Personnel: Teddy Pendergrass (congas, bongos, hand claps, percussion); Dennis Harris , Louie Shelton, Norman Harris, Roland Chambers, Anthony Bell, Bobby Eli, Cecil Womack (guitar); Sam Reed, Sam Reed (saxophone); Leon Huff (piano, Fender Rhodes piano, keyboards, background vocals); Lenny Pakula (organ); Thom Bell (keyboards, background vocals); Dexter Wansel, Jerry Cohen, Ron Kersey, Victor Carstarphen, Barry J. Eastmond, Randy Kerber (keyboards); Vince Montana (vibraphone); Karl Chambers, Keith Benson, Daryl Burgee, Earl Young, Quinton Joseph, Carlos Vega, Charles Collins , Charlie Collins (drums); David Cruse, Larry Washington (congas, bongos, hand claps, percussion); Evette Benton, Barbara Ingram, Carla Benson, Carl Helm, Joseph B. Jefferson, Joseph Jefferson, Kenny Gamble (background vocals).
Audio Mixers: Michael Hutchinson; Jerry Block; Bruce Bluesteen; Vincent Warsavage; Dexter Wansel; Dirk Devlin; Frank Luria; Bruce Bluesteen; Carl Paroulo; Michael Tarsia; Jeffrey Stewart; Bill Dorman; Jim Dougherty; Quinton Joseph; Darrell Rogers; Vince Warsavage; Scott McMinn; Jay Mark; Jim Gallagher; Joe Tarsia; Mike Tarsia; Paul Martin; Peter Humphreys; Rocky Schnaars; Arthur Stoppe; Bill Schnee; Bruce Springsteen; Carla Bandini.
Liner Note Author: William C. Rhoden.
Author: Kenny Gamble.
Photographers: Don Hunstein; Lennox Smillie; Ronald G. Harris; Scott Weiner; Bruce Talamon; Ronald Harris.
Arrangers: Dexter Wansel; Gene Page; Bobby Martin ; Jack Faith; Jim Salamone; Michael Masser; Norman Harris; Teddy Pendergrass; Thom Bell; Anthony Bell.
THE ESSENTIAL TEDDY PENDERGRASS is a meticulously selected and assembled collection of the R&B singer's best material. Across two discs ESSENTIAL covers all Pendergrass's biggest hits (he regularly topped the R&B charts in the late 1970s and '80s) from both his early Philadelphia International tenure and his later stint at Elektra.
Pendergrass cut some excellent uptempo dance tracks, funky workouts that made good use of his forceful pipes, and several of those are included here. But the man is best known for his romantic material, and rightfully so. His intimate, sensual croon will forever make tunes like "Turn Off the Lights" and "Close the Door" seduction staples. Those and many more are included here, making ESSENTIAL a definitive statement on Pendergrass's place in the R&B canon.