Each week, I always check out what albums will be released during the next few weeks and months. Sometimes, you get the odd surprise, with something being released without much fanfare of publicity. This was the case with P&P Hits, Hits, Hits a fifteen-disc box set, featuring nearly two-hundred tracks due for release on 28th May 2012. Now as someone, whose been a huge fan of P&P Records’ releases since the seventies, this was an unmissable opportunity. Straight away, I placed an order, so that I’d receive my copy on release day. Fast forward three weeks, and to Monday morning. The post-van arrived, with the postman struggling to the door groaning under the strain of a cumbersome, heavy parcel. Straight away, I knew this was what I’d been waiting for, the Magnus Opus that is the P&P Records’ box set. Having unwrapped it, I’ve spent much of the last two days listening to over seventeen hours of music from P&P Records and its various subsidiary labels which I’ll now tell you about. 

The fifteen discs that comprise P&P Hits, Hits, Hits are a comprehensive overview of the music that Patrick Adams and Peter Brown created not just for P&P Records, but for its various subsidiary labels. Together, Patrick and Peter founded P&P Records in 1974, with their releases distributed by Morris Levy’s Roulette Records. Although many of P&P Records biggest hits were during the heady days of disco, Patrick and Peter realized that their music couldn’t stand still. After all, nothing lasts forever. This meant new labels for new sounds and styles of music. Gradually, they founded various subsidiary labels, twenty-four of which are represented on the fifteen discs that comprise P&P Hits, Hits, Hits. Among these labels are Clarence Music Records, Golden Flamingo Records, Heavenly Star Records, Land of Hits, Lonnie Records, Sound of Gold, Queen Constance Records, Hit Makers of American Music and Sound of The Universe Corp. Not only were these labels home to some of the biggest artists on the P&P Records’ roster, but contain many a hidden gem and golden nugget. 

Among the nearly two-hundred tracks that feature on the fifteen discs of P&P Hits, Hits, Hits, there’s everything from disco to proto-rap, with boogie and funk aplenty. This demonstrates just how innovative, influential and progressive both Patrick Adams and Peter Brown were. Neither of them were content to sit still, looking forward and seeking out the next new, up and coming musical two genres. There are two examples of their progressiveness on this box set. During the disco era, they realized that as musical history proved yet again, another new musical genre and fashion replaces it. So, whilst other producers and label owners, big and small sat back and reaped the rewards of disco’s riches, Patrick and Peter looked at other musical genres. This meant that by July 1979, when the Disco Sucks backlash struck, they moved onto boogie and other genres, including rap. P&P Records were one of the first labels to see the future importance of hip-hop and rap music, which features on P&P Hits, Hits, Hits. Both examples not only demonstrate the labels progressive nature, but that unlike other labels, an ambition to push musical boundaries. It also required good A&R-ing, with people who were aware what was going on in clubs and on “the street.” The results of this can be heard on the fifteen discs that makeup P&P Hits, Hits, Hits.

Looking through the fifteen discs at the artists who grace them, they’re a mixture of some of P&P Records’ biggest singles and success stories, to other artists who played only a walk-on part in the label’s history. Sometimes, these bit-part players in a label’s history actually create one of a label’s most memorable songs. The tracks range from the mid-seventies onwards, taking in the glorious days of disco onwards, recording the change in musical tastes and fashions. Obviously, with nearly two-hundred tracks on the fifteen discs, it isn’t possible to mention every track. However, some of P&P Records’ best know tracks are here….in abundance. This includes a variety of tracks from Cloud One, including the classic Atmosphere Strut (Parts 1 & 2), Disco Juice and Flying High Parts 1 & 2. Another P&P Records’ classic is Clyde Alexander and Sanctions’ Got To Get Your Love, with the addition of the instrumental version a welcome bonus. This isn’t the only track where alternate versions of tracks features. There are many instrumentals and dub versions. Among the other tracks are Marta Acuna’s Dance, Dance, Dance, Dennis Mobley’s Superstition and Karisma featuring Jocelyn Brown’s Got You Dancing. That’s not forgetting tracks by among numerous other artists are Mary Clark’s Take Me I’m Yours, Stack’s Win Jesse Win, Universal Two’s Dancing Heart, Otis Turner’s Who’s Gonna and Wild Honey’s Only September. These are just a few of the treasures and hidden gems on P&P Hits, Hits, Hits.

For anyone wondering whether to buy P&P Hits, Hits, Hits, I can thoroughly recommend this box set. Best of all is the price. I paid less than $30 for the box set. To me, this is a real bargain, especially if you tried to buy each of the track’s on vinyl. Given their collectibility, and sometimes, rarity, the original vinyl would cost you a small fortune. So for aspiring DJs, P&P Hits, Hits, Hits this is an opportunity to collect some classic disco cuts for a fraction of the price of the original vinyl. My only quibble about the P&P Hits, Hits, Hits box set, is it would’ve been a good idea to include a booklet about the history of P&P Records and its associated labels. That’s the only thing missing from the whole package. Maybe that’s just me, but given the label’s importance, it would’ve allowed younger music fans to learn about the label’s history and the people who made it such a success story. Apart from that, everything else about the whole P&P Hits, Hits, Hits package make this one of the bargains and best buys of 2012 so far. Even the very box the fifteen discs are housed in is sturdy, designed to store and protect the musical delights within it. Since I’ve received my copy of P&P Hits, Hits, Hits, I’ve hardly stopped playing it, and I’m sure that if you decided to invest in this veritable musical feast, so will you.


P&P Hit s, Hits, Hits

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