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MFSB

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Album Review

MFSB's debut album was more of a soul-funk mix than the kind of disco for which the band would become known with their "T.S.O.P." hit. There's less of a thumping rhythm and a greater inclination to lengthy, occasionally jazzy instrumental grooves, as on the seven-minute cover of "Freddie's Dead" that opens the set. The group also made a fair instrumental workout of Sly Stone's "Family Affair" and put the flute in the lead for much of the arrangement of "Back Stabbers." It's pretty well-crafted instrumental soul that's not quite super-slick, though your attention might eventually wander if you're not using it as dance fodder. The lush pop inclinations that would form part of the bed of their later work (both as MFSB and backing numerous Philly soul artists) come more to the fore on some other tracks, particularly the grandiose "Poinciana," though even that breaks up the soaring violins with some tasty jazz-blues piano and guitar. The 2002 CD reissue on Epic/Legacy adds a live version of "T.S.O.P. (The Sound of Philadelphia)" (which is not, incidentally, otherwise represented on the album), with the Three Degrees on vocals, that was previously issued on the Three Degrees' 1975 album Live.

Customer Reviews

What MFSB stands for

Mother Father Sister Brother

Biography

Formed: 1971 in Philadelphia, PA

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '70s

Best known for recording the hit theme to Soul Train, MFSB were the pre-eminent instrumental outfit of Philadelphia soul, backing numerous Kenny Gamble/Leon Huff productions while recording regularly on their own throughout the '70s. The group's name stood for Mother Father Sister Brother, and prior to their formation in 1971 as the house band at Gamble and Huff's Sigma Sound studios, some of the core personnel had been working together as early as 1968. Guitarists Norman Harris and Bobby Eli, bassist...
Full Bio