The Chi-Lites

Oh Girl

Song Review by

The Chi-Lites' "Oh Girl" is one of the classic soul ballads of the '70s, and the finest of many classics written by the group's leader, the perpetually broken-hearted Eugene Record. His restrained but aching lead vocal is almost a solo performance (the other three Chi-Lites add only a few wordless harmonies and one line per verse), and his passionate delivery of his own beseeching lyrics is a marvel. (Compare Record's tasteful restraint to the over-emotional wailing on covers by Leo Sayer, Paul Young, and even the usually more aware Smokey Robinson for a quick demonstration of how true soul is not always about keening and melisma.) The arrangement, credited to someone named Tom Tom (probably Record again, who also produced the song and was probably getting shy by his third or fourth solo credit), is magnificently simple, with an almost minimalist string section that adds to the lushness of the vocals without being overbearing, and the brilliant stroke of a wailing harmonica part, a surprisingly down-home touch for such a stylish ballad that's probably the song's crowning achievement. Nearly every cover of the song has swiped the harmonica part wholesale, proof of how key it is to the song's success.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
A Lonely Man 1972 Import 3:43
Sounds of the Seventies: 1972 1989
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 3:30
Varig Collection: Love Songs 1990
Various Artists
Perfect Pitch Marketing
Super Bad Is Back 1991
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 0:00
Rhythm & Blues: 1972 1992
Various Artists
Time / Life Music
'70s Smash Hits, Vol. 6 1993
Various Artists
Rhino 3:51
Slow Jams: The 70's, Vol. 1 1993
Various Artists
The Right Stuff 3:30
Soulful Love 1994
Various Artists
Laserlight / Delta Distribution 3:50
No Image 1994
Various Artists
Delta Distribution
Soul Train: Hall of Fame, 20th Anniversary 1994
Various Artists
Rhino 3:20
The Story of Soul Music 1995
Various Artists
Spectrum Music 0:00
Only Rock 'N Roll 1975-1979: 20 Pop Hits 1995
Various Artists
JCI Associated Labels
Classic Soul Greatest Hits 1995
Various Artists
Universal Special Products 3:35
Slow Jamz from Back in Da Day 1995
Various Artists
Quality Music / Quality 3:47
Billboard Hot Soul Hits: 1972 1995
Various Artists
Rhino 3:50
Sweet Soul Music [K-Tel] 1995
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 0:00
No Image 1995
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution
Super Box of Soul, Vol. 3 1995
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 3:40
Sweet Soul Music 1995 Charly Records 4:49
Soul [Friedman/Fairfax] 1995
Various Artists
Friedman Fairgfax 3:41
Old Skoolin' 1996
Various Artists
Quality 3:47
Slow Grind, Vol. 2 1996
Various Artists
Priority Records
Classic Soul Love Songs 1996
Various Artists
Intercontinental Records 3:50
No Image 1996
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 0:00
Flick Hits: Old School Tracks 1996
Original Soundtrack
The Right Stuff / Capitol 3:47
Music Power 1996
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 3:48
The Best of the Chi-Lites [Prime Cuts] 1997 Prime Kutz / Prime Cuts 2:57
Golden Hits 1997 Intercontinental Records 3:05
Greatest Hits from the 70's 1997
Various Artists
Prime Cuts 3:00
70's Radio Hits, Vol. 6 1997
Various Artists
Rhino Flashback
Hit Songs from the 70's [Deuce] 1997
Various Artists
Deuce 3:00
3 for 3: The Chi-Lites, Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes & Sam & Dave 1997
Various Artists
3 for 3 2:56
Global Rock, Vol. 3: From London to L.A. 1997
Various Artists
Columbia River Entertainment Group
The Seventies Generation: 1972 1997
Various Artists
St. Clair / Sixties / Seventies 3:04
Soulful Sounds of the 70's 1997
Various Artists
BMG Special Products 3:50
Lowrider Oldies, Vol. 2 1997
Various Artists
3:45
Essential Hits Collection 1998
Various Artists
Crimson Productions 3:36
#1 Hits: The 70's Decade 1998
Various Artists
St. Clair / Number 1 Hits 3:05
The Very Best of the Chi-Lites [Music Club] 1998 Music Club Records
Love of Your Own 1998
Various Artists
Crimson Productions 3:27
Blues & Soul Bible 1998
Various Artists
Dressed To Kill
Too Good to Be Forgotten 1998 Demon Records / Demon 3:36
Remembered 1998 Universal Special Products 4:48
20 Sweet Soul Classics 1998
Various Artists
Double Play Records 3:07
Back 2 Back 1998 Masters 3:07
Hit Highlights 1998 Diablo (UK) 3:36
No Image 1998 Excelsior Recordings
Body + Soul: Love Serenade [1999] 1999
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 3:44
No Image 1999
Various Artists
Crimson Productions
Have You Seen Her: Their Greatest Hits 1999 Remember Records 3:20
4 Smooth Soul Legends 1999
Various Artists
Double Play Records 3:06
Soul [Book & CD] 1999
Various Artists
Friedman Fairgfax 3:43
More Broken Hearted Soul Essentials 1999
Various Artists
Polygram 3:50
Smooth Soul [Intercontinental] 1999
Various Artists
Intercontinental Records 3:00
Body + Soul: Between the Sheets 1999
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 3:44
The Best of the Chi-Lites: One in a Million 1999 Empire Music Group Inc. / Music Club Records 3:35
No Image 1999
Various Artists
Excelsior Recordings
The Official American Bandstand Library of Rock & Roll 2000
Various Artists
Atlantic 3:29
Soul Ballads [Boxsets] 2000
Various Artists
Boxsets 3:03
Seventies Generation: 1972-1973 2000
Various Artists
Boxsets 3:04
Entertainment Weekly: The Greatest Hits 1972 2000
Various Artists
Buddha Records 3:49
1972 2000
Various Artists
Direct Source 3:01
The Seventies Generation: A Decade of Fun 2000
Various Artists
St. Clair 3:04
Soul Sensations [Direct Source] 2000
Various Artists
Direct Source 3:02
The Best of the 70's, Vol. 2 2000
Various Artists
Direct Source 3:01
Best of the 70's [Direct Source 6 CD Box] 2000
Various Artists
Direct Source 3:00
Soul Train: The Dance Years 1972 2000
Various Artists
Rhino 3:50
Golden Classics 2000 Golden Music / Goldenlane 3:50
Soul Greats 2000
Various Artists
Goldies 3:33
Forever Gold: Soul Ballads [2 Disc] 2000
Various Artists
St. Clair 3:03
Casey Kasem Presents: Number One Hits-The Love Songs 2000
Various Artists
Top Sail Productions 3:30
Love Is Forever 2001
Various Artists
St. Clair 3:03
Love Is Forever [Box Set] 2001
Various Artists
St. Clair 3:03
70's Generation [Direct Source] 2001
Various Artists
Direct Source 3:01
You Don't Have to Say You Love Me: Great Soul Ballads 2001
Various Artists
Goldies 3:34
Hey Love, Vol. 2 2001
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 3:30
Entertainment Weekly: The Greatest Hits 1970-1974 2001
Various Artists
Buddha Records 3:49
Can You Dig It? The '70s Soul Experience 2001
Various Artists
Rhino 3:14
20 Greatest Hits 2001 Brunswick 3:36
Lowrider Oldies, Vols. 1-9: Cruisin' Chrome Series 2001
Various Artists
Thump Records 3:45
Best of the 70's [Direct Source 5 CD Box] 2001
Various Artists
Direct Source 3:01
Number 1 Hits 50's 60's & 70's 2002
Various Artists
St. Clair 3:05
Soul Spectacular! The Greatest Soul Hits of All Time 2002
Various Artists
Rhino 3:13
The Best of the Chi-Lites: Ten Best Series 2002 EMI-Capitol Special Markets 3:36
Back to Back Hits 2002 Park South Records / Orpheus Records 3:00
Hot on a Thing 2002 BR Music 4:47
The Story of Brunswick: The Classic Sound of Chicago Soul 2002
Various Artists
Rerooted 3:36
Classic Soul Hits! [Direct Source 2003] 2003
Various Artists
Direct Source 3:02
Gold Funk and Soul 2003
Various Artists
Cleopatra 3:49
Soul Ballads [St. Clair Box] 2003
Various Artists
St. Clair 2:59
Lowrider Oldies, Vol. 1-3: Cruisin' Chrome Series 2003
Various Artists
Thump Records 3:45
Soul Bands 2003
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 2:59
21 Winners: Best of Soul [2003] 2003
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 2:58
The Incredible Soul Collection 2003
Various Artists
Rhino 3:14
#1 R&B Hits [Madacy Box] 2003
Various Artists
Madacy 2:58
The Ultimate Soul Collection, Vol. 2 2003
Various Artists
WEA International 3:37
The Best of the Chi-Lites [Collectables] 2003 Collectables 3:36
Gold Collection: Jukebox Giants 2004
Various Artists
St. Clair 2:59
The Best of the Chi-Lites [Kent] 2004 Kent 3:36
The Complete the Chi-Lites on Brunswick Records, Vol. 1 2004 Demon Records
Hits of the 70's [Madacy Box] 2004
Various Artists
Madacy 3:32
Fuhgeddaboudit! Music You Heard on the Sopranos 2004
Various Artists
Golden Stars 3:34
Soul Grooves [Columbia River] 2004
Various Artists
Columbia River Entertainment Group 2:56
The Best of Soul Ballads [St. Clair 2004] 2004
Various Artists
St. Clair 2:58
Soul Searchin' [Northquest] 2005
Various Artists
Northquest 2:58
Only You [Columbia River 2005] 2005
Various Artists
Columbia River Entertainment Group 2:58
Slow Jams, Vol. 3 2005
Various Artists
SPG 3:41
Peabo Bryson Presents Classic Soul Ballads 2005
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 0:00
Top 20 of Soul 2005
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 2:59
The Ultimate Chi-Lites 2006 Brunswick 3:37
Brunswick Top 40 R&B Singles 1966-1975 2006
Various Artists
Brunswick 3:36
'70s Soul Gold 2006
Various Artists
Hip-O 3:37
Soul Heaven [Malaco] 2007
Various Artists
Malaco 3:48
Soulful Expression of 70's R&B 2008
Various Artists
Rolling Stone 3:36
Jackie: Love Songs [2010] 2010
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution / UMTV 3:43
Soul: Soul Man 2012
Various Artists
Bellevue Publishing 3:00
The Greatest Ever... Love Songs [Bellevue] 2014
Various Artists
Bellevue / Wienerworld 3:02
Sweet Soul Music: 1972 2014
Various Artists
Bear Family Records 3:30
60 #1 Pop Hits
Various Artists
AAO Music / United Audio Entertainment 2:56
Crooklyn, Vol. 1
Various Artists
Geffen 3:47
D.E.F. Classics Presents Redefining the Classics, Vol. 1
Various Artists
Sugarhill 3:08
Heavenly Body/Me And You Expansion Records 4:45
The Best of the Best, Vol. 1
Various Artists
Sugar Hill 3:08
The Greatest Love Songs of the '70s
Various Artists
Time Life 3:42