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The Philadelphia writer and producer Thom Bell wrote this song with his brother Tony Bell and lyricist Linda Creed. This song is about giving everything up for love, and it's a great example of how in the Soul music milieu, the word "stoned
" often means "utterly devoted."
The Stylistics were formed in Philadelphia in 1968 by the members of two groups, The Percussions and The Monarchs. After local success with Sebring Records, they were signed by Avco, teamed initially with Thom Bell and later Van McCoy. During the early '70s, the band had 12 straight Top-10 hits, including "I'm Stone in Love With You," and also "You Are Everything," "Betcha by Golly, Wow," "Break Up to Make Up," and "You Make Me Feel Brand New." In the UK they were just as successful and they had a #1 hit in 1975 with "Can't Give You Anything (But My Love)." All of their hits were ballads featuring the soaring falsetto of Russell Thompkins jr.
In 1975, Johnny Mathis recorded this for his album I'm Coming Home, which was produced by Thom Bell. His version hit #10 in the UK.
This is one of many tracks recorded at Sigma Sound Studios in Philadelphia that helped define the "Philly Sound." A lot of it had to do with the studio house band, who were known as MFSB and had their own hit in 1973 with "TSOP (The Sound of Philadelphia)
." For more on what went on at Sigma Sound, and who the real background singers were, check out our interview with Phil Hurtt