Sunday, 2 July 2017

Philadelphia classics

MFSB was one of my favourite group of musicians. This was the orchestra that backed many artistes from the Philadelphia International label. If I remember correctly, I have some four or five of their own albums. In particular, I've owned this double-LP album for such a long while. I think that it was in the late 1980s that I first saw it in a record shop at KOMTAR here in George Town. I had a cassette tape made of the songs but eventually, I ended up buying the record itself. I've also a compact disk of the same album which I hunted down through years later.

Anyway, I brought this album out from my cupboard this afternoon. Gave it a quick look-over, saw and thought that the record surfaces were still clean enough for the turntable and thus, decided to give it a spin. Bad decision. The moment the stylus touched the spinning surface, all the pops, hisses and crackles came through in all their loudness. No way could I enjoy the music with all the distraction.

The only solution was to clean the records to remove all the dirt that was the cause of all the surface noise. But I also knew that there was no guarantee that I would succeed totally. Still, no harm in trying. So that was what I did: I subjected the records to my time-tested method of cleaning them, a video of which I uploaded to youtube about seven years ago and had attracted some 49,645 views to date and several comments from people who were more obsessed with my bare feet than my record-cleaning technique.

Anyway, I did manage to dislodge a layer of brown gunk from the records. But after the gunk was removed, I must say that all the noise has also disappeared. Not only was the surface completely restored to black and shiny, the record looked like new. An almost mint condition. Wonderful stuff, my do-it-myself manual record cleaner.

Side A: Love is the message (MFSB), TSOP (The sound of Philadelphia) (MFSB, featuring The Three Degrees)
Side B: Dirty ol' man (The Three Degrees), I love music (The O'Jays)
Side C: Don't leave me this way (Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes), Love train (The O'Jays)
Side D: I'll always love my mama (Intruders), Bad luck (Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes)

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