Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Parentheses: The Philly Sound (of the Delfonics)


The Delfonics: La-La (Means I Love You)


The Delfonics: Didn't I (Blow Your Mind This Time)


Soul music in the 60s centered around two major cities: most people think of Detroit—Motown—right off the bat, but Philadelphia was equally important in delivering quality soul music to an eager audience. Artists that define the Philly Sound, with its lush harmonies and rich, string-laden arrangements, include Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, the Stylistics, the O'Jays, the Spinners, Hues Corporation, and our featured group, the Delfonics.

Two of their biggest hits have parenthetical titles. Listening to both, I can easily hear the roots of the style known a decade later as Quiet Storm. Both were written by Thom Bell, who also came up with the equally wonderful "If You Don't Know Me By Now" and "Me and Mrs. Jones."

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