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The Ohio Players

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Album Review

This self-titled budget LP from 1978 could be described as a partial reissue of 1968's Observations in Time, which was the Ohio Players' only album for Capitol. "Partial" is the operative word; The Ohio Players contains nine of the 11 songs that were on Observations in Time. But for some reason — possibly licensing restrictions — "Street Party" and "The Man That I Am" (both of which owe an obvious debt to the Memphis soul of Stax Records) are missing. Everything else offered on Observations in Time is offered on this LP, and that includes the minor hit "Here Today and Gone Tomorrow" as well as the Players' interesting, jazz-influenced versions of George Gershwin's "Summertime" and Harold Arlen's "Over the Rainbow." Back in the late '70s, no one went broke acquiring The Ohio Players, which sold for as little as $2 in some mom-and-pop record stores. At that price, listeners didn't expect miracles — although it would have been nice if Pickwick had reissued Observations in Time in its entirety.


Formed: 1959 in Dayton, OH

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

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...
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