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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The O'Jays

Collection of The O'Jays




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 up-tempo 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 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 considered throwing in the towel until it 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 the group 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. 1975's 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 group 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." 1979's 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. 1989's 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 group's 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 group signed with MCA; they debuted for the label with For the Love..., which was released in 2001. Allmusic by Steve Huey




Album: Back On Top (1968)











01. I'll Be Sweeter Tomorrow
02. I'm So Glad I Found You
03. Going Going Gone
04. That's All Right
05. I Dig Your Act
06. Look Over Your Shoulder
07. You're Too Sweet
08. Just Another Guy
09. Four For The Price Of One
10. Love Is Everywhere
11. Now That I've Found You
12. I'll Be Seeing You
13. The Choice
14. I Miss You




http://www58.zippyshare.com/v/RwLWAlXM/file.html



Album: The O'Jays In Philadelphia (1969)










01. One Night Affair
02. You're The Best Thing Since Candy
03. Branded Bad
04. I Should Be Your Lover
05. Looky Looky (Look At Me Girl)
06. Deeper In Love With You
07. Let Me In Your World
08. Just Can't Get Enough
09. I've Got The Groove
10. Medley (Little Green Apples-Something)
11. It's Too Strong




http://www35.zippyshare.com/v/YANLtXeB/file.html



Album: Super Bad (1971)










01. Now He's Home
02. Little Brother
03. Crossroads Of Life
04. La De La
05. Peace
06. Shattered Man
07. Your Turn This Time
08. Just To Be With You
09. Gotta Get My Broom Out
10. Never Can Say Good Bye




http://www43.zippyshare.com/v/w7iRlYVl/file.html


Album: Back Stabbers (1972)









01. When the World's at Peace
02. Back Stabbers
03. Who Am I
04. (They Call Me) Mr. Lucky
05. Time to Get Down
06. 992 Arguments
07. Listen to the Clock on the Wall
08. Shiftless, Shady, Jealous Kind of People
09. Sunshine
10. Love Train




http://www14.zippyshare.com/v/MLeXVeNi/file.html



Album: Greatest Hits (1972)











01. Lonely Drifter
02. Oh, How You Hurt Me
03. Whip It On Me Baby
04. How Does It Feel
05. Lipstick Traces (On A Cigarette)
06. Stand Tall
07. I Cried My Last Tear
08. Working On Your Case
09. Crack Up Laughing
10. Stand In For Love




http://www76.zippyshare.com/v/kaizLQO9/file.html



Album: Ship Ahoy (1973)










01. Put Your Hands Together
02. Ship Ahoy
03. This Air I Breath
04. You Got Your Hooks In Me
05. For The Love Of Money
06. Now That We Found Love
07. Don't Call Me Brother
08. People Keep Tellin' Me



http://www51.zippyshare.com/v/bcbZkCyS/file.html


Album: Live In London (1974)










01. Instrumental Introduction Put You
02. When The World Is at Piece
03. Wildflower
04. Backstabbers
05. Sunshine
06. Love Train




http://www13.zippyshare.com/v/X37Wyosf/file.html


Album: Survival (1975)









01. Give the People What They Want
02. Let Me Make Love to You
03. Survival
04. Where Did We Go Wrong
05. Rich Get Richer
06. How Time Flies
07. What Am I Waiting For
08. Never Break Us Up




http://www48.zippyshare.com/v/87zgXNNl/file.html


Album: Family Reunion (1975)









01. Unity
02. Family Reunion
03. You and Me
04. She's Only a Woman
05. Livin' for the Weekend
06. Stairway to Heaven
07. I Love Music




http://www65.zippyshare.com/v/u6wfdCBb/file.html




Album: Message in the Music (1976)










01. Message in Our Music
02. A Prayer
03. Paradise
04. Make a Joyful Noise
05. Desire Me
06. Darlin' Darlin' Baby (Sweet Tender Love)
07. I Swear, I Love No One But You
08. Let Life Flow



http://www55.zippyshare.com/v/kbmB7LBl/file.html




Album: Travelin' at the Speed of Thought (1977)









01. Travelin' at the Speed of Thought
02. We're All in This Thing Together
03. So Glad I Got You, Girl
04. Stand Up
05. Those Lies
06. Feelings
07. Work On Me
08. Let's Spend Some Time Together



http://www10.zippyshare.com/v/dpwSbR8T/file.html




Album: Collectors' Items (1977)











01. Family Reunion
02. Survival
03. Give The People What They Want
04. Let Me Make Love To You
05. I Love Music
06. Stairway To Heaven
07. Backstabbers
08. For the Love of Money
09. Sunshine
10. You Got Your Hooks In Meme
11. Love Train
12. Livin' For The Weekend
13. Wildflower (Live)
14. Darlin' Darlin' Baby
15. Brand (I Really Miss You)




http://www43.zippyshare.com/v/m496hR4O/file.html




Album: So Full of Love (1978)










01. Sing My Heart Out
02. Use Ta Be My Girl
03. Cry Together
04. This Time Baby
05. Brandy (I Really Miss You)
06. Take Me to the Stars
07. Help (Somebody Please)
08. Strokety Stroke




http://www22.zippyshare.com/v/dbv26LoW/file.html



Album: Identify Yourself (1979)










01. Sing a Happy Song
02. Get on Out and Party
03. Identify
04. So Nice I Tried It Twice
05. Hurry up and Come Back
06. Forever Mine
07. I Want You Here With Me
08. One in a Million




http://www14.zippyshare.com/v/HwHQomvz/file.html




Album: The Year 2000 (1980)










01. The Year 2000
02. To Prove I Love You
03. You'll Never Know (All There Is to Know 'Bout My Love)
04. You're the Girl of My Dreams (Sho Nuff Real)
05. You Won't Fail
06. Girl, Don't Let It Get You Down
07. The Answer's in You
08. Once Is Not Enough




http://www10.zippyshare.com/v/iqCVYCjd/file.html



Album: My Favorite Person (1982)











01. I Just Want to Satisfy You
02. Your Body's Here With Me (But Your Mind's on the Other Side of Town)
03. My Favorite Person
04. One on One
05. I Like to See Us Get Down
06. Your True Heart (And Shining Star)
07. Out in the Real World
08. Don't Walk Away Mad




http://www15.zippyshare.com/v/mHYqrWn5/file.html




Album: When Will I See You Again (1983)










01. I Can't Stand The Pain
02. Betcha Don't Know (What Comes After That)
03. When Will I See You Again
04. House Of Fire
05. A Letter To My Friends
06. Put Our Heads Together
07. Ain'T Nothin' Wrong With Good Lovin'
08. Nice And Easy




http://www47.zippyshare.com/v/RvnDZxzo/file.html



Album: Love And More (1984)









01. I've Got To Fall In Love
02. Extraordinary Girl
03. I'm The Kind Of Man
04. Everybody's Dance Krazy
05. Summer Fling
06. I Really Need You Now
07. Love You Direct
08. Let Me Show You
09. Give My Love To The Ladies




http://www42.zippyshare.com/v/gHtmU7y9/file.html



Album: Love Fever (1985)











01. Can't Slow Down
02. Dollar Bill
03. All Eyes On America
04. Just Another Lonely Night
05. I Wanna Be With You Tonite
06. Love Fever
07. I Love America
08. What A Woman
09. We're Still Together
10. What Good Are These Arms Of Mine



http://www12.zippyshare.com/v/TDW9SyUs/file.html




Album: Let Me Touch You (1987)












01. Don't Take Your Love Away
02. Lovin' You
03. True Love Never Dies
04. Still Missing
05. I Just Want Somebody To Love Me
06. Let Me Touch You
07. Undercover Lover
08. No Lies To Cloud My Eyes
09. Don't Let The Dream Get Away
10. Cause I Want You Back Again




http://www53.zippyshare.com/v/tnK7Cr2E/file.html




Album: Serious (1989)











01. Out Of My Mind
02. Leave It Alone
03. Have You Had Your Love Today
04. Serious Hold On Me
05. Friend Of A Friend
06. Never Been Better
07. Rainbow
08. Fading
09. Pot Can't Cal The Kettle Black




http://www71.zippyshare.com/v/c8xkAtTP/file.html



Album: Emotionally Yours (1991)











01. Don't Let Me Down
02. Something For Nothing
03. Emotionally Yours (R&B Version)
04. Respect
05. Keep On Loving Me
06. Love & Trust
07. Don't You Know True Love
08. Emotionally Yours (Gospel Version)
09. That's How Love Is
10. Closer To You
11. If I Find Love Again
12. Keep On Pleasin' Me
13. Lies
14. Make It Feel Good




http://www73.zippyshare.com/v/k6KjNh29/file.html




Album: Heartbreaker (1993)











01. Cryin' The Blues
02. One Wonderful Girl
03. Somebody Else Will
04. Show Me The Right Way
05. Trouble
06. Can't Let You Go
07. Decisions
08. No Can Do
09. Heartbreaker
10. He Loves You




http://www40.zippyshare.com/v/jC4h3MmP/file.html




Album: For the Love (2001)












01. Long Distance Lover
02. Let's Ride
03. Don't Break My Heart
04. Put Out The Fire
05. Come Over To My House
06. I'm Ready Now
07. Searching For The Love I Lost
08. I Don't Know
09. Latin Lover
10. Baby Making Love
11. Sounds Like Me
12. [Untitled]




http://www56.zippyshare.com/v/i53dEiyF/file.html





Album: Ultimate Collection (2001)










01. I Love Music
02 Back Stabbers
03. Love Train
04. Put Your Hands Together
05. 992 Arguments
06. When the World's at Peace
07. For the Love of Money
08. Give the People What They Want
09. Survival
10. Time to Get Down
11. Sunshine
12. You Got Your Hooks in Me
13. Let Me Make Love to You
14. Stairway to Heaven
15. Family Reunion
16. Livin' for the Weekend




http://www29.zippyshare.com/v/uVkzJEoY/file.html



Album: Imagination (2004)












01. Made It Back
02. Repair Man
03. Make Up
04. Imagination
05. Chauvinistic
05. Separate Ways
07. Why You Wanna Settle For Less
08. Busy Tonight
09. One Good Woman
10. I Would Rather Cry
11. The Christmas Song




http://www19.zippyshare.com/v/viXrAbBf/file.html




Album: Together We Are One (2004)









01. All Eyes On Africa
02. Together We Are One
03. Your Place Or Mine
04. I Know What You're Doing (But I'm Too Scared To Do Something About It)
05. Ruler Of The Universe
06. Pretty Is As Pretty Does (Just Too Pretty For Words)
07. Promises
08. When Sunny Gets Blue
09. Just Don't Seem To Be My Day
10. Packin' My Bags (Movin' On)
11. Hurry Home
12. This Could Be The Last Time




http://www25.zippyshare.com/v/XauVdEZp/file.html



Album: Beautiful Ballads (2006)









01. Let Me Make Love to You
02. Stairway to Heaven
03. Family Reunion
04. Cry Together
05. Sunshine
06. Listen to the Clock on the Wall
07. Who Am I
08. Now That We Found Love
09. You Got Your Hooks in Me
10. I've Got the Groove
11. I Should Be Your Lover
12. Let Me in Your World
13. Emotionally Yours (Live)




http://www67.zippyshare.com/v/R5s9EoFY/file.html




Album: The Essential (2008)










CD1

01. Lonely Drifter
02. Lipstick Traces (On A Cigarette)
03. Stand In For Love
04. I'll Be Sweeter Tomorrow (Than I Was Today)
05. There's Someone (Waiting Back Home)
06. One Night Affair
07. Deeper (In Love With You)
08. Back Stabbers
09. 992 Arguments
10. Love Train
11. Time To Get Down
12. Put Your Hands Together
13. Sunshine Part 1
14. You Got Your Hooks In Me
15. Now That We Found Love
16. For The Love Of Money
17. Give The People What They Want
18. Survival
19. Let Me Make Love To You
20. I Love Music


CD2

01. Livin' For The Weekend
02. Stairway To Heaven
03. Family Reunion
04. Ship Ahoy (Edited Version)
05. Message In Our Music
06. Darlin' Darlin' Baby (Sweet, Tender, Love)
07. The Big Gangster
08. Use Ta Be My Girl
09. Brandy (I Really Miss You)
10. Cry Together
11. Forever Mine
12. Sing A Happy Song
13. Lovin' You
14. Wind Beneath My Wings
15. Emotionally Yours (Gospel Version)




http://www26.zippyshare.com/v/7Dynaa3X/file.html

http://www45.zippyshare.com/v/3tNcDOH9/file.html




Enjoy!!!!

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the O'Jays!


-Danger Mouse

Victor Munalula said...

Thanks a million for the O'Jays!!!

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