Ohio Players

16 Greatest Hits

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16 Greatest Hits is a very misleading title for this budget LP from 1976, which doesn't contain 16 of the Ohio Players' biggest hits. If its title were accurate, the record would offer essential Mercury smashes like "Fire," "Love Rollercoaster," "Skin Tight," and "Jive Turkey." But none of those hits are anywhere to be found on this LP; nor does it include "Pain," "Funky Worm," "Pleasure," or any of the Players' other Westbound classics. Rather, the focus of 16 Greatest Hits is early material that Johnny Brantley produced for the Players in New York in 1968. Back then, the Players had yet to become well known -- so this is hardly the greatest-hits collection that it claims to be. But while the LP doesn't contain the band's best-known or most essential recordings, it isn't a bad piece of vinyl to have in your collection. Before the Players became famous for 1970s funk, they embraced southern-style soul -- and the Memphis/Stax influence is impossible to miss on enjoyable selections that include "It's a Crying Shame," "A Little Soul Party," "My Neighbors," and the singles "Trespassin'" and "I Got to Hold On." Back in 1976, 16 Greatest Hits went for as little as $2 -- compared to the $4-$6 or more you would have paid for a new copy of Honey or Fire (depending on where you shopped for vinyl). So even though the title 16 Greatest Hits is an example of false advertising, this LP was a good deal in 1976.