Wednesday, January 14, 2015


In 1973, Johnny Mathis boarded the love train with the destination of Philadelphia.  The velvet-voiced vocalist was already a music legend when he teamed with Thom Bell, architect of the Philadelphia soul sound via his groundbreaking work with The Delfonics, The Stylistics and The Spinners. The pairing of the smooth balladeer with the chart-topping R&B quadruple threat (producer-songwriter-arranger-conductor) might have seemed unlikely at first, but Mathis and Bell shared an elegant, sophisticated and romantic sensibility built on pop melodies and heartfelt soul.  

Now, for the very first time, the complete collaborations of Johnny Mathis and Thom Bell are being collected on one 2-CD set.  Life Is a Song Worth Singing—The Complete Thom Bell Sessions, from Real Gone Music and its newly christened Second Disc Records imprint, celebrates one of the most fruitful partnerships in modern soul music by presenting both 1973’s I’m Coming Home album (featuring the No. 1 AC hit title track, the Top 10 AC hit “Life Is a Song Worth Singing” and Mathis’ own versions of The Stylistics’ favorites “I’m Stone in Love with You” and “Stop, Look, Listen (To Your Heart)”) and the worldwide CD premiere of 1977’s Mathis Is release (with the original version of “Loving You – Losing You,” a Top 30 AC hit for Mathis and later a Top 40 R&B hit for Phyllis Hyman).  

This comprehensive collection of sweet Philly soul also adds a number of rare, never-on-CD single versions, two previously unreleased instrumental tracks showcasing Bell’s orchestral splendor, and five more silky Mathis renditions of Bell classics recorded between 1972 and 2008 including “Betcha by Golly Wow” and “You Make Me Feel Brand New.”  The Second Disc’s Joe Marchese has penned the liner notes for this collection, which has been freshly remastered by Sean Brennan at Sony’s Battery Studios.  Life Is a Song Worth Singing—The Complete Thom Bell Sessions sheds new light on an oft-overlooked collaboration between two of American popular song’s towering talents.  The collection will be released on March 10, 2015.


Disc One
I’m Coming Home
1. I’m Coming Home
2. I’d Rather Be Here with You
3. Foolish
4. I’m Stone in Love with You
5. And I Think That’s What I’ll Do
6. Life Is a Song Worth Singing
7. A Baby’s Born
8. Sweet Child
9. Stop, Look, Listen (to Your Heart)
10. I Just Wanted to Be Me
Bonus Tracks
11. I’m Coming Home (Stereo Single Version)
12. I’m Stone in Love with You (Unreleased Instrumental Version)
13. And I Think That’s What I’ll Do (Unreleased Instrumental Version)
14. Life Is a Song Worth Singing (Mono Single Edit)

Disc Two:
Mathis Is
1. As Long As We’re Together
2. Lullaby of Love
3. Loving You—Losing You
4. I’ll Make You Happy
5. Heaven Must Have Made You Just for Me
6. Hung Up in the Middle of Love
7. World of Laughter
8. I Don’t Want to Say No
9. Sweet Love of Mine
Bonus Tracks
10. Betcha by Golly Wow
11. Break Up to Make Up
12. You’re As Right As Rain
13. You Brought Me Love
14. You Make Me Feel Brand New
15. Loving You—Losing You (Mono Single Version)

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