Ohio Players

Everybody Up

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The Ohio Players' stay at Mercury ended with 1978's Jass-Ay-Lay-Dee, and the funksters switched to Arista with their next album, 1979's Everybody Up. By 1979, the Players were past their prime -- both creatively and commercially. Hoping to regain their popularity, they decided to try something different -- and that meant bringing a lot of disco gloss to their funk. On catchy, if unremarkable, cuts like "Make Me Feel," "Say It," and the title song, the Players favor a slick disco-funk approach along the lines of Earth, Wind & Fire's "Boogie Wonderland" or Kool & the Gang's "Ladies' Night." The only tune on the LP that is truly weak is "Don't Say Goodbye," which goes for the sort of bluesy ambience that characterized "Alone" but misses the mark badly and ends up sounding lethargic. For the most part, however, Everybody Up isn't a bad album -- uneven and less than remarkable, but not bad. Although hardly in a class with Fire, Skin Tight, or Honey, this vinyl LP has its moments -- and it is certainly superior to the two weak albums that the Players recorded for Boardwalk in the early '80s. Nonetheless, Everybody Up received very little attention. This record quickly went out of print, and it is most unlikely that Arista will ever reissue it on CD.

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