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T.S.O.P. (The Sound Of Philadelphia)
by MFSB 1977 - on cd Love is the message The Best of MFSB (Sony 1995)

Mother, Father, Sister, Brother.

If the great Black music at the '70s is now considered Old School then surely maestros Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff are the reigning deans of the university. As the principal produce rs/composers of their own label, Philadelphia International (or is it R&B U?), Gamble and Huff imbued their releases for such noteworthy artists as the Uri Billy Paul and Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes with a driving, full-bodied, orchestral approach of funky rhythms and swirling strings which became best-known worldwide as the "Philly Sound."
While Gamble and Huff were the architects of this lush soul from the City of Brotherly Love, the building blocks, the background for these thrilling compositions, were laid down  by a group of great musicians based at Philadelphia's Sigma Sound Studios. They were an assembly of talent that equaled, in ability and importance, Madown's lanned and fabled ranking hard, the Funk Brothers, in providing one succulent groove after another, An instrumental unit so strong, they had to be given their own opportunity in the spotlight. An exciting melodic hybrid of swing. classical, jazz add R&B, their name was Mother, Father, Sister, Brother or, to put it more succinctly, MFSB.

The heart of MFSB was its ace rhythm section: bassist Ronnie Baker, drummer Earl Young and guitarists Norman Harris and Bobby Eli. They had been recording together for a number of years. (Same had even played on the 1968 Cliff Nobles hit instrumental, "The Horse.") In 1971, they released a cover of Sly and the family Stores "Family Affair" tinder the sobriquet, The Family ".

For their eponymous debut album made some two years later, under the utopian Gamble and Huff vision. that nickname had metamorphosed into a title with resonamic Mother, Father, Sister, Brother. An inspired choice MFSB was an appellation that signified responsibility and empowerment. two tenets prevalent throughout the Poll International cannot.

It was that feeling, that resonance, of righteous, undeniable force which permeated Ii output. Aided by Such witty arrangers/alchonests; as Jack Faith, Dexte Wansed and the criminally underrated Bobby Martin MFSB released four albums in three years, transforming cover versions of Elton John's 'Philadelphia Freedom," Johnnie Taylor's "Cheaper To Keep Her" and War's "Sm HaPPY" into a symphonic learning center. These were tunes with space: Tin Pan Alley chestnuts like "Poinciana and "My One And Only Love" became syncopated frameworks wherein quality craftsmen were allowed to explore, Is expand a song inner meaning while galloping from a smokin' jazz quintet to a 30-piece orchestra in a heartbeat.

The group was velvet with a spine, a Love Unlimited Orchestra with grit. They consistently surprised with a theatrical flair. Listen to the fancy fretwork oil "Back Stagings" and its perfect radiation of the song's sense of foreboding Or how the combination of votes, electric piano and Latin percussion on ' Freddie a Dead" conjured up the chase scene at your dreams.

MFSB's aptitude for Permanent; histrionics was most evident on ' Love Is The Message" and "T.S D.P. (The Sound Of Philadelphia)." Every DJ worth his salt attempted to remix Test` but few could improve on the original. How could they? With its driving saxophone, layered legate strings, mellow-funky keyboards and incessant beat, "Love" was  transcendent perfect.

As was "T. S.O.P." Marc Land just a battle of acronyms, this regal theme for the Mecca of Black television, "Soul Train," was the anthem for a generation "The Sound Of Philadelphia" was anthem. Gamble and Huff had spoke to them with a fierce and heartfelt honesty When the Thme Degrees sang "People all over the world' against MFSB a propelling, ennead backdrop, they were unmannerly correct As they are today. Love is the message. There is draina in this music. What this collection of MFSB provides is more than a passionate soundtrack to the endlessly unsaddling movie in your head; it furnishes truth to power and love to the world.




 MFSB (Philadelphia LP, 1973)


 Love is the message (Philadelphia LP, 1973)


 Universal love (Philadelphia LP, 1975)


 Philadelphia freedom (Philadelphia LP, 1975)


 Summertime (Philadelphia LP, 1976)


 The Gamble & Huff Orchestra (Philadelphia LP, 1978)


 Mysteries of the world (TSOP LP, 1980)



 TSOP (The sound of Philadelphia) (Philadelphia, 1973)


 Love is the message (Philadelphia, 1973)


 Freddie's dead (Philadelphia, 1974)


 Sexy (Philadelphia, 1975)


 Let's go disco (Philadelphia, 1975)


 Let's clean up the ghetto (vocal) (Philadelphia, 1977)


 K-Jee (Philadelphia, 1978)


 Used ta be my guy (Philadelphia, 1978)


 Mysteries of the world (TSOP, 1981)