Yesterday I had the blues.....
Released August 1972
Recorded at Sigma Sound Studios, Philadelphia
As a debut album, and one of the first from the Philadelphia International composing pair of Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff, this is a pretty assured effort. It is full of extended, laid back soul workouts, topped off with the great voice of Teddy Pendergrass (who took over from Harold Melvin on lead vocals, but the group kept their name, so everyone thought Pendergrass was Harold Melvin. Confusing!).
1. I Miss You
2. Ebony Woman
3. Yesterday I Had The Blues
4. If You Don't Know Me By Now
5. Be For Real
6. Let Me Into Your World
7. Let It Be You
8. I MissYou Pt. 1
Some of the tracks probably last a little too long - “I Miss You”, “Yesterday I Had The Blues” and the largely spoken “Be For Real” (by the time the singing starts the song sort of loses one’s attention), but to be fair, they just sort of flow on, in a complete river of quality soul, so it doesn’t really matter. The group were doing Barry White-style numbers before White himself.
Other tracks, like “Ebony Woman”, “Let Me Into Your World” and “Let It Be You” are basically unremarkable, but at the same time notable in their sheer quality. Strange effect that this album has. The one thing that stands out is that quite intangible thing - quality.
Speaking of “Be For Real”, the bonus “single version” is probably the better listen, containing as it does just the singing part of the track.
One track that definitely has the “X” factor is the now world-famous and much covered “If You Don’t Know Me By Now”, the track that sealed Pendergrass’s position as lead vocalist.