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Trammps (Extended Version)

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Album Review

The Trammps' first album was viewed as an early disco effort, and while there is a good amount of disco here, it's fair to say that it's pretty Philly soul-rooted disco. The group was not an entirely faceless front for dance tracks, but a pretty solid harmonizing soul outfit, even if the mid-'70s Philly soul backing grooves are a little generic (if very accomplished). Three of these cuts had already been small R&B hits — "Love Epidemic" (which seems to take no small inspiration from both the O'Jays' "Love Train" and James Brown's "Night Train"), "Where Do We Go From Here," and "Trusting Heart" — though actually some other songs ("Stop and Think," "Save a Place," the B-side "I Know That Feeling") sound at least as worthy of single release. Away from the soul-funk-disco train, there was silky pillow talk balladry ("Every Dream I Dream Is You," "Down Three Dark Streets") and a lightly disco-fied cover of the Isley Brothers' "Shout," though it might have been the instrumental "Trammps Disco Theme" that pointed most firmly to their future successes. The 2002 CD reissue on Epic/Legacy adds three bonus tracks from the 1977 album Disco Champs that were actually recorded in 1973 and 1974, one of them an extended version of "Love Epidemic." [An expanded edition of the album was released in 2002 and contained three bonus tracks.]

Biography

Formed: 1973 in Philadelphia, PA

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '70s, '80s

Disco's most soulful vocal group began in the '60s as the Volcanos, and were also called the Moods. Gene Faith was the original lead vocalist, with Earl Young, Jimmy Ellis, guitarist Dennis Harris, keyboardist Ron Kersey, organist John Hart, bassist Stanley Wade, and drummer Michael Thomas. But by the time they'd gone through various identities and emerged as the Trammps in the mid-'70s, the lineup featured lead vocalist Ellis, Norman Harris, and Stanley Wade, Robert Upchurch and Young. A snappy...
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Trammps (Extended Version), The Trammps
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Contemporaries