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"More than a place, the Shady Dell was and will forever remain a state of mind." - Shady Del Knight

"More than a place, the Shady Dell was and will forever remain a state of mind." - Shady Del Knight

Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Real, Seldom Heard, Under Appreciated and Totally Neglected Best of the Delfonics!

Introducing the real sound of Philadelphia - two of the greatest sweet soul recordings ever produced, and two more inductees into Shady’s Law Hall of Fame.

Shady’s Law = the greater the song, the lower its chart position tends to be.

If it please the court, in order to make my Case of the Neglected Nuggets, I hereby offer into evidence exhibits A and B: “He Don’t Really Love You” and “You’ve Been Untrue”...the real best of the Delfonics. These two superb soul recordings were made in late 1966 at the studios of Cameo-Parkway just before the label folded due to financial difficulties.

With rich vocal harmonies reverberating inside an echo chamber and full-blown orchestration that featured dramatic kettle drums, “He Don’t Really Love You” and “You’ve Been Untrue” are stoned-to-the-bone Philly soul classics. Both produce fever and chills simultaneously. Listening to these songs is like sitting in a sauna and being showered with ice crystals!

“He Don’t Really Love You” was released on the Moon Shot imprint. (Maybe they should have called it Long Shot.) On the B side of the 45 was another fine song entitled “Without You.” The single generated some excitement around the Philadelphia area for a short while, but garnered little interest outside of the Delaware Valley.

It was only after the Delfonics hit it it big with their top 5 single “La-La Means I Love You” that “He Don’t Really Love You” was rereleased and finally made a brief appearance on Billboard in May of 1968. The song lingered on the chart for just four weeks before vanishing and never climbed above a disappointing #92. No way, are you serious? This ultra cool slice of Philly soul is better than “La-La…” or anything else the Delfonics released on Philly Groove!


The story was similar with “You’ve Been Untrue.”

The song was released on a Cameo 45, briefly stirred some local interest, but failed to make the Billboard chart. It didn’t even make a dent in the Bubbling Under chart. Gimme a break!


Unsolved mystery #1: Why didn't these two superb soul songs, "He Don't Really Love You" and "You've Been Untrue," become hits?

Unsolved mystery #2: The Delfonics have numerous "best of" compilations on the market. Why aren't these two gems included on any of them?

"He Don't Really Love You" appears on several of those comps but beware - it is not the original. It is a lame rerecorded version!

Why do the decision makers keep recycling, repackaging, and rereleasing the same Delfonics songs while ignoring the true essentials, the group's two best career recordings: "He Don't Really Love You" and "You've Been Untrue"? How many copies of "La La" do you think we need, guys?

Mercifully, the original version of "He Don't Really Love You" can be found on the fine various artists CD entitled Doctor Good Soul...

and on another entitled Tuff Stuff: Dusty Steppers.

In addition, the original versions of both of these Delfonics classics can be found on the 4-CD Cameo-Parkway box.

Closing argument:

“He Don’t Really Love You” and “You’ve Been Untrue” are the best of the Delfonics. Unlike some of their later material which sounds derivative and formulaic, these two songs sound as fresh today as they did in the 60s when they were recorded. "He Don't Really Love You" and "You've Been Untrue" are two of the finest examples of the emerging ultra-cool Sound of Philadelphia and two of the greatest lost soul treasures of all time. Case closed, next case.

Have a Shady day!

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