This was $5 at a record show, probably from last year. I bought it at my first record show ,at which point I was trying to diversify the site. I still would like to play more soul on the site but I have a huge backlog of records, especially from Half Price, where soul is a bit harder to find.
The O’Jays were a vocal group from Canton ,Ohio. Formed by Eddie Levert, Walter Williams, William Powell, Bobby Massey, and Bill Isles, the group had some modest success with singles and touring in the 1960’s. Massey and Isles left, but the group continued as a trio. Bolstered by the songwriting skills of Gamble and Huff, the group popularized Philadelphia Soul with hits such as “Backstabbers” and “Love Train”.
Success followed throughout the 70’s, but Powell would die in 1977 of cancer at age 35, but he was replaced by Sammy Strain. Success and the 80;s followed but by 1990, their recorded output would slow down. They still perform today and are a popular draw, with Eric Grant, replacing Strain.
The O’Jays Web Page
This album, originally recorded in 1970, is pretty interesting. It was made right before the band signed with the label Philadelphia International which was the source of much of their success. Yet, it features songs by Gamble and Huff and has the beginnings of the Philly sound. Reading the copy on the back, it is clear that this is a reprinting from 1973.
Anyway, when this was recorded, the band had little idea how successful the Philly Sound would be. There are a good number of pretty good songs including “One Night Affair”, “It’s Too Strong”, “Let Me In Your World”, and “Looky Looky”. There is a good version of “Something” (with songwriting credits to G. Garrison) but it is ruined by the inclusion of “Little Green Apples” in a medley form. Also, if I were to lodge a complaint, the songs seems to fade out too quickly. Other than this it is a decent album.
For a sample, I went with the western themed “Branded Bad”.
Satisfactory record. It is an interesting beginning not just for the band, but for Philly Soul as well.