The O'Jays

Working on Your Case

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A sweet helping of the O'Jays' Imperial sides recorded between 1963-1967. What makes this so interesting is the inclusion of some rare A-sides, and two tracks fished from the vaults. The obscure "My Dearest Beloved" is done at a rapid tempo, and features Eddie LeVert wishing his woman would write him a letter, and excitedly singing, "I hope, I hope, I hope" to end each chorus. Another unknown is the slow, seemingly incomplete "You're on Top Now" -- the Untouchables also recorded it, and the renditions are nearly identical. The Players' version is the better known of the two, though neither did much. The best of the obscure, the eloquent "Let It All Out," written by Van McCoy, is unlike most O'Jay sides because it features the late William Powell on lead. Powell's falsetto was a thing of beauty, something to marvel at, enchanting and compelling without being sappy and sugary. Powell's false voice was equally as effective on fast tunes like "Working on Your Case." "Dotted Line," written by LeVert, had never been issued in any form before this LP, ditto for "Rented Tuxedo," but in the latter's case, no crime was done. "Rented" had an ingratiating pop feel. But, there was nothing pop about the emotional "Stand in for Love" and the bass-driven "How Does It Feel," two killers. "Stand Tall," "Lipstick Traces," "Hold On," "You're the One," "No Time for You," "Today and Tomorrow," and "The Storm Is Over," with its seashore ambience, complete the track listing. Five O'Jays sang on this album: Walter Williams, LeVert, Powell, Bobby Massey, and Bill Isles. Williams, Levert and Powell all sang lead on at least two tracks, giving the album diversity.

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