Part stroll down memory lane, part music history lesson, these titles are a living—and timeless—testament to the legendary sound of Philadelphia and the prolific legacy of dynamic produc

BILLY PAUL
360 Degree of Billy Paul
REISSUE PRODUCERS: Leo Sacks, Joe McEwen
ORIGINAL PRODUCERS: Kenneth Gamble, Leon Huff
Epic/Legacy EK 85938

MFSB
MFSB
REISSUE PRODUCERS: Leo Sacks, Joe McEwen
ORIGINAL PRODUCERS: Kenneth Gamble, Leon Huff
Epic/Legacy EK 85941


TRAMMPS
Trammps
REISSUE PRODUCERS: Leo Sacks, Joe McEwen
ORIGINAL PRODUCERS: Ronnie Baker, Norman Harris, Earl Young
Epic/Legacy EK 85939

VARIOUS ARTISTS
Philadelphia Classics
REISSUE PRODUCERS: Leo Sacks, Joe McEwen
ORIGINAL PRODUCERS: various
Epic/Legacy EK 85940


Part stroll down memory lane, part music history lesson, these titles are a living—and timeless—testament to the legendary sound of Philadelphia and the prolific legacy of dynamic production duo/Philadelphia International visionaries Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff. Whether it was the water, the air, or both, the City of Brotherly Love and its landmark Sigma Sound Studios were a hotbed of love-jonesed, danceable, and conscious soul in the '70s. And some 30 years later, history is repeating itself through such Philly native sons and daughters as Jill Scott and Musiq. Missing in action on the contemporary scene, Billy Paul turned in a virtuoso performance on 1972's 360 Degrees of Billy Paul. The No. 1 R&B album contains the seminal "Me and Mrs. Jones." Before heating things up to a frenzy in 1977 with "Disco Inferno," Trammps laid the foundation with this eponymous debut on the group's own G&H-distributed Golden Fleece label. It features such notable forerunners as "Where Do We Go From Here." Personifying the word "tight," house band MFSB (Mother Father Sister Brother) was the beat-driving force behind the Philadelphia International sound. This 1973 eponymous debut set the stage for the band's signature style; it contains the bonus of a live rendition of the group's 1974 hit, "T.S.O.P.," best-known as the Soul Train theme. An update of the 1977 collection Philadelphia Classics features the mixing magic of remix pioneer Tom Moulton—and is enhanced by Moulton's never-before- available extended version of People's Choice's "Do It Any Way You Wanna." Listening to all four discs makes one point exceedingly clear: Quality never goes out of style.—GM