Dexter Wansel – Life on Mars


Keyboardist/arranger/producer/recording artist Dexter Wansel can be heard throughout the catalog of Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff’s Philadelphia International Records. In 1975, Wansel met Gamble & Huff when he was a member of a band called Yellow Sunshine, which also boasted guitarist Roland Chambers who would later become a part of MFSB, the house band for Gamble & Huff’s Philadelphia International Records. Becoming a part of the staff creative collective, Wansel began arranging, playing keyboards, and writing songs for the label’s acts including the O’Jays, Teddy Pendergrass, and the Intruders, among others. His skills can be heard on non-PIR sides like Jermaine Jackson’s “Where Are You Now” from his gold LP Let’s Get Serious and “Tonight” from Junior’s Acquired Taste LP. His frequent songwriting partners were Cynthia Biggs, Bunny Sigler, and T. Life. A synth pioneer, Wansel’s first LP arranging assignment was several tracks on Carl Carlton’s 1975 LP, I Wanna Be With You, produced by Bunny Sigler. A Biggs/Wansel song, “The Sweetest Pain,” a duet between Wansel and Jean Carn, originally a 1979 single from Wansel’s Time Is Slipping Away LP, was a popular radio-aired LP from Loose Ends’ Zagora LP. Wansel’s own charting LPs were Life on Mars from summer 1976 (includes two tracks with Instant Funk, “Life on Mars” and You Can Be What You Wanna Be”), What the World Is Coming To, Voyager (with its great space-age oriented graphics) from spring 1978, and Time Is Slipping Away from 1979. Several tracks from his LPs were radio-aired LP tracks (the lushly orchestrated Theme From the Planets,” the spacy, funky “Disco Lights”) During the ’90s, Wansel continued to work with the reactivated Philadelphia International Records and occasionally toured.

little preview:


01. A Profhet Named K.G.
02. Life On Mars
03. Together Once Again
04. Stargazer
05. One Million Miles From Ground
06. You Can Be What You Wanna Be
07. Theme From The Planets
08. Rings Of Saturn

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2 Responses to “Dexter Wansel – Life on Mars”

  1. frank says:

    Good call, this is a right gem!!!
    Thank you!

  2. disco lights with built-in laser x-y scanner are the coolest stuff that you can add to your disco room ~*”

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