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First Class

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Album Review

A classy parting shot for the "Me and Mrs. Jones" man, but then, all of Billy Paul's recordings on Philadelphia International reeked of class. Knowing that Billy is happiest singing in intimate, smoky night clubs, the producers create a similar atmosphere in the studio. Phil Terry and Phil Pugh's "What a Way to Love" finds Billy crooning in a higher range then normal, and he really works that upper register. Gamble & Huff's "So Good to See You Again" is a finger-snapper complete with some powerful vocals from Paul. Street lyricist extraordinaire Cary Gilbert co-wrote "False Faces" and the confessing "I Got to Put This Life Down." Billy's in great voice on this, his last Philadelphia International LP; he usually sounds kinda muddled, like he's got a mouth full of something... Isn't it time for a double CD of Billy Paul's best?

Customer Reviews

Bobby Bee

Like the review states, Billy reeked of class so this venture was no different. I'm not gonna single out this one albulm, I guess I'm a little partial to it because this is the one I bought first and really got into BP (Thank you Jay, Donna's)but EVERYONE should own 1 Billy Paul albulm!


Born: December 1, 1935 in Philadelphia, PA

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Billy Paul earned all his hits in the '70s as an R&B vocalist, although he'd been recording since the '50s, when he debuted on Jubilee. Born in Philadelphia in 1935, Paul was featured on radio broadcasts at the age of 11 and had an extensive jazz background. (He worked with Dinah Washington, Miles Davis, and Roberta Flack, as well as Charlie Parker, before forming a trio and recording for Jubilee.) His original 1959 recording of "Ebony Woman" for New Dawn was later re-recorded for Neptune as the...
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