If you aren't an open-minded music listener, then you should stop reading right now because this isn't an album that is easily explained or listened to. In fact it requires multiple listens before you begin to understand the genius at work here.
The traditional 1970's slow jam is something that is sacred to people from my generation, however the whole concept could probably use some updating. A few years ago when I visited the studio of one of the "East Coast Slow Jam Masters", he played a demo for me of a rap song where his group was singing harmony in the background. At first this sounded strange to me, but after the second listen, it made perfect sense as a way to update the traditional 1970's slow jam sound.
Most "old farts" my age, be they male or female have a certain expectation when they see the name "Delfonics". We tend to think of syrupy love songs, with French horns in the background, sung in perfect harmony by the most masculine of high pitched male singers, while grinding with a young lady in a hot sweaty basement in 1971 rancid with the combined odors of cigarette smoke, fried chicken, Sulfur 8 and cheap wine that was spilled on the floor stuck to the bottom of your playboys.
Yup, that's what comes to my mind when I think of the name "Delfonics".
However that is NOT what this album is about.
This album is all about the "FONIC ZONE".
And just like being in the "TWILIGHT ZONE", it requires the listener to totally suspend your belief in all previously known data that is already burned into your head about the name "DELFONICS". Yet at the same time you must remember that two of the three original members of the Delfonics (Wilbert Hart and Randy Cain) are leading the way on this album.
It's a conceptual album where the Delfonics are transported to the year 2005 and so therefore half of this album is "URBAN" and the other half is "SLOW JAMS" all done with an overlay of "ELECTRONICA". . There are several outstanding cuts on here such as "Hey Love [2005 Mix]", "Here for You", "Crazy", "Gemini (The Two of Them)".
Now let's use these four cuts to illustrate my point....
* "Hey Love [2005 Mix]" is a cover version of the Delfonics early 1970's hit record and it sounds pretty much like what you would expect to an update to a classic slow jam.
* "Here for You" written by Will Hart however is a radical departure, having more in common with a Biggie Smalls song than with a Delfonics song, until you hear the Delfonics singing in perfect 3 part harmony in the background. It works
* "Crazy" (despite the title) is really a cover version of the Beach Boys classic song "Good Vibrations", with different lyrics, Will Hart singing lead and original Delfonics (Will Hart and Randy Cain) singing "I love the colorful clothes she wears And the way the sunlight plays upon her hair" over and over again in a looped sample (of the Delfonics sounding like the Beach Boys), with a rapper on top (sheer genius IMHO).
* Next up is a song called "Gemini (The Two of Them)", which is really a remake of the early 1960's hit song called "Two Lovers" - Mary Wells, that is done in a very similar way as "Crazy" covers "Good Vibrations" (sans the rapper).
ENTER THE FONIC ZONE
This is easily the most creative and innovative album I have heard in 2005 thus far. It's also quite a risky and bold move for Will Hart, because the price he may pay for this type of artistic/technological creativity and innovation is potentially totally alienating his "core audience". However on the other hand he may just find a whole new audience, ready to embrace this radically different way to present...
:::"THE SLOW JAM":::
I like it.
And maybe you will also when we start playing it on Soul-Patrol.Net Radio
In the meantime, pick up on this CD online and other outlets (like Bondy's - NYC)
in your area
1. Hey Love [2005 Mix]
2. Move On
3. Here for You
4. Pimpin Ain't Easy
5. Don't Give In
6. I Have a Secret
7. Step by Step
9. Gemini (The Two of Them)
10. Hold on for Love
11. Give It on Up
12. Where Do I Go
A few of you out there might just be wondering why you should consider buying any of these 3 new re-releases on Buddha Records (pictured above)of classic Delfonics material as opposed to the Delfonics "Ultimate Collection" compilation album (which we reviewed in detail further down this page)?
Here is something that you should consider while making your decision…
Some of you might remember me making the following statement late last year when the "Jackson Five Anthology" was released...
"Can You Remember" (with Michael on lead) is as badd a slow jam as ANYTHING that was done by Barbara Mason, Brenda and the Tabulations, Ponderosa Twins, Five Stairsteps or comparable groups at the same time."
This is a SMOKIN s l o w j a m with SERIOUS "doo wop" style harmonizing of the 4 "other Jackson brothers", blending in with the sound of their brother's voice as tho they are a single instrument.
In the meantime, the music is picture perfect for grinding in a hot, smokey and sweaty cigarette smoke filed, Sulfur 8 and fried chicken grease smelling basement back in 1969.
I feel VERY fortunate to have been a teenager at that time and to have been an attendee on most every weekend to the type of party where this type of song would be one of the featured attractions :)
It's one of those perfect 3 minitue opuses to the kind of teenage years that this earth will most likely never see again.
Well I am listening to the song right now and the reason why is sorta strange...
Several years ago when I was having a conversation with, Wilbert Hart and I were discussing what some of the items were that would go up on the site and he said...
WILLBERT HART: "Bob, we can put up a quote from Micheal Jackson saying that the Delfonics are his favorite group..."
BOB DAVIS: "Wil we can't just put that up there unless he actually said it, we could get into trouble..."
WILLBERT HART: "He said it, and I have proof"
Will then pulled out an old fan magazine, where Micheal Jackson was asked...
Q: "Who is your favorite group"
A: "The Delfonics"
So we put the statement up on the page and I forgot all about it till today....
....when I listened to my newly released reissue copy of the album...
"La La Means I Love You" by the Delfonics (1968)
Guess what song is on there?
That's right, buried deep with in the album , at song # 10 is the ORIGINAL version of "Can You Remember" as performed by the Delfonics and it's a SUPER BADD s l o w j a m
Well Michael certainly knew what he was talking about :)
The song "Can You Remember" was co-written by Thom Bell and William Hart.
So that is what I have on my CD player right now...
Listening to it now, (after perhaps not hearing the Delfonics version in over 20 years), the soaring voice of falsetto master William Hart (I swear that sometimes I can't tell him and Little Anthony apart....lol) of course dominates the song, just as the soaring falsetto of Michael Jackson does in his version.
However that's where the similarities end...
On the Delfonics version we are treated to a real lesson in the doo wop "blow singing" style as perfected by the Moonglows and certainly there is a much more "adult feel" to the song.
For all of the discussion we have here about "Motown polish", the Jackson Five version of the song sounds more "raw" than the Delfonics version (probably because of the strings and that trademark French Horn that makes any Delfonics song INSTANTLY recognizable)
Anyhow, I'm enjoying listening to BOTH versions of the song, as I am typing this, and wondering how it would sound with Smokey singing it...
When You Get Right Down To It, Think It Over, Don't Throw It All Away, Somebody Loves You, Ready Or Not, Break Your Promise, Hey Love, La La Means I Love You, For The Love, Didn't I Blow Your Mind.
Check it out and let us know what cha think?
CLICK HERE TO LISTEN!
Major Harris is well known to ALL of you as a result of his SMASH hit record
"LOVE WON'T LET ME WAIT" and from his work with the LEGENDARY
Mr. Harris hung out with us in the Soul Patrol Chat Room, on Monday evening 04/16/01 at 10 pm est, where he will shared with us the FACTS about his LEGENDARY career in the entertainment business.
This album is subtitled "The Definitive Collection" and whomever thought of that title wasn’t lying. I picked up on this one about 3 weeks ago and let me tell you I have very quickly become re aquatinted with some of the most romantic music ever made. This album is the BOMB !!! Everything here has been re-mastered so the sound is great, but more important than the sound is the music. Not all of these songs were hits on the national R&B chats a few were but most weren’t. However every single one of these songs was a hit record in my neighborhood at the "Blue light parties" that people used to have. I can remember GRINDING to most of them !!
When I first picked up the CD in the store and started reading the track listing, I only recognized about half the songs. But when I got home and played it I remembered EVERY song and was immediately transported back to the time and place where I first heard the song on a scratchy 45 or on an AM station full of static.
Anyone else pick up on it or plan to ??
Who else remembers the Delfonics ?
The Delfonics La La Means I Love You (The Definitive Collection)
1. La La means I Love You
2. Im Sorry
3. Break Your Promise
4. Ready Or Not Here I Come
5. Somebody Loves You
6. Funny Feeling
7. Loving Him
8. You Got Yours and Ill Get Mine
9. Didnt I (Blow Your Mind This Time)
10. Trying To Make A Fool Out Of Me
11. When You Get Right Down To It
12. Over and Over
13. Delfonics Theme
14. Hey Love
15. Walk Right Up To The Sun
16. Tell Me This Is a Dream
17. Think It Over
18. I Dont Want To Make You Wait
19. I Told You So
20. Lying To Myself
Although they helped to develop The Sound of Philadelphia, this is not the group that comes to mind when you think of that sound. Originally from Philadelphia, The Delfonics started singing together in high school, where they called themselves The 4 Gents. The group was comprised of William Hart, Wilbert Hart, Randy Cain & Ritchie Daniels. Although popular in the Philadelphia area, the group didn't achieve nationwide success until they they hired Thom Bell to become their producer. Under the production arm of Thom Bell, the group developed a smooth, harmonious, romantic sound that became known as the Philly Sound.
The Delfonic's hits ranged from 1968's number 1 single "LaLaLa Means I Love You", to top 40 soul hits "Ready Or NotHere I Come", "Break Your Promise" and "Trying To Make a Fool Out of Me". Perhaps the song that best showed off William Hart singing as well as Thom Bell's producing was the 1970 song "Didn't I Blow Your Mind". From 1968 to 1970, you couldn't go to a party, a nightclub, or listen to the radio without hearing the smooth grooves of the Delfonics. In 1970 their greatest hits albums was one of the most popular 8 track tapes around, probably because it made such good "make out" music.
In 1971 after an argument with the Delfonics manager, Thom Bell stopped producing the Delfonics and started producing the Stylistics. It's interesting that the Delfonics never had another hit, while Bell produced hits for the Stylistics for almost another 10 years.
As for the individual members, Major Harris left the group to pursue a solo career, he only had one hit as a soloartist "Love won't Let Me Wait", although he recorded 6 albums. The members continued recording together until 1974 when they all retired. In 1990, The Hart Brothers ended their retirement & started doing oldies shows. Although they still sound good, William Hart's falsetto leads have NOT remained as clear and unchanged as,say Russell Thompkins Jr. of the Stylistics. Still they remain one of the great slow jam groups of all time. And That's Whatever Happened To... The Delfonics.
Well the Brothas will be here on the 14th of November ..I cant wait. Im gettin front row seats...forget all the crazy stuff...East Coast Groove gonna rock the house !! Along with them will be Major Harris and the Main Ingredient ..oh yeah. oh yeah...
It's great.......every song........all tracks will bring back some memories for you (& perhaps help to create some new ones ....(g)
"Break Your Promise" eh...???
Lemme se what I can do with that one........:)
me.....DARLING...are you gonna break your promise baaaaaby and now your acting sooooo strange ........you said that you…….NEED me ??
If I saw you with somebody new .Id be so HELPLESS (be so helpless) .so tell me what are YOU gonna do.dont leave me breathless....."
You right most of the titles i don't remember either buti'm sure if i heard them....wellllllll so i will be looking for my copy of the cd on tape in the mail in the near futureLMAO Love on a 2 way street, la la la la la...... what elsecan be said? ( ok i'll take the one in red in the center, you take Kathy R.(don't you wish) and he can go for the other one).hehehehehe i'm going to the left corner, you got the pole and well the rest is history LMAO
Many guys have come to you.......With a line wasn't true And
you passed them by........
.Though u're in the center ring And their lines don't mean a
thing.......Why don't u let me tryNow i don't wear a diamond
ring......I don;t even know a song to sing
All i know is - ......La la la la la la la la laMeans i love
u.......La la la la la la la la la Means i love u
If i ever saw a girl..............That i needed in this
world U are the one for me...........
Let me hold u in my arms Girl and i fill u with my
charms......I'm sure u will see The things i am sayin' are
true.........And the way i explain them to u
Listen to me...La la la la la la la la la.Means i love u