Ohio Players

Ouch!

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In the early 1980s, hardcore fans of the Ohio Players would have loved to see the funksters come out with a truly great album and return to the top of the charts. But that didn't happen -- there wouldn't be another Fire or Skin Tight for the Players, and it was obvious that the band was past their prime. The second of two little-known albums that the Midwesterners recorded for Boardwalk in 1981, Ouch! was a slight improvement over its forgettable predecessor Tenderness, but it's disappointing nonetheless. Thist LP was produced by Richard "Dimples" Fields, a talented vocalist/songwriter/producer, to be sure, but Ouch! is hardly his finest hour and isn't among the Players' more memorable releases. While the Players had done most of their own writing in the 1970s, almost all of the writing on Ouch! was done by Fields and Belinda Wilson. For all of its flaws, this album has its moments. The Players' cover of Charles Wright's "Do Your Thing" isn't bad, and some of the more likable tunes that Fields and Wilson contribute include the Motown-ish "My Baby Gets the Best of My Love," the romantic ballad "Devoted," and the Philadelphia International-ish "The Star of the Party." All things considered, however, Ouch! is an LP that only completists and diehard collectors would be interested in.

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