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  • Writer's pictureMark Runacus

The greatest songwriters and producers of all time.

Kenneth 'Kenny' Gamble and Leon 'Lenny' Huff founded Philadelphia International Records in 1971 and went on to write over 3,000 songs together, producing 175 gold and platinum records, making them some of the most prolific songwriters of all time. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2008. 

The label’s original vision was to rival Berry Gordy's Motown organisation and they spent some time studying Motown's structure and processes to create what they have since described as their own family of music. Gamble and Huff's signature sound of hypnotic percussion, lush strings and brass, with other sophisticated orchestral touches backing powerful soulful voices, often featured their own in-house orchestra MFSB (or Mother Father Sister Brother).

Their unique formula became one of the key catalysts for the growth of disco in the 1970s.

Gamble and Huff have also been activists supporting the black community and improving south Philadelphia. They created Universal Companies which in 2003 partnered with others in a $100 million plan to construct and renovate 400 homes.

So here is my own nudisco celebration of the music of Philadelphia International Records. And what a challenge it was: a work in progress for nearly a year as I struggled to finalise the track list and the mix. How do you summarise such a massive body of work? In the end I mixed up the tracks that both made me feel the most and were great nudisco and respectful updates of their genius work. I just hope they would approve.

All the original tracks are available on Spotify, where you'll find the playlist so you can create your own mix. (NB promo tracks and exclusives may not be available.)

Here's the track list:

1 | Lou Rawls | You'll never find another love like mine (F*Monday Exclusive Edit, featuring Kenny Summit, Frankie Knuckles, Eric Kupper & Jerry Ropero)

2 | The Philadelphia International All Stars | Let's clean up the ghetto (Sascha Satoshi Edit)

3 | People's Choice | Do it any way you wanna (DJ S remix)

4 | Billy Paul | Bring the family back (DJ Fopp disco mix)

5 | Billy Paul | Only the strong survive (Chuggin Edits)

6 | Teddy Pendergrass | I don't love you any more (RLP Re edit)

7 | Lou Rawls | This song will last forever (Belony Edits)

8 | The O'Jays | I love music (Dave Lee Sweet Music Mix)

9 | Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes | Don't leave me this way (Extended Mike and Tess Edit)

10 | Lou Rawls | See you when I get there (WVZ Mix)

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