MFSB and The Three Degrees – TSOP (The Sound of Philadelphia)

First Hit #1: April 20, 1974

Disco group and acronym enthusiasts MFSB’s big hit, TSOP, was the theme song for Soul Train, which works on a couple levels. One, it’s a song that’s fun to dance to, an instrumental that exists solely to get people moving and have fun. Sure, every so often The Three Degrees show up to say “People all over the world!” a few times, before imploring everyone to either get it on or get down, but their presence isn’t that notable, it’s just to give another bit of texture to the disco dance party that inevitably will happen when you put on the track and bring Don Cornelius to the stage. Two, it’s the type of track that works really well in an abbreviated theme song, end credits, general TV context, but can get kind of grating if you’re not up dancing and/or watching people dance. If you are sitting behind a desk, for instance, it doesn’t work, it’s a song made for a very specific set of circumstances with no regard for any other possible usage. As a result, you had better be getting it on or getting down, or else it’s going to just be a somewhat repetitive dance track.

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