The O'jays - Back Stabbers
So this month's Record Review is an oldie, but I'd be damned if I didn't say it wasn't a goodie. The O'jays are one of those groups where people love their songs, but they have no idea who the artists are. Surprise Challenge: I dare anyone to go look up "Love Train" or "For the Love of Money" by the O'jays and honestly tell me they've never heard those songs before
The O'jays are an R&B group formed in 1958 in Canton, Ohio. The three original members (Eddie Levert, Walter Williams, Bobby Massey, Bill Isles & William Powell). The group met one another in High School, and would start performing at sock hops and other small time gigs as The Triumphs or The Mascots, until they changed their name to The O'Jays in 1963 in tribute to Eddie O'Jay, a DJ from Cleveland.
The group had songs that were minor hits, but around the early seventies many of the members were getting tired of the music business. Two members (Bobby Massey & Bill Isles) would eventually leave the group. The remaining three members carried on and ended up in Philadelphia, where they met legendary music producers Kenneth Gamble & Leon Huff and signed to their label, Philadelphia International.
Gamble & Huff were known for creating the genre known as "Philly Soul" and you could definitely hear it in this album. The first thing I think of whenever I listen to this album are all the movies I saw from the 70s as a kid (Shaft, Dolemite, The Mack) with the Velvet Suites, and the Pimp Hats and The Cadillacs. The whole album just sounds like that 70s cool we see in a lot of movies that come from that era, or from movies and TV shows that talk about that time. What astonishes me though, is that the album doesn't sound as dated compared to other albums from that time. Granted, I probably would never hear anyone from this day and age coming out with a song like this, but at the same time I can see artists ...