Salsoul Orchestra

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Salsoul Orchestra
OriginNew York, New York
GenresDance, soul, disco, pop
Years active1974–1983
LabelsSalsoul Records
Past membersVincent Montana Jr.
Ronnie Baker
Gordon Edwards
Bobby Eli
Dennis Harris
Norman Harris
Larry Washington
Earl Young

The Salsoul Orchestra was the backing band of session musicians for many acts on the New York City label Salsoul Records and, under its own name, recorded several hit singles and albums between 1975 and 1982.


The orchestra was formed in 1974 and was disbanded in 1982. Their music featured elements of Philadelphia soul, funk, Latin and disco.[1] The Salsoul Orchestra included up to 50 members and was created and masterminded for Salsoul Records by Philadelphia musician Vincent Montana, Jr. Montana wrote, arranged, conducted, produced and played on all of the orchestra's tracks until 1978, including a gold-selling Christmas album.[2]

The Salsoul Orchestra initially consisted of many of the original members of Philadelphia International's MFSB, who had moved to Salsoul as the result of a disagreement with producers Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff over finances. Other members began performing as the Ritchie Family and as John Davis and the Monster Orchestra. Many large disco orchestras became popular at around the same time, including Philly's MFSB. Some may say that there were many similarities between the Salsoul Orchestra and MFSB, with whom Vincent Montana also worked. However, the Salsoul Orchestra was more of a string-based sound while MFSB was a bit more big band in nature with five saxophones, which to Montana never sounded quite right and which he omitted from Salsoul's lineup with the exception of the baritone sax. The orchestra's biggest chart singles were 1976's reworked version of the standard "Tangerine" (pop #18, R&B #36) and "Nice 'N' Naasty" (R&B #20, pop #30) later in the same year.[3]

When Montana left Salsoul, the orchestra recorded a final album at Sigma Sound Studios in Philadelphia mainly with producer Bunny Sigler. The orchestra's last three albums were recorded in New York City with local session players and producers, including Patrick Adams and Tom Moulton.

The orchestra's track "Love Break (Ooh I Love It)" has been sampled in rap songs such as 50 Cent's "Candyshop" and Eric B & Rakim's "Paid in Full". Also Madonna's "Vogue" used samples of the track, the inclusion of which was later the subject of a lawsuit that ended in Madonna's favor.

From December 24, 1977, to 1986, the song "Salsoul 3001" (whose intro sequence is based on Richard Strauss' "Also sprach Zarathustra") was used in the Soviet TV game What? Where? When?


Studio albums[edit]

Year Album Peak chart positions Record label

1975 The Salsoul Orchestra 14 20 47 Salsoul
1976 Nice 'n' Naasty 61 23
Christmas Jollies 38
1977 Magic Journey 61 51
Cuchi-Cuchi (with Charo) 100
1978 Up the Yellow Brick Road 117 52
How Deep Is Your Love
1979 Street Sense
How High 201
1981 Christmas Jollies II 170
1982 Heat It Up
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Compilation albums[edit]

Year Album Peak Record label
1978 Greatest Disco Hits: Music for Non-Stop Dancing 97 Salsoul
1994 Anthology
2005 The Anthology Suss'd
2010 The Salsoul Orchestra Story: 35th Anniversary Collection Groove Line
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.


Year Title Peak chart positions


1975 "I Just Can't Give You Up" (with Floyd Smith)
"Salsoul Hustle" 76 44 4
1976 "Tangerine" 18 36 21 21
"You're Just the Right Size" 88 76
"Nice 'n' Naasty" 30 20 3 87
1977 "Ritzy Mambo" 99
"Short Shorts" 106
"Getaway" 33 3
"Run Away" (featuring Loleatta Holloway) 84
"Magic Bird of Fire"
"Dance a Little Bit Closer" (with Charo) 104 18 44
"We Wish You a Merry Christmas"
1978 "West Side Encounter" / "West Side Story" (medley) 68 13
"Ease on Down the Road"
"Fiddler on the Roof" (medley)
"Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band"
"The Little Drummer Boy"
1979 "Sun After the Rain"
"Street Sense" 40
"212 North 12th"
"How High" (featuring Cognac) 105 66 21
1981 "Deck the Halls"
1982 "Take Some Time Out (For Love)" 52 46
"Seconds" (featuring Loleatta Holloway) 22
1983 "Ooh, I Love It (Love Break)" 19 83
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Bush, John. "Artist Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved September 28, 2021.
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2000). Top Pop Singles 1955–1999. Record Research Inc. p. 429. ISBN 0-89820-139-X.
  3. ^ "The Salsoul Orchestra Top Songs / Chart Singles Discography". Music VF. Retrieved September 28, 2021.
  4. ^ a b c d e f "US Charts > Salsoul Orchestra". Billboard. Archived from the original on September 29, 2014.
  5. ^ a b "CAN Charts > Salsoul Orchestra". RPM.
  6. ^ "NL Charts > Salsoul Orchestra". Dutch Charts. Retrieved December 4, 2021.
  7. ^ "UK Charts > Salsoul Orchestra". Official Charts Company. Retrieved February 21, 2016.

External links[edit]