Riding high off of a Grammy nod as Producer of the Year for his work on the Spinners 1973 eponymous album, Philly soul mastermind Thom Bell infused their next collection, Mighty Love (1974), with the similar mix of lushly scored slow jams and stylish midtempo R&B entries.
Although the group had been around since the mid-'50s, by the time the quintet began their stint on Atlantic, the lineup featured Henry Fambrough (baritone vocal), Billy Henderson (tenor vocal), Pervis Jackson (bass vocal), Bobbie Smith (tenor vocal), and the then-most-recent addition in 1971, Philippe Wynne (tenor vocal).
Several of Bell's distinct arrangements would not only become instant enthusiast favorites, but crossover hits as well.
While chronologically the first cut to make the charts -- as it had been released several weeks before the long-player -- the title track "Mighty Love" was ironically the last on the platter.
The latter turned in a soulful outing comparable to that of Al Green.
When featured as a focus track, it was split into two parts with "Mighty Love, Pt.
1" vaulting to the top of the R&B survey and up to number 20 as a Pop single.
The Bell co-penned "I'm Coming Home" followed with a chipper groove that showed off the tight horn section and a vibe that would reappear slightly reconfigured and significantly pumped up on "Rubberband Man" several years later.
Conversely, the tender seven-plus-minute ballad "Love Don't Love Nobody" is a heart-wrenching yet all too common tale of unrequited affection.
It's likewise a perfect vehicle for Wynne's precise tone and elastic vocal range, following in the successful footsteps of "I'm Coming Home" and "Love Don't Love Nobody" landing in the upper reaches (number four) of the R&B as well as the Top 20 (number 15) of the Pop countdown.
Tucked in between the more prominent selections are a few lesser-known but equally worthwhile sides, such as the exquisite and refined "He'll Never Love You Like I Do" and the funky, laid-back "Ain't No Price on Happiness," oozing the unmistakable sound of Philly soul.