(5 / 5)
R&B legend Wilson Pickett and blues star Robert ward both owed a debt of gratitude to a bunch of top musicians who backed them in Dayton, Ohio. These talented guys went on to become the celebrated soul and funk stars The Ohio Players.
Here we have a delicious collection of 44 tracks from the fabulous outfit, split into three discs; “The Early Years” – which includes their hits “Funky Worm” and “Pain” – The Golden Years” – with the smash hits “Skin Tight,” “Love Rollercoaster” and “”Sweet Sticky Thing” and CD # three, “The Later & Solo Years”. The first multi-label anthology.
The first black band to achieve three consecutive Platinum Number One R&B albums, this is the first chance to get your hands on a definitive collection of their music. Complete with a 28 page illustrated booklet, which features an essay by New York music writer Christian John Wilkane, and contributions from the band’s drummer, James “Diamond” Williams.
Robinsongs have lovingly gathered together the band’s tracks from the Capitol, Westbound, Mercury, Arista and Boardwalk labels for this unique collection. Interestingly, there is also material here from band members June Morrison, Sugarfoot & Shadow (Billy Beck, Clarence Willis & Diamond) to offer up a total career overview of this sizzling funky outfit.
Their biggest hit “Fire”, kicks off disc two, which was a number one in the R&B chart and the main Billboard chart in America, and three other number ones feature in this set, “Sweet Sticky Thing”, “Love Rollercaster” and “Who’d She Coo”, the latter being their sole UK chart single.
The third CD features their work for Arista and Boardwalk, and gives us the full length version of “Everybody Up” and tracks by Junie, Shadow and Sugarfoot’s 1985 cover of “Fire”.
What’s not to like?
By Sally Fox
(2 / 5) ‘OK Zone’
(3 / 5) ‘Decent Zone’
(4 / 5) ‘Super Zone’
(5 / 5) ‘Awesome Zone’