The O’Jays – Best of the O’Jays | 2CD | 2007 | MP3

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The O”Jays – Best of the O”Jays | 2CD | 2007 | MP3
 Artist: The Ojays
Title: Best of the O”Jays
Year Of Release: 2007
Label: Mastercuts Gold
Genre: Soul, Funk
Quality: Mp3 320
Total Time: 01:16:26
Total Size: 200 Mb
Disc: 1
1. Love Train
2. Now That We Found Love
3. Put Your Hands Together
4. Back Stabbers
5. For the Love of Money
6. You Got Your Hooks in Me
7. Listen To The Clock On The Wall
8. Don”t Call Me Brother
9. Deeper (In Love With You)
10. People Keep Tellin” Me
Disc: 2
1. 992 Arguments
2. Shiftless, Shady, Jealous Kind Of People
3. Sunshine
4. Let Me in Your World
5. Time to Get Down
6. When the World”s at Peace
7. Who I Am
8. (They Call Me) Mr. Lucky
9. Branded Bad
10. I”ve Got the Groove
The O”Jays were one of Philadelphia soul”s most popular and long-lived
outfits, rivaled only by the Spinners as soul”s greatest vocal group of
the “70s. In their prime, the O”Jays” recordings epitomized the Philly
soul sound: smooth, rich harmonies backed by elaborate arrangements,
lush strings, and a touch of contemporary funk. They worked extensively
with the legendary production/songwriting team of Kenny Gamble and Leon
Huff, becoming the flagship artist of the duo”s Philadelphia
International label. The O”Jays were equally at home singing sweet love
ballads or uptempo dance tunes, the latter of which were often
mouthpieces for Gamble & Huff”s social concerns. Although the O”Jays couldn”t sustain their widespread popularity in the post-disco age,
they have continued to record steadily all the way up to the present
day, modifying their production to keep up with the times.
The O”Jays were formed in 1958 in Canton, OH, where all five original members —
Eddie Levert, Walter Williams, William Powell, Bill Isles, and Bobby
Massey — attended McKinley High School. Inspired to start a singing
group after seeing a performance by Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers,
they first called themselves the Triumphs, then switched to the Mascots
in 1960. The Mascots made their recording debut in 1961 with the single
“Miracles,” issued on the Cincinnati-based King label. It earned them a
fan in the influential Cleveland DJ Eddie O”Jay, who gave them some
airplay and career advice; in turn, the group renamed itself the O”Jays
in 1963, after having recorded for Apollo Records with producer Don
Davis. Under their new name, the O”Jays signed with Imperial and hooked
up with producer H.B. Barnum, who would helm their first charting
single, 1963″s “Lonely Drifter,” plus several more singles that
followed. Isles left the group in 1965 and was not replaced, leaving
them a quartet; late in the year, they released their first-ever album,
Comin” Through. In 1967, the O”Jays left Imperial for Bell, where they
landed their first Top Ten single on the R&B charts, “I”ll Be
Sweeter Tomorrow (Than I Was Today).” Discouraged by the difficulty of
following that success, the group members considered throwing in the
towel until they met Gamble & Huff — then working as a production
team for the Neptune label — in 1968. Gamble & Huff took an interest in the group, and they recorded several successful R&B singles
together; however, Neptune folded in 1971, leaving the O”Jays in limbo,
and Massey decided to exit the group.
Fortunately, Gamble & Huff
formed their own label, Philadelphia International, and made the O”Jays — now a trio — one of their first signings. The O”Jays” label debut, Back Stabbers, released in 1972, became a classic landmark of Philly soul,
and finally made them stars; the paranoid title track hit the pop Top
Five, and the utopian “Love Train” went all the way to number one (both
singles topped the R&B charts). It was the beginning of a remarkable run that produced nearly 30 chart singles over the course of the “70s,
plus a series of best-selling albums and a bevy of number one hits on
the R&B charts. The O”Jays followed up their breakthrough with
another classic LP, Ship Ahoy, in 1973; it featured the number one
R&B hit “For the Love of Money,” a funky protest number that still
ranks as one of their signature songs, as well as the ten-minute title
track, an ambitious suite recounting the ocean journeys of African
slaves. Released in 1975, Survival was another hit, spinning off the
hits “Let Me Make Love to You” and the R&B number one “Give the
People What They Want.” Family Reunion found the O”Jays making
concessions to the emerging disco sound, which got them their third Top
Five pop hit in “I Love Music, Pt. 1.” Unfortunately, William Powell was diagnosed with cancer that year, and although he continued to record
with the group for a time (appearing on 1976″s Message in Our Music), he was forced to retire from live performing, and passed away on May 26,
1977.
Powell”s replacement was Sammy Strain, a 12-year veteran of
Little Anthony & the Imperials. The O”Jays regrouped on the albums
Travelin” at the Speed of Thought (1977) and So Full of Love (1978), the latter of which produced their final Top Five pop hit, “Use ta Be My
Girl.” Released in 1979, Identify Yourself began to show signs of wear
and tear in the group”s successful formula, and often consciously
attempted to follow disco trends. Although it sold respectably, it
marked the beginning of a decline in the O”Jays” commercial fortunes.
Undaunted by the increasingly diminished returns of their early-“80s
LPs, the group kept plugging away, and never completely disappeared from the R&B charts. They finally left Philadelphia International and
signed with EMI for 1987″s Let Me Touch You, which melded their classic
sound with up-to-date urban-R&B production. Powered by the Gamble
& Huff-penned R&B number one “Lovin” You,” as well as the
increased visibility of Eddie Levert”s sons Gerald and Sean (two-thirds
of the hit urban group LeVert), the album gave their career a
much-needed shot in the arm.
Released in 1989, Serious supplied
another big R&B hit in “Have You Had Your Love Today?”; with
Nathaniel Best replacing Sammy Strain, 1991″s Emotionally Yours and
1993″s Heartbreaker also placed very well on the R&B charts. The
O”Jays” comeback didn”t really extend to the pop side, and didn”t
attract the sort of critical praise earned by their “70s classics; as
the new jack swing craze subsided, so did the O”Jays” recording
activity, though they remained consistent draws on the live circuit. In
1997, now with Eric Grant joining Levert and Williams, they returned
with Love You to Tears. A recording layoff followed, during which the
O”Jays signed with MCA; they debuted for the label with For the Love…, which was released in 2001. Imagination followed in 2004 on Sanctuary
Records, while a new holiday album, Christmas with the O”Jays, appeared
in 2010 from Saguaro Road Records.
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