The O'Jays

Use Ta Be My Girl

Song Review by

Ironically the O'Jays' biggest selling single was the one that neither the vocal trio nor the songwriting/production duo of Gamble and Huff thought would hit number one. Even frequent engineer Joe Tarsia had grounds to dislike the record; he thought it sounded technically dull, not enough highs. Some thought it sounded too old-fashioned with all of its "shoop-shoops", which recalled '50s doo wop. The only believer the track had before its release was MFSB guitarist Bobby Eli, who felt something "special" was being created during the sessions which would become the So Full of Love album. Of course, when the track began its 20-something week chart run, "everybody" knew it was a hit from the start. The warm, smooth "Usta Be My Girl" sold more than a million copies, holding down the number one R&B spot for five weeks and peaking at number four pop in spring 1978. It was included on their platinum So Full of Love LP, which held the number one R&B spot for three weeks while going to number six pop, spawning the number 21 R&B ballad "Brandy" and the popular radio-aired album tracks "Cry Together" and "Help (Somebody Please)." The Four Tops' 1981 number one R&B/number 11 pop single "When She Was My Girl" is both similar in title and tone.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
The Box Set Series 1972 Legacy / Legacy Recordings / Philadelphia International / Sony Music Entertainment 3:18
Ten Years of #1 Hits 1975
Various Artists
Philadelphia International / EMI 4:01
So Full of Love 1978 The Right Stuff 4:05
Greatest Hits [Philadelphia Intl.] 1984 Sony Music Distribution 3:22
Soul Like Sister & Brother 1992
Various Artists
3:22
10 All Time Soul Classics, Vol. 1: The Best of Philadelphia International 1994
Various Artists
Madacy
Love Hurts [Castle] 1994
Various Artists
Warner Bros.
Only Love 1975-1979 1995
Various Artists
Rhino / JCI Associated Labels 3:23
The Best of Philadelphia International Records, Voll. 1 1995
Various Artists
EMI-Capitol Special Markets
Beach Fever 1995
Various Artists
4:00
Love Ballads [Connoisseur Collection] 1995
Various Artists
3:04
Soul Hits of the 70s: Didn't It Blow Your Mind!, Vol. 20 1995
Various Artists
Rhino 3:25
MVP Classic Mellow, Vol. 1 1996
Various Artists
MVP Records 3:22
In Bed with the O'Jays: Greatest Love Songs 1996 EMI Music Distribution / Capitol 3:20
AM Gold: 1978 1997
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 3:28
No Image 1997
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 3:27
The Very Best of the O'Jays [1998] 1998 Sony Music 3:20
Chart Toppers: Dance Hits of the 70s 1998 Priority Records 3:22
Significant Singles 1998 Westside Records 4:04
So Full of Love/Love Fever/Let Me Touch You 1998 Westside Records 4:03
Classic Philadelphia Years 1999 Music Club Records
The Best of the O'Jays: 1976-1991 1999 The Right Stuff 3:20
Disco Mania [Platinum Disc] 1999
Various Artists
Platinum Disc 3:19
Disco Mania, Vol. 1 1999
Various Artists
Platinum Disc 4:03
Disco Mania, Vol. 1-3 1999
Various Artists
Platinum Disc 4:03
Greatest Hits of the 70's, Vol. 9 1999
Various Artists
Platinum Disc 4:02
Greatest Hits of the 70s [Box Set #2] 1999
Various Artists
Platinum Disc 4:02
No Image 1999
Various Artists
Crimson Productions
After the Love Has Gone 1999
Various Artists
Crimson Productions
Most Beautiful Melodies of the Century: Just the Way 1999
Various Artists
Reader's Digest Music 0:00
Soul Train: The Dance Years 1978 1999
Various Artists
Rhino 3:23
Beach Music Anthology, Vol. 3 2000
Various Artists
Ripete Records 3:17
Greatest Hits of Philadelphia: 1976-1986 2000
Various Artists
Empire Music Group Inc. 3:22
Disco Mania, Vol. 2 [Platinum 2000] 2000
Various Artists
Platinum Disc 4:03
70's Soul Classics 2001
Various Artists
Crimson Productions 3:22
I Love Beach Music, Vol. 2 2001
Various Artists
Ripete Records 3:19
Anthology 2003 The Right Stuff 3:22
Soul Singles 2004 The Right Stuff 3:22
The Proud Family 2004
Original Television Soundtrack
Walt Disney / Disney 3:20
Great Men of Rock and Roll 2004
Various Artists
Collectables 4:03
Great Men of Rock & Roll: The 70s 2005
Various Artists
Collectables 3:21
The Essential O'Jays 2005 Legacy / Epic 3:18
So Full of Love/Identify Yourself 2005 Diablo (UK) 3:59
Love Train: The Best of the O'Jays [2-CD] 2006 Music Deluxe (UK) / Demon Deluxe / Music Club Records 3:58
Sings Gamble & Huff 2006 Diablo (UK) 3:58
Love Train: The Sound of Philadelphia 2008
Various Artists
Legacy / SMG 4:01
Playlist: The Very Best of the O'Jays 2008 Legacy 3:18
Sweet Soul of the '70s [Time Life] 2011
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 3:23
No Image
Various Artists
Disky
Classic Soul Ballads: Stop to Start/Quiet Storm/Too Hot/Between the Sheets
Various Artists
Time Life 3:25
No Image
Various Artists
Allegro