Most of Teddy Pendergrass’s post-paralysis music was meh. With a slightly compromised vocal range, his later songs didn’t generate the heat that songs like “Close The Door” and “Turn Off The Lights” did. He also didn’t have Kenny Gamble, Leon Huff and their crew writing songs for him after Philadelphia International let him go and he signed with Elektra. Not to say writers/producers ranging from (ugh) Michael Masser to Gerald LeVert and Reggie Calloway didn’t try their best, but no way in hell any of them matches up to peak era Philly Soul. Kudos to Teddy for soldiering on and making decent if not great music for two decades after an incident that would’ve ended most other careers.
“Believe In Love” is a pleasant enough mid-tempo song that appears on TP’s 1993 album A Little More Magic. The “Phat Phili” remix toughens the backbeat, throws in a jazzy/bluesy guitar hook, adds some Dr. Dre-style high-end synth sounds, and brings forward the female background vocals. This made it a vast improvement over the original, which-to be honest-I didn’t hear until I was quite familiar with the remixed version. Teddy is pushing the top of his range on here, literally belting the bridge with almost as much chesty bravado as he had in his glory days.
WBLS in New York City leaned hard on “Believe In Love” and it became something of a regional hit. I was working at Tower by this time, and fans were P.O.’ed because a) the remixed version of the song didn’t appear on A Little More Magic (I think that may have changed at some point, but it was after “Believe In Love”’s moment in the sun) and b) the single was only available on cassette. Not the greatest marketing move on Teddy’s label’s part, although I believe this was his last album for them anyway.