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The Stylistics

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The Stylistics


The Stylistics were one of the first groups to spread the "Philly Sound," a lush, string-laden vibe that dominated soul music in the '70s. Largely produced by Thom Bell, the quartet scored numerous Top 10 R&B hits, making the kind of groovy ballads perfect for slow dancing and easy listening. Formed in 1968, the group originally consisted of lead falsetto Russell Thompkins, Jr., James Dunn, Airrion Love, James Smith and Herbie Murrell. In 1970, they scored their first hit, "You're a Big Girl Now." After joining up with Bell, they rattled off a string of classics: "Stop, Look, Listen (To Your Heart)," "Betcha By Golly, Wow," "You Are Everything," "People Make the World Go Round," "I'm Stone in Love with You," "Break Up to Make Up," and "You'll Never Get to Heaven (If You Break My Heart)." In 1974, Let's Put It All Together ascended to No. 14 on the album charts; its breakout single, "You Make Me Feel Brand New," was their biggest (and last) pop hit with Bell. The Stylistics continued to record throughout the '70s, albeit with less success. Although the group has splintered into several factions that work the oldies circuit, their music lives on in soul lovers' hearts.
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