Thursday, 20 March 2014

Philly Sound: People's Choice's Boogie Down U.S.A. (1975)


People's Choice

Biography by Ron Wynn (AMG):
Vocalist/keyboardist Frank Brunson formed People's Choice in Philadelphia in the early '70s. Drummer/percussionist David Thompson, vocalists Valerie Brown and Marc Reed, guitarists Darnell Jordan and Johnnie Hightower, keyboardists Clifton Gamble and Bill Rodgers, and bassist/vocalist Stanley Thomas were in the original lineup. Despite the vocalists, the group's biggest hits were instrumentals. They were signed to Philadelphia International and worked with Leon Huff on the funk and disco gem "Do It Any Way You Wanna," among the great pieces of '70s Philly dance music. It was their lone R&B chart-topper, and it peaked at number 11 on the pop charts in 1975. They previously recorded for Phil-L.A., and "I Likes to Do It" had reached number nine in 1971. They remained on Philadelphia International until 1982, when they recorded for TPC. They also issued one LP on Mercury, Strikin', in 1984.

People's Choice - Front Cover

''Boogie Down U.S.A.''

( LP TSOP Records, 1975 )
Catalog # KZ 33154

Tracklisting & Hide Credits:
A1 Do It Anyway You Wanna
Written-By – L. Huff 3:18
A2 Are You Sure
Written-By – G. McFadden, J. Whitehead, L. Huff 3:28
A3 Mickey D's
Written-By – F. Brunson, H. Coombs, L. Huff 3:35
A4 I'm Leaving You
Written-By – L. Huff 5:38
A5 The Sooner You Get Here
Written-By – G. McFadden, J. Whitehead, L. Huff 4:06
B1 Boogie Down U.S.A.
Written-By – L. Huff 3:39
B2 Nursery Rhymes
Written-By – C. Gilbert, L. Huff 6:06
B3 Party Is A Groovy Thing
Written-By – F. Brunson 2:56
B4 If You Want Me Back
Written-By – G. McFadden, J. Whitehead, L. Huff 3:05
B5 Don't Send Me Away
Written-By – L. Huff 3:37

Other Notes & Credits:
Arranged By – Bobby Martin (tracks: A2, A5, B5), Dave Thompson (tracks: B3), Frank Brunson (tracks: A1, A3, A4, B1, B2), Leon Huff (tracks: A1, A3, A4, B1, B2, B3), Roger Andrews (tracks: B3)
Engineer – Jay Mark, Joe Tarsia
Guitar – Bobby Eli, Norman Harris
Organ – Victor Carstarphen
Photography – Don Hunstein
Producer – Gamble & Huff
Format:Vinyl, LP, Album
BL 33154
The Sound Of Philadelphia
Made in U.S.A.

People's Choice - Back Cover

''Do It Anyway You Wanna''

''Party Is A Groovy Thing''

Review by Alex Henderson (AMG):
If you asked five different R&B experts what the first disco songs were, you might get five different answers. It has been argued that the disco beat was born in Philadelphia in 1972, when Jerry Butler recorded his fast, ultra-danceable version of the Kenny Gamble/Leon Huff classic "One Night Affair" (which had been previously recorded by the O'Jays in 1969). Even if Butler's hit wasn't the very first disco single, it was definitely among the first. It's inaccurate to give Philly all the credit for disco's birth -- Isaac Hayes and Barry White, neither of whom are Philadelphians, have been exalted as two of disco's early architects -- but the city deserves some of the credit. When Philly soul gave way to Philly disco-soul, one of the groups that got in on the action was the People's Choice. The group's 1975 smash "Do It Any Way You Wanna" is a definitive example of Philly dance music, as are several other disco-funk gems on Boogie Down U.S.A., including "Party Is a Groovy Thing" and the clever "Nursery Rhymes." However, not everything on this 1975 LP (which was produced by Gamble & Huff at Philly's legendary Sigma Sound Studios) is dance-oriented. The playful "Are You Sure" and the ballad "Don't Send Me Away" are pure Philly soul, and the instrumental "Mickey D's" contains jazz overtones. Without question, Boogie Down U.S.A. is the most essential LP that the People's Choice recorded in the '70s.

On Line:
All Music Guide

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