HARD... RAW... DEEP... FUNK: Ohio Players - Jam (1977)

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Ohio Players - Jam (1977)

 "With their slinky, horn-powered grooves, impeccable musicianship, and eye-popping album covers, the Ohio Players were among the top funk bands of the mid-'70s. Emerging from the musical hotbed of Dayton in 1959, the group was originally dubbed the Ohio Untouchables, and initially comprised singer/guitarist Robert Ward, bassist Marshall "Rock" Jones, saxophonist/guitarist Clarence "Satch" Satchell, drummer Cornelius Johnson, and trumpeter/trombonist Ralph "Pee Wee" Middlebrooks. In late 1961, a relative of Ward's founded the Detroit-based Lupine Records, and the group traveled north to the Motor City to back the Falcons on their hit "I Found a Love"; the Ohio Untouchables soon made their headlining debut with "Love Is Amazing," but when Ward subsequently exited for a solo career, the group essentially disbanded.

At Mercury, the Ohio Players enjoyed their greatest success; not only did their sound coalesce, but they became notorious for their sexually provocative LP covers, a tradition begun during their Westbound tenure. Their 1974 Mercury debut, Skin Tight, was their first unequivocal classic, launching the hit title track as well as "Jive Turkey." Its follow-up, Fire, remains the Players' masterpiece, topping the pop charts on the strength of its bone-rattling title cut, itself a number one hit; "I Want to Be Free," one of the band's few attempts at social commentary, was also highly successful. 1975's Honey -- which featured perhaps the Players' most controversial and erotic cover to date -- was another monster, generating the chart-topping masterpiece "Love Rollercoaster" in addition to the hits "Sweet Sticky Thing" and "Fopp."



1. Ohio Players - Merry Go Round (4:52)
2. Ohio Players - Love Rollercoaster (5:57)
3. Ohio Players - Alone (8:02)
4. Ohio Players - Skin Tight (4:34)
5. Ohio Players - Fopp (4:28)
6. Ohio Players - Magic Trick (3:53)
7. Ohio Players - Good Luck Charm (7:43)
8. Ohio Players - Fire (11:00)
9. Ohio Players - O-H-I-O (3:49)
10. Ohio Players - Sugar's Blues (2:49)
11. Ohio Players - O-H-I-O (Reprise) (1:25)

Ohio Players -  O-H-I-O

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