My Favorite Record #2

The Three Degrees: Collage (Roulette, 1970)

This may be the coolest record in my collection. Nearly every time I play it out, a curious listener dashes up to the DJ booth to find out who, what, where, when! It was co-written by Joe Walsh, guitarist for Cleveland rock band, the James Gang and appeared on their debut album, Yer’ Album from 1969. A year later it turned up on the flip of the Three Degrees re-recorded version of the Chantels “Maybe.”A word of warning–“Maybe” came with a few different B-sides, so check before you buy! Both versions are brilliant; the James Gang’s leaning more heavily on folk-rock, whilst the Three Degrees get downright trippy, laying the psychedelia and soul on thick. The ever-changing Philadelphia girl trio already had 13 singles under their belt by the time this was released, but it would still be another few years before a turn towards disco would land them on the top of the charts–first with Soul Train theme song, “TSOP (The Sound of Philadelphia)” and then with “When Will I See You Again.”

Apologies for all the pops and crackle. I never managed to find a clean copy of this record. 

The James Gang original:

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