Ohio Players

Ohio Players [Brentwood]

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Many leading soul/funk artists of the '70s had a bit of an identity crisis come the dawn of the '80s. As a result, they were left to ponder an important question -- do they stick to their guns, or try to keep pace with the young bucks, and update their approach with more modern, 'electronic' sounds? The list is endless of those who made and did not make the transition successfully, with the Ohio Players unfortunately falling into the latter category. There's no denying the greatness of their early funk anthems ("Love Rollercoaster," "Fopp," "Skin Tight," "Fire," etc.), but as evidenced by such releases as 1981's Tenderness prove, this latter era didn't hold a candle to their earlier works. Don't be fooled into thinking that this is a career spanning compilation, as none of the group's aforementioned big hits are featured here. Instead you get such forgettable selections as the surprisingly country-tinged ballad, "Sometimes I Cry," "Call Me" (no relation to the Blondie song of the same name), and an up-tempo cover of Otis Redding's "Sitting on the Dock of the Bay." Stick with one of the other better-assembled Ohio Players' compilations out there (20th Century Masters, Funk on Fire: The Mercury Anthology, etc.).

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