Various Artists – Philadelphia Classics (review)

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* Soul to soul: This album was produced by the legendary team of Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff, whose collective work made Philadelphia the black music capital of the 1970s, and remixed by pioneering disco whiz Tom Moulton.

* The lowdown: This collection features extended mixes of the rhythm-and-blues tunes played in gay clubs in the early ’70s — songs like The Three Degree’s “Dirty Ol’ Man”  that gave birth to disco and still influence the dance scene today. Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes’ “Don’t Leave Me This Way,” sung by Teddy Pendergrass, would later be covered by Thelma Houston, creating one of the biggest dance hits ever. Author Andrew Holleran writes of the popularity of the Intruders’ “I’ll Always Love My Mama” in his epic of ’70s gay life, “Dancer From the Dance.” And Madonna dusted off the breakdown from MFSB’s “Love Is the Message” for her retro-leaning “Vogue.”

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