Personnel: Teddy Pendergrass (congas, bongos, hand claps, percussion); Dennis Harris , Norman Harris, Roland Chambers, Anthony Bell, Bobby Eli, Cecil Womack (guitars); Sam Reed (saxophone); Leon Huff (piano, keyboards); Lenny Pakula (organ); Thom Bell (keyboards, background vocals); Dexter Wansel, Jerry Cohen, Ron Kersey, Victor Carstarphen, Barry J. Eastmond (keyboards); Vince Montana (vibraphone); Bob Babbitt, Michael "Sugar Bear" Foreman, Ronnie Baker, James Williams (bass guitar); Karl Chambers, Keith Benson, Daryl Burgee, Earl Young, Quinton Joseph, Charles Collins (drums); David Cruse, Larry Washington (congas, bongos, hand claps, percussion); Evette Benton, Barbara Ingram, Carla Benson, Carl Helm, Joseph Jefferson, Kenny Gamble (background vocals).
Additional personnel: Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes.
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.