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  1. #1

    Why Isn't There A Philadelphia International Records Record Vault

    full of unreleased treasures like at Motown? Or, is there?
    Same question of all the record labels?

    Or maybe another way to ask it , why is Motown the label that seems to have so much of its music stored this way?

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Boogiedown View Post
    full of unreleased treasures like at Motown? Or, is there?
    Same question of all the record labels?

    Or maybe another way to ask it , why is Motown the label that seems to have so much of its music stored this way?
    I have sometimes wondered the same thing. There surely must be a number of unreleased gems locked away. After the passing of Phyllis Hyman an album titled 'Forever With You' was released which was a compilation of unreleased tracks from her Philadelphia International years. Likewise following the death of Brenda from the Jones Girls I recall hearing an unreleased track by the group featuring Brenda on lead. I can't remember it's title but do recall that it was very good!

    There must be tracks by the Ojays, Billy Paul, Three Degrees, Jean Carn etc still waiting to be liberated.

  3. #3
    I have wondered the same thing also. I do know of two unreleased tracks by the Jones Girls from 82. One titled "Cool Hand Luke" and the other "Do Run Run" (Not the Crystals 60's classic). I also wondered about unreleased songs by Honey Cone, Love Unlimited, Pointer Sisters (Blue Thumb years and Labelle (epic years). In one of the Barry White Songbooks it lists a song by Love Unlimited titled Guardian Angel.

  4. #4
    Gooood question Boogie!

    Bring on A Cellarful Of Philly...!

  5. #5
    There was a collection called Conquer The World: The Lost Soul of Philadelphia International Records consisting of lesser known tracks from their catalog. However, I'd love to hear songs from the PIR vault.


  6. #6
    There was a fire once at PIR's Broad Street offices once. I don't know what they lost in the fire.

  7. #7
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    Motown recorded in their own studio from 1960 on, and 24 hours a day 365 days a week from 1964-1972, and some more in 1973-74. They only released a small fraction of what they recorded. No other record company came close to that. Most had to pay outside studios for recording time, and so, left extremely little "in the can". Most longtime artists on any given label had maybe 3-5 songs left in the can, AT MOST. Many had none. I would guess there weren't more than 10-15 PIR songs left unreleased (if that). probably most of those have already come out on CDs or digital.
    Last edited by robb_k; 10-14-2017 at 02:23 PM.

  8. #8
    I suppose a P.I.R. "Unreleased Masters" project would be good to have.I wouldn't expect to to be stellar though,given the fact that there are very few Gamble & Huff tracks that ended up "on the cutting room floor".Since they wrote and produced specifically for albums and with most of the material making the cut,there are few G&H compositions.Just look at the credits on your P.I.R. vinyl,if they were involved they usually would do no less than 4 tracks.Their songs would usually be the best on the album as well,so everybody else's work is really all that's left in the archive.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by robb_k View Post
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    Motown recorded in their own studio from 1960 on, and 24 hours a day 365 days a week from 1964-1972, and some more in 1973-74. They only released a small fraction of what they recorded. No other record company came close to that. Most had to pay outside studios for recording time, and so, left extremely little "in the can". Most longtime artists on any given label had maybe 3-5 songs left in the can, AT MOST. Many had none. I would guess there weren't more than 10-15 PIR songs left unreleased (if that). probably most of those have already come out on CDs or digital.
    Good points Robb. However, PIR did have a few tracks in the vaults that were released in 1980's. There were two albums by Teddy Pendergrass, This One's For You & Heaven Only Knows, that came out in 82 and 83 (after his horrific car crash) and Patti LaBelle's I'm In Love Again (from 83). These three LPs also completed PIR's distribution deal with CBS Records.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Motown Eddie View Post
    Good points Robb. However, PIR did have a few tracks in the vaults that were released in 1980's. There were two albums by Teddy Pendergrass, This One's For You & Heaven Only Knows, that came out in 82 and 83 (after his horrific car crash) and Patti LaBelle's I'm In Love Again (from 83). These three LPs also completed PIR's distribution deal with CBS Records.
    Not to mention the Patti LaBelle release of ‘85 entitled PATTI, a blatant PIR vault cash-in subsequent to her “New Attitude”/“Stir It Up” successes with MCA.

  11. #11
    There was a CD release some years back of O'Jays vaulted tracks from their Philly years ... the guys in the group weren't happy bout it's release.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by jsmith View Post
    There was a CD release some years back of O'Jays vaulted tracks from their Philly years ... the guys in the group weren't happy bout it's release.
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    This may make my point about the difference between the Motown "vaulted recordings" and those of PIR. Motown had over 1000, so MANY were better than a lot of their releases. While PIR had very few, most of which were probably not released for a good reason.

  13. #13
    Why DID Motown record so much more? I imagine it could get very expensive.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by luke View Post
    Why DID Motown record so much more? I imagine it could get very expensive.
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    They owned and operated their own top-notch state-of-the-art recording studio, so recording cost them significantly less then recording outside. Berry Gordy was willing to buy and use so much recording tape and pay musicians to play so much music, and hire songwriters to write so many songs. It allowed him to make Motown into a company that was eventually sold for 88 million Dollars (and that was WITHOUT selling Jobete Music!). So, it was worth the gamble. He knew that if he let his creative staff record hundreds of songs each year, and choose the best of them to be released, many of them would be hits.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by robb_k View Post
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    They owned and operated their own top-notch state-of-the-art recording studio, so recording cost them significantly less then recording outside. Berry Gordy was willing to buy and use so much recording tape and pay musicians to play so much music, and hire songwriters to write so many songs. It allowed him to make Motown into a company that was eventually sold for 88 million Dollars (and that was WITHOUT selling Jobete Music!). So, it was worth the gamble. He knew that if he let his creative staff record hundreds of songs each year, and choose the best of them to be released, many of them would be hits.
    yes this is all VERY remarkable .

    I wonder why Berry didn't more thoroughly mine this available stuff during those later years when he had the chance before selling it off?

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by jsmith View Post
    There was a CD release some years back of O'Jays vaulted tracks from their Philly years ... the guys in the group weren't happy bout it's release.
    Yes,I believe you're talking about "Together We Are One" in 2004.They were very vocal about their unhappiness and told the fans not to purchase it.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by robb_k View Post
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Views: 275
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    They owned and operated their own top-notch state-of-the-art recording studio, so recording cost them significantly less then recording outside. Berry Gordy was willing to buy and use so much recording tape and pay musicians to play so much music, and hire songwriters to write so many songs. It allowed him to make Motown into a company that was eventually sold for 88 million Dollars (and that was WITHOUT selling Jobete Music!). So, it was worth the gamble. He knew that if he let his creative staff record hundreds of songs each year, and choose the best of them to be released, many of them would be hits.
    Great breakdown Robb. B.G. sold Motown for 61 million Dollars to MCA Records in 1988.Just an F.Y.I.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Motown Eddie View Post
    There was a collection called Conquer The World: The Lost Soul of Philadelphia International Records consisting of lesser known tracks from their catalog. However, I'd love to hear songs from the PIR vault.
    I have that release; great compilation. Worth copping for The Futures
    alone. Loved that group. You guys are probably right about the vault
    thing, tho. I don't like to play the what if game but I must admit
    new unearthed discoveries for the Philly sound would be a very
    pleasant surprise...

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Quinn View Post
    Yes,I believe you're talking about "Together We Are One" in 2004.They were very vocal about their unhappiness and told the fans not to purchase it.
    I didn't know about The O'Jays' Together We Are One album before reading this. The group must've been successful in steering fans away from it.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by sansradio View Post
    Not to mention the Patti LaBelle release of ‘85 entitled PATTI, a blatant PIR vault cash-in subsequent to her “New Attitude”/“Stir It Up” successes with MCA.
    Your right Sansradio. I forgot about Patti LaBelle's Patti LP (and this must've been the final PIR release to be distributed by CBS Records). And as a side note; PIR did release two LPs (of previously unreleased tracks) by Phyllis Hyman from 1995 & 1998 (I Refuse To Be Lonely & Forever With You) after her tragic death in 1995.

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Motown Eddie View Post
    I didn't know about The O'Jays' Together We Are One album before reading this. The group must've been successful in steering fans away from it.
    I believe they were for it went out of print rather quickly.To be honest though Ed,word of mouth probably would have killed it.One thing was that they were rejects,which most of the time you're not sure about until you hear them.Then there was the attempt at "updating" the sound of the songs,which can make things worse if the songs are not good to begin with.P.I.R. could've at least released the songs in their original form, but sometimes money blocks up good sense.

  22. #22
    There were people at the time who were stunned he sold it for ONLY $61 million.

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Quinn View Post
    Great breakdown Robb. B.G. sold Motown for 61 million Dollars to MCA Records in 1988.Just an F.Y.I.
    Three years later it was sold to Polygram for $331 million!

  24. #24
    I would love to see collections on Gamble & Huff's North Bay and Neptune labels (at least two discs covering Neptune). A complete Intruders singles set too. A visit to the PI vault after that. That CD of unreleased O'Jays recordings was awful, in large part due to the attempt to "modernize" the instrumental backing.

  25. #25
    from http://www.soulexpress.net/ocsmith_story.htm

    Thom Bell:

    “As a matter of fact, I Think I’ll Tell Her was written for O.C. We did it with Ronnie, too, but O.C. Smith was before Ronnie Dyson. When I recorded O.C., we were still in the building across the street from the building that we built (and where they moved into in the fall of 1973). A lot of those things stayed in the can. In fact, there’s a lot of stuff in the can on a lot of the artists that we did.

  26. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by Boogiedown View Post
    Very interesting quote! I also recall reading somewhere that Thom Bell recorded the original version of 'You Are Everything' with Little Anthony and the Imperials. For whatever reason it didn't get released and was later recorded by the Stylistics.

  27. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by JimBagley View Post
    I would love to see collections on Gamble & Huff's North Bay and Neptune labels (at least two discs covering Neptune). A complete Intruders singles set too. A visit to the PI vault after that. That CD of unreleased O'Jays recordings was awful, in large part due to the attempt to "modernize" the instrumental backing.
    I always think of Neptune as Gamble & Huff's attempt to emulate Motown. In some of the songs on the label, the specific Motown tracks which inspired them are easily identifiable.

  28. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by Quinn View Post
    I believe they were for it went out of print rather quickly.To be honest though Ed,word of mouth probably would have killed it.One thing was that they were rejects,which most of the time you're not sure about until you hear them.Then there was the attempt at "updating" the sound of the songs,which can make things worse if the songs are not good to begin with.P.I.R. could've at least released the songs in their original form, but sometimes money blocks up good sense.
    Good points Quinn. I also feel that since The O'Jays' Together We Are One didn't sell, that killed any attempt at more releases from the PIR vaults (and as the quote from Thom Bell said, "There's a lot of stuff still in the can").

  29. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by 144man View Post
    I always think of Neptune as Gamble & Huff's attempt to emulate Motown. In some of the songs on the label, the specific Motown tracks which inspired them are easily identifiable.
    Yes,Motown was their inspiration in many ways.Many people don't know that they intended on joining the production staff at Motown.In 1967 or 1968 they planned on Moving to Detroit, but the intricacies of relocating derailed the plans.It worked out the best in my opinion because big changes were taking place.Most of the first family had already gone or was about to go,Berry Gordy was spending more time in L.A. and the city of Detroit was in the early stages of decline.They had missed the golden era unfortunately, but when a door closes GOD opens a window.

  30. #30
    Now I've found this :


    The 6,000 unclaimed tapes from Sigma's 35-year-old tape library are now part of The
    Drexel University Audio Archive
    from:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sigma_Sound_Studios

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