PHILLY RE-GROOVED 3-TOM MOULTON REMIXES.

PHILLY RE-GROOVED 3-TOM MOULTON REMIXES.

Whether it’s music or life, there aren’t many people who can be described as both an innovator and visionary. That however, is fitting description of Tom Moulton, whose one of the most important figures in the history of dance music. During his career, Tom Moulton invented remix and the twelve-inch single. That’s quite a feat. Tom’s career as the world’s greatest remixer is now into its fifth decade. His remixing career started way back in the seventies. Five decades and 5,000 remixes later, Tom Moulton is one of the most celebrated and highly respected figures in dance music. Despite five decades crafting the finest remixes, Tom Moulton isn’t for slowing down. Not at all. On 24th June 2013, the long-awaited Philly Re-Grooved 3-Tom Moulton Remixes, will be released by Harmless Records. 

Philly Re-Grooved 3-Tom Moulton Remixes, features nineteen brand new remixes from Tom, plus sleeve-notes from myself. Long awaited, but well worth the wait, Philly Re-Grooved 3-Tom Moulton Remixes is a surefire bet to be one of the best compilations of 2013. After all, a Tom Moulton remix is still quite rightly perceived as a sign of quality. Still, Tom Mouton is the go-to-guy for anyone wanting a a top class remix. The nineteen tracks on Philly Re-Grooved 3-Tom Moulton Remixes are proof of this. These remixes see at his best, Tom casting his net even wider than in the first two volumes of Philly Re-Grooved.

On Philly Re-Grooved 3: The Tom Moulton Remixes Tom delves into the back-catalogues of Atlantic Records, Atco, Buddah Records, Chelsea, Columbia and Roxbury. They prove to be a veritable treasure trove for Tom. He was absolutely spoiled for choice. Eventually, he settled on nineteen tracks. This included tracks by The Spinners, The Trammps, Blue Magic, Bettye Swann, Melba Moore and Philly Devotions. Tom takes these tracks and totally transforms them. Using his five decades of experience, the Godfather or the remix somehow, does the impossible, and improves stonewall Philly Soul classics. That might sound like an exaggeration, but it’s not. Proof of this are The Spinners’ Could It Be I’m Falling In Love, which is transformed into a seven-minute masterpiece, while Bettye Swann When The Game Is Played On You becomes an eleven-minute epic. Then there’s The Trammps’ hook-laden Hold Back The Night, which magically and seamlessly, takes on new meaning. There’s much more to Philly Re-Grooved 3: The Tom Moulton Remixes than a trio tracks though. Much more.  

DISC ONE.

For the nine tracks on Disc One of Philly Re-Grooved 3: The Tom Moulton Remixes, Tom Moulton has dug deep into the vaults of Atlantic, Atco, Buddah, Chelsea, Columbia and Roxbury. The nine tracks he chose, include a combination of familiar tracks and hidden gems. Among the familiar faces are The Spinners, Blue Magic and Philly Devotions. They’re among the biggest names in Philly Soul. However, it’s not just the giants of Philly Soul that feature on Disc One of Philly Re-Grooved 3: The Tom Moulton Remixes.

The Sons Of Robin Stone, The Modulations and New York City were neither the biggest nor most successful names in Philly Soul. Despite this, they were responsible for some memorable musical moments. Much of their music is vastly underrated and is well worth discovering. Proof of this Disc One of Philly Re-Grooved 3: The Tom Moulton Remixes, which features New York City’s classic I’m Doing Fine. Another classic comes courtesy of Melba Moore.

Melba Moore names doesn’t immediately spring to mind when you mention Philly Soul. Nor does Bettye Swann’s. However, both enjoyed Philly Soul makeovers. Tony Bell and Phil Hurtt gave Bettye a Philly Soul makeover on When The Game Is Played On You. It’s transformed into an absolute epic by Tom Moulton. On Standing Right Here, Melba Moore into a strutting disco diva by McFadden and Whitehead. These two tracks are just a tantalizing taster of Disc One of Philly Re-Grooved 3: The Tom Moulton Remixes. So, let’s pick the highlights of Disc One.

What better way is there to open Disc One of Philly Re-Grooved 3: Tom Moulton Remixes, than with a million-selling single, that’s also a Philly Soul classic. The Spinners’ Could It Be I’m Falling In Love, which was written by Melvin and Mervin Steals under the pseudonym Mystro and Lyric. This was a track from The Spinners’ third album Spinners, released in 1974, on Atlantic Records. Spinners marked a change in fortune for The Spinners. Produced by Thom Bell, and featuring Philadelphia International Records’ house-band M.F.S.B. Spinners reached number fourteen in the US Billboard 200 and number one in the US R&B Charts in 1973. Could It Be I’m Falling In Love then reached number four in the US Billboard 100 and number one in the US R&B Charts. Here, Tom extends in the introduction and allows M.F.S.B. to take charge. Having set the scene, Bobby Smith delivers the lead vocal, with Phillip Wynne acting as closer. Adding the finishing touch, are The Sweethearts of Sigma heartfelt harmonies. Tom Mouton’s remix does what’s seemingly impossible, and improves a stonewall Philly Soul classic.

Probably New York City’s best known song is I’m Doing Fine. It was the title-track to their 1973 album, which was released on Chelsea Records. It was produced by Thom Bell, who produced their 1974 album Soulful Road. Written by Sherman Marshall and Thom Bell, I’m Doin’ Fine gave New York City the biggest hit of their short career. Since its release in 1973, I’m Doin’ Fine has remained something of a hidden soulful gem, so Tom Moulton’s remix gives everyone the opportunity to rediscover and revel in this track’s soulful delights all over again.

When Blue Magic released their eponymous debut album Blue Magic in 1974,it was the start of a journey that saw them release nine albums in twenty-three years. Blue Magic, which was produced by Norman Harris and featured the classic lineup of M.F.S.B.On its release in 1974, Blue Magic reached number forty-five in the US Billboard 200 and number four in the US R&B Charts. Helping sales of Blue Magic was their milion-selling single Sideshow. Another single was Look Me Up, written by Alan Felder and Norman Harris, it reached number thirty-six in the US R&B Charts. This was a classic Norman Harris production, incorporating elements of Philly Soul, funk, jazz and disco. Given Blue Magic featured tracks of the quality of Sideshow and Look Me Up, it’s no surprise that Blue Magic proved to the most successful album of their career.

Between 1975 and 1977, Melba Moore released four albums for Buddah. Starting with 1975s Peach Melba, through 1976s This Is It and Melba, Melba’s career at Buddah ended with 1977s A Portrait Of Melba, which included the single Standing Right There. Of the four albums, A Portrait Of Melba was her least successful album, failing to chart. Despite this, Standing Right There reached number sixty-two in the US R&B Charts. It was written and produced by McFadden and Whitehead with Victor Castarphen. Now thirty-six years after its release, Standing Right There has been given a disco makeover by Tom Moulton, which totally transforms the track. Not only is the track transformed, but so is Melba. She becomes a feisty, sassy, strutting disco diva, against a backdrop that say’s “made in Philly.”

Just like Melba Moore, Bettye Swann’s name isn’t exactly synonymous with Philly Soul. Blessed with an abundance of talent, Bettye neither enjoyed the critical acclaim nor commercial success her talent deserved. By 1972, she’d been signed to several record labels. Her next stop was Atlantic Records, where she worked with Tony Bell and Phil Hurtt of The Young Professionals. They cowrote and produced When The Game Is Played On You. It benefits from one of the finest arrangements on the compilation. Key to this, are swathes of elegant, lush harpsichord which envelop Bettye. Tom makes this a feature of his remix, highlighting their beauty, which compliments Bettye’s vocal. The result is a Cinderella like transformation, one that’s beautiful, elegant, sometimes dramatic, always soulful and thanks to the Godfather of the remix, dance-floor friendly.

Disc One of Philly Re-Grooved 3: Tom Moulton Remixes certainly delivers. Indeed, there’s more than the five tracks I’ve mentioned. There’s much to come on Disc One. There are contributions from The Modulations, Son’s Of Robin Stone, Philly Devotions and Ron Hall and The Motherfunkaz featuring Marc Evans. As you see, Disc One is crammed full of quality Philly Soul. Having dug deep into the vaults of Atlantic, Atco, Buddah, Chelsea, Columbia and Roxbury, Tom chosen wisely. 

Choosing a combination of Philly Soul classics and hidden gems, Tom Moulton, Master of Mixology and Doctor of Disco, reinvents the nine tracks. In some cases, he improves the original. This includes Bettye Swann’s When The Game Is Played On You. Tom breathes new life, meaning and energy into it, as only he can. The result is that, Disc One is Philly Re-Grooved 3: Tom Moulton Remixes is all killer and no filler. Will that be the case on Disc Two?

DISC TWO.

On Disc Two of Philly Re-Grooved 3: Tom Moulton Remixes, three artists who feature on Disc One, make another appearance, and a welcome one at that. The Spinners, Bettye Swann and New York City. They’re joined by luminaries that include William DeVaughn, The Ebonys,The Trammps and Double Exposure. That’s not forgetting Loose Change, David Morris Jr and Vicki Sue Robinson. As you can see, the Godfather of the remix has dug deep. His crate-digging has been productive. Tom’s come up with long forgotten gems and combined them with a sprinkling of stonewall Philly Soul classics. Taking these tracks, the master works his musical magic. The fruits of his labor are the ten tracks on Disc Two of Philly Re-Grooved 3: Tom Moulton Remixes, which I’ll pick the highlights of.

One of the most recognizable songs on Philly Re-Grooved 3: Tom Moulton Remixes, is William DeVaughn’s Be Thankful For What You’ve Got. Instantly, you recognize it. It’s that unmistakable introduction that grabs your attention. Tom takes the introduction and lengthens it. Again, Tom improves on a delicious Philly Soul classic and transforms it, a song which totally transformed William DeVaughn’s life in 1974. He went from being a drafting technician to writing and recording a two-million selling single. He’d written a song called A Cadillac Don’t Come Easy, which was then rewritten to become Be Thankful For What You’ve Got. The song was then given a smoother arrangement by Allan Felder. Once completed, William and members of M.F.S.B. entered Joe Tarsia’s Sigma Sound Studios in Philly. On its release it reached number four in the US Billboard 100 and number one in the US R&B Charts, selling over two-million copies. This resulted in the single being certified platinum. In the hands of Tom Moulton, the original is totally transformed, surpassing even what is one of the most recognisable tracks on Philly Re-Grooved 3-Tom Moulton Remixes

Following The Ebonys departure from Philadelphia International Records, they signed to Neil Bogarty’s Buddah Records. Making Love Ain’t No Fun (Without The One You Love), was their first single for Buddah. It was written by Allan Felder and Norman Harris. Norman arranged and produced the track, while Tom Moulton remixed the single. However, when The Ebonys’ 1976 sophomore album Sing About Life was released on Buddah Records, Making Love Ain’t No Fun (Without The One You Love) didn’t feature on the album. Now for Philly Re-Grooved Volume 3 Tom Moulton Remixes, Tom has reinvented the track, transforming it into an eight-minute masterpiece. This to me, is one of the most welcome inclusions on Philly Re-Grooved Volume 3 Tom Moulton Remixes, and for that, Tom Mouton deserves our thanks for this epic remix.

When Tom Moulton’s brother Jerry discovered the members of Loose Change, they were performing under a different name. Tom felt the group’s name didn’t suit the songs he had in mind for them. So Becky Anderson, Donna Beene and Leah Gwin became Loose Change for their 1979 album Loose Change, which was released on Casablanca Records. Recording of their eponymous album took place at Philly’s Sigma Sound Studios.The album opener, Babe was written by Tom and Thor Baldursson, who Tom worked with at Salsoul cowrote Babe. It features members of M.F.S.B. who accompany Loose Change. The result was a track that’s Euro Disco, albeit with a twist. On the release of Loose Change in 1979, it failed to chart. However, Loose Change is seen as one of the finest albums of its type and Babe a tantalizing reminder of the talents of Loose Change.

For more years that I care to remember, I’ve championed Bettye Swann’s career. Kiss My Love Goodbye is another of the singles she released on Atlantic in 1974. It was written by Phil Hurtt and Tony Bell who arranged the track. Under the guise of The Young Professionals, Phil and Tony Kiss My Love Goodbye with LeBaron Taylor. Like When The Game Is Played On You, it demonstrates that Bettye Swann, one of soul music’s best kept secrets, should’ve enjoyed a much more successful career. Maybe, Tom Moulton’s masterful remix of Kiss My Love Goodbye will rekindle interest in Bettye’s music, and finally, her talents will recognized, albeit somewhat belatedly. 

My final choice from Disc Two of Philly Re-Grooved 3: Tom Moulton Remixes, I’ve chosen The Trammps’ Hold Back The Night.  For many people, The Trammps are disco’s most soulful group. Mind you, with the legendary Jimmy Ellis as their lead singer, that’s so surprise. Hold Back The Night features Jimmy at his very best. Written by Ron Baker, Norman Harris and Earl Young with Allan Felder. It was arranged by Norman Harris and produced by Baker, Harris Young. On its release in 1975 on Buddah, it gave The Trammps the biggest hit of their career, reaching number thirty-five in the US Billboard 100 and number ten in the US R&B Charts. Over in the UK, Hold Back The Night reached number five and is one of Jimmy Ellis’ finest moments as lead singer of The Trammps. No wonder. Hook-laden and dance-floor friendly, here Philly Soul and disco meet head-on. The result is fitting reminder of Jimmy Ellis who sadly, died in March 2012, aged seventy-four and is the perfect track to close Philly Re-Grooved Volume 3 Tom Moulton Remixes.

The remixes on Philly Re-Grooved 3-Tom Moulton Remixes,are the result of five decades experience and work. It takes time, experience, dedication and a huge amount of skill to create remixes as good as those on Philly Re-Grooved Volume 3-Tom Moulton Remixes. From the opening bars of The Spinners’ Could It Be I’m Falling In Love on Disc One, right through to the final notes of Double Exposure’s Soul Recession which closes Disc Two, Tom Moulton never once lets his standards drop. Always, the remixes are of the highest quality. Compare these tracks to the other remixers and there’s no comparison.

Other remixers are just pretenders to Tom’s throne. Tom’s remixes are some of the most innovative and influential in the history of music. Similarly, Tom’s one of the most innovative and influential people in the history of music. Without Tom Moulton, music, especially dance music wouldn’t be the same. There would be no remixes, no twelve inch singles and maybe, no superstar DJs. So anyone who either makes their living from music or loves music, owes Tom Moulton a real debt of gratitude. He truly is one of the heroes of music, worthy of being referred to as an innovator and visionary. 

I would also refer to Tom Moulton one of the architects of Philly Soul. He deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as producers like Gamble and Huff, Thom Bell, Norman Harris and Vince Montana Jr. Tom gave their music a new lease of life. He totally transformed Philly Soul and is introducing what is the greatest soul music to another generation of music lovers. That ensures that Philly Soul, the music that I love, will continue to be one of the most popular and memorable musical genres of the past sixty years. For keeping Philly Soul alive, Tom Moulton deserves great credit and our thanks. He also deserves our thanks for creating the nineteen stunning new remixes which feature on Philly Re-Grooved 3-Tom Moulton Remixes. The nineteen remixes on Philly Re-Grooved 3-Tom Moulton Remixes, are among the finest remixes of Tom Moulton’s long and illustrious career and are proof, if any is needed, that Tom Moulton is a true musical visionary, who quite rightly, deserves to be called The Master. Standout Tracks: The Spinners Could It Be I’m Falling In Love, Bettye Swann When The Game Is Played On You, William DeVaughn Be Thankful For What You’ve Got and The Trammps Hold Back The Night.

PHILLY RE-GROOVED 3-TOM MOULTON REMIXES.

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