Not all records classified as Philly Soul come from Philadelphia-based artists, though all share characteristics – orchestral string arrangements married to rhythm and blues with a funk influence that bridged the way toward disco. Here are thirty examples of the genre, with the songwriting-production team of Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff working on the lion’s share of these releases.
This Throwback Thursday we revisit 1972. What happened in music in 1972?:
Michael Jackson had the first of 13 solo US #1 Hot 100 singles with a song about a rat.
Chuck Berry had his first US #1 single with a song about his penis.
Roberta Flack spent six weeks at #1 on the US Hot 100 with a song she released in 1969.
Helen Reddy rerecorded a song from her 1971 album I Don’t Know How To Love Him. It became the first of her three US #1 Hot 100 singles and became an anthem for women’s equality.
The Staple Singers scored their first of two US #1 Hot 100 hits with a classic song that had only one verse.
Neil Young scored his only US #1 Hot 100 single.
Some of the other classic singles to peak in 1972 are “American Pie,” “Let’s Stay Together,” “Me & Mrs. Jones,” “Without You,” “If You Don’t Know Me By Now,” “Alone Again (Naturally),” “Lean On Me,” “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone,” “School’s Out” and “The Harder They Come.”
David Bowie released The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars.
The Rolling Stones released Exile on Main St.
Elton John released Honky Château.
As far as music goes, I’d say 1972 was pretty pretty pretty pretty good. Even the bad songs were good! Here are thirty highlights.
Inspired by the season and the November 28 birthdays of Randy Newman, En Vogue/Lucy Pearl’s Dawn Robinson, The 5 Royales’ Johnny Tanner, The Fleetwoods’ Gary Troxel, Chamillionaire, R.B. Greaves, William DeVaughn, Bruce Channel, The Foundations’ Clem Curtis and Motown founder Berry Gordy Jr.
Inspired by the November 14 birthdays of Run, Veruca Salt’s Nina Gordon, and Stephen Bishop; and the November 13 birthdays of Cass McCombs, Timmy Thomas, Onyx’s Sonny Seeza and The Teddy Bears’ Carol Connors.
Inspired by the August 25 birthdays of Elvis Costello, Wilco‘s Jeff Tweedy, The O’Jays’ Walter Williams, Digital Underground’s Shock G, Kiss’ Gene Simmons, Judas Priest’s Rob Halford, Billy Ray Cyrus, K7, Willy DeVille, Weather Report’s Wayne Shorter, The Korgis’ James Warren, Leonard Bernstein, Tim Burton, Sean Connery and John Savage.
Inspired by the May 17 birthdays of Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Reznor, Queens of the Stone Age’s Josh Homme, George Johnson, Bob B. Soxx & the Blue Jeans/The Alley Cats’ Bobby Sheen, Keith, A.L.T. and New Kids on the Block’s Jordan Knight.
Earlier this week I mentioned that the Village People suddenly find themselves with a hit song on the Adult Contemporary chart. Because 2020 needs to be even stranger, that classic group is joined in the upper reaches of that chart by Corey Feldman. Corey Feldman. Corey Feldman’s “U R Free” is in the top 20 of Billboard’s Adult Contemporary chart. Corey Feldman. 2020, am I right, people?
Today’s playlist is inspired by the May 8 birthdays of Earth Wind & Fire’s Philip Bailey, Toni Tennille, Basement Jaxx’s Felix Buxton, Rick Nelson, Martha Wainwright, Katy B, Bloodstone’s Charles McCormick, Darren Hayes and Jack Blanchard.