Rarely do I get truly excited about a reissue compilation, but that’s not been the case with this celebratory 40th anniversary 4-CD set featuring Philadelphia International remixes by the legendary Tom Moulton.
Credited as being the originator and inventor of the 12in single, Moulton is, in my estimation, one of the music businesses true geniuses.
Here you’ll find 31 Moulton mixes on the labels most famous sides, 16 dating from the 70’s and an additional 15 brand new masterpieces.
To Tom’s credit and the admiration of his fans he uses only original session tapes for his remixes which even in the year 2012 can make these updated classics sound fresh and true to their roots. The Trammps, Billy Paul, Harold Melvin and The O’Jays all contribute their finest and Tom Moulton puts the cherry on the top.
So if you remember songs such as Love Train (those strings still give me goose bumps), Don’t Leave Me This Way, Nights Over Egypt and The Love I lost and want to hear them like you’ve never heard them before then this is a set that you will cherish – I certainly do.
If MDNA skirts the disco abyss, then the four-disc Philadelphia International Classics: The Tom Moulton Remixes is pure dancefloor Valhalla. Moulton, whom Madonna surely must have met at some decadent Manhattan loft party circa 1979, is one of the most influential players in the history of dance music. The New Yorker was one of the first remixers, overhaul existing songs specifically for dancers, repeating the best bits, adding intros and interludes and stretching them to blissed-out lengths.
In the output of the Philadelphia International label, Moulton found his ideal raw material. Presided over by the writer-producers Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, PIR defined Philly Soul in the Seventies with songs such as Love Train by the O’ Jays and The Love I Lost by Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes.
They split over with sublime strings and horns, celestial soul voices and funky bass, but Moulton’s triumph was to gild these lilies. In his hands MSFB’s Love is the Message, which he calls “one of the greatest songs I’ve ever heard”, becomes an 11-minute multi-section epic, “the closest I would ever get to mixing the London Symphony Orchestra”.
Famous for showcasing Philadelphia soul music, Philadelphia International puts out this collectors edition of Tom Moulton Remixes as the second edition of the Philly 40 campaign, celebrating the label’s 40th Anniversary.
It follows on from the Philadelphia International: The Re-Edits package taking all eight tracks in each of the original Philadelphia Classics and adds another seven lost Tom Moulton mixes.
On top of that, a further 16 brand new Moulton mixes have been commissioned for the set.
There are 31 tracks in total across four CDs, delivered in a deluxe box alongside a 16 page booklet with sleeve notes by Lloyd Bradley. A set of rare photos featuring Tom Moulton and Sigma Sound studios round off the package.