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Editors’ Notes

Signed to a Detroit label (Westbound, home to Funkadelic), The Ohio Players released their second album three years after their Capitol Records debut, to little fanfare. The 1972 release (expanded here from six to 13 songs) peaked at No. 177 on the Billboard album chart, a number that hardly foreshadowed their future successes. Still, the album’s stature has grown tremendously over the years, and for good reason. It swings with groove-heavy funk and soul, soothes with blues and jazz, and mixes social protestations (their faithful cover of Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On” is sublime) with slow sizzles that celebrate their love of humanity. The title song’s a flute-enhanced dancefloor shimmy to relationships, while “Players Ballin’ (Players Doin’ Their Own Thing)” is gloriously Sly Stone–esque down to the handclaps, wah-wah guitar, and throaty yelps. They get tender on the much-sampled “Never Had a Dream” and teardrop-bluesy on “The Reds.” Both Traffic’s “Feelin’ Alright” and Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Proud Mary” get the group’s full-on funk treatment.

Customer Reviews

Pain

This album is from the Westbound record label that used to be in Detroit on W. 8 Mile Rd. We was groovin to Pain, Pleasure, Ecstasy during that time. They had a major fan base in Detroit and this music and many of their jams took me thru high school and some of the best times in my life. The Ohio Players were one of the premier bands of the 70's fo' sho!!!

Very Good

Would somebody please explain to me why Pain, Pleasure, and Ecstacy all have a buncha extra tracks on them only on iTunes? I want these on CD--not as AAC.

Great!

A lot of the extra tracks were bundled with some previously released tracks and appeared on two Westbound vinyl releases of unfinished tracks: Climax 1974 & Rattlesnake 1975. As far as I know, to date, neither have been released on CD. Time & Space, Feelin' Alright, If You Were My Woman, Ain't That Loving You, Trans-Maximus and Satan's Boogie did not appear on Climax or Rattlesnake. I am happy to have any digital version.

Biography

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...
Full Bio