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A Little Soul Party

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Album Review

A Little Soul Party, released in 1999 by the U.K.-based Almafame, is a two-disc set that combines the Ohio Players' first album, Observations in Time, with a set of early recordings originally issued as First Impressions. Prior to becoming a rock-solid funk band, the Ohio Players were more like a Stax act that made tough but sensitive Southern soul. The difference between "Bad Bargain" — a highlight here — and "Skin Tight," for instance, is enormous. Southern soul freaks should enjoy this, while fans of the Ohio Players' peak '70s hits might not. Regardless, this material deserves to be in circulation.


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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A Little Soul Party, Ohio Players
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