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Various Artists, 'Golden Gate Groove'

Golden Gate Groove
Courtesy of Sony Legacy

The sound of Philadelphia International Records was studio perfection: steady, honed propulsion, rigorously crafted hosannas and silken, orchestral rapture. But live, the singers – including Billy Paul, the O'Jays, the Three Degrees and Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, all present at this party, subtitled The Sound of Philadelphia, Live in San Francisco 1973 – shook off the polish, fusing the passions of the church and bedroom with raw magnificence. This album was taped at a record-label convention – proof of how much fun the music industry used to be.

Listen to 'The Sound of Philadelphia, Live in San Francisco 1973':

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