The Essential Love Songs of Philadelphia: “Love, Need, and Want You” by Patti LaBelle

Patti LaBelle’s I’m In Love Again | via Genius

Every day leading up to Valentine’s Day this year, The Key is recapping 14 songs that scream “love” just as strongly as they scream “Philly.” The Essential Love Songs of Philadelphia continues with “Love, Need, and Want You” from Patti LaBelle’s 1983 album I’m In Love Again.

From Motown to Stax, every classic label had its own musical style and signature. In the late 60s through the 80s, the records produced at Sigma Sound Studios in Philadelphia, under the production guidance of Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, were no exception. The Sound of Philly was applied to the incredible Patti LaBelle, when she signed with Philly International after releasing four solo albums on Epic Records. With her mid-70s success behind her, she released her sixth studio album, I’m In Love Again, in 1983.

I’m In Love Again put LaBelle back on the record charts and the radio after several years. The album produced two hits, the biggest of which was “If Only You Knew,” which spent four weeks as the number one on the Billboard R&B charts. The follow-up single, was “Love, Need and Want You,” written by Kenny Gamble and Bunny Sigler. The song is a quintessential Philly International turn-the-lights-down low and let’s make love jam. Vocally, it’s pure Patti. She rides the melody like gorgeous midnight blue, yearning in love, hopeful in love, shouting about being in love at the top of the mountain. Continue reading →


Philly songwriter and producer Danny Sembello passes away at 52

Danny Sembello - credi - Momma Kanga
Danny Sembello | Credit: Momma Kanga / YouTube

This past weekend, Philadelphia singer-songwriter, producer, and multi-instrumentalist Danny Sembello passed away at age 52. According to a report, his body was found in the Schuykill River on August 15th.

The brother of Michael Sembello (who sang the 80s hit song “Maniac”), Danny Sembello had his own share of accomplishments. He wrote songs for countless artists, including “Neutron Dance” by the Pointer Sisters and “Stir It Up” by Patti LaBelle. Chaka Khan, Monica, Jeffrey Osborne, and Irene Cara were among some of the other artists who performed songs written by Sembello.

He won a Grammy for his contribution to the Beverly Hills Cop movie soundtrack. Continue reading →