous (6:34)
3 The Delfonics – I Told You So (5:44)
4 First Choice – This Is The House (Where Love Died) (6:41)
5 Nat Turner featuring Major Harris – Ruby Lee (4:43)
6 The Philly Groove Orchestra featuring First Choice – So Let Us Entertain You (7:00)
7 Finishing Touch – Second Best (Is Never Enough) (5:15)
8 First Choice – Gotta Get Away (7:44)
9 Tapestry – Big Stone Wall (Around Your Heart) (4:17)
10 First Choice – Gonna Keep On Lovin’ Him (4:34)
11 Finishing Touch – Don’t Put Me Down (9:09)
12 Heaven ‘N’ Hell – Whatcha Gonna Do (9:49)
SOUL45COLLECTOR September 2010 list 7-9-10 www.soul45collector.com/monthly.htm
Aiken, Ben Satisfied (MINT-) w/demo/classic (Loma) ¬£100