Philadelphia International Records


The label was founded in 1971 by Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff in Philadelphia.

Distributed by CBS, until 1985 when Manhattan Records (owned by Capitol Records) took over distribution up to 1987. The label is presently owned by Sony Music Entertainment Inc. and reissues and compilations are by subsidiaries Epic and Legacy.

For counterfeit releases use Philadelphia International Records (2)

LC 02830
LC 2830

Parent Label:Sony Music Entertainment Inc.
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  • BalooDP's avatar
    What is there to say about this glorious record label? As a Philly boy, no matter how many times I listen to these songs, no matter who remixes them, they never get old. Gamble & Huff truly perfected what Motown set out to do when starting Philadelphia International Records in 1971. Yet they never get any credit for being one of the biggest Black-owned record labels and stable of artists compared to Motown. PIR seems to be a footnote in history, totally disregarded by the national media. But we know at Discogs that this is the supreme music.

    For Gamble & Huff, the creation of PIR had everything come together perfectly that led to a 10-year domination on the charts:

    The rise of 32-track tape machines that allowed for the addition of the signature strings and horns that we know and love

    The signing of Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes, Teddy Pendergrass, The O'Jays, Billy Paul, Three Degrees, Patti LaBelle, Phyllis Hyman, The Intruders, Lou Rawls, The Jacksons, The Stylistics, and many more. So many hits and classics from so many artists. And that's just the PIR stable guys. We can't forget The Spinners, The Manhattans, the Stylistics, The Trammps, The Delfonics, and many more.

    The operation of Joe Tarsia's Sigma Sound Studios at 212 S. 12th Street. Tom Moulton said the upstairs of this place had an unbelievable sound. And clearly they had amazing engineers.

    The assembling of the best Philly-area bands and session players: The likes of Earl Young, Ronnie Baker, Vince Montana, the MFSB Orchestra, just managed to make everything they touched turned to gold. The sound was so distinctive that you can still hear Vince's vibes on more recent amazing tracks like Incognito - Always There (Masters at Work Remix), Randy Crawford - Wishing On A Star, and the club hit Marc Evans - I Love The Way You Love Me (Dimitri from Paris T.S.O.P. Remix)

    Then there was the songwriters: McFadden and Whitehead, Bunny Siegler, Thom Bell, Dexter Wansel, and Gamble & Huff themselves. These guys knew how to write a tune!

    Philadelphia's music scene assembled some of the best talent all in one place to mix together what Tom Moulton would dub "Soul music in Tuxedos." Even he played a huge role with his mixing prowess, inventing the 12" record, mixing the now classic "Philadelphia Classics" that was the rise of the disco remix. How can anyone not dance to MFSB feat. The Three Degrees - Love Is the Message that is 11:37 long? Unbelievable remix.

    I gave you the names. Now you should be going to look up what these guys did!!
    • dwilpower's avatar
      Philadelphia International Records, the legendary Gamble & Huff created an amazing roster of talent that included the O'Jays Harold Melvin & the Bluenotes, Teddy Pedergrass, Billy Paul, The Intruders , the Three Degrees, Lou Rawls. The music is iconic and became the lush orchestral soul of the early to mid 70s. An important element in the development of the sound that would become known as DISCO
      • Class77's avatar
        Edited 4 years ago
        Wow nobody has commented on this?? Where do i start? These guys were House Music, Techno, and other electronic music got there spirit and soul from. Such beauty and talent comes from full on instrumentals of having a full band. Violin, drums, background singers, killer bassist. I mean its hard to replicate this organic sound. About to search through all this. 2000 records is ALLOT! Would love to create a sound like this again in this era but it seems impossible. Playing in this type of music is where i'd be in the 70's. Love Disco