Archive for the ‘Ohio Players’ Category

Rick James

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

Listen: Love Gun (Edit) / Rick James

Rick James may as well been a Parliament/Funkadelic alumni in my world. He had the glitzy clothes and all the horn jabs required, even if they were played a little too manically. In fact, his overtly obvious psychedelicness goes way back to bandmates during the late 60′s, including guys from Kaleidoscope , Steppenwolf, The Yellow Payges, T.I.M.E. and The Buffalo Springfield.

There was a time when ‘Love Gun’, being a strictly RnB mid-chart single (late ’79), had no place on my college radio shows, made very clear via the frostbite those other student disc jockeys who populated the stations lobby/lounge, and airwaves, sent my way. Most of them were dabbling in reggae or fumbling through the occasional jazz track, but never funk or anything really hardcore RnB. Seems it all rang very disco to those guys, which is fair enough upon a revisit of the track last night. But to get your back up over Rick James, sorry, I could never understand the unified intolerance.

The only problem I saw with spinning ‘Love Gun’ was trying to find a follow-up in the set. The Ohio Players ‘Love Rollercoaster’ worked, but only dug me deeper down the now what path. Usually rounding off the hour with it, then into the news worked best, almost like a cold shower. That way I could crank it again through the control room monitors while the news room did their five minute drill.

Ohio Players

Friday, June 3rd, 2011

Listen: Funky Worm / Ohio Players
Funky Worm / Ohio Players

Sped up vocals, synced back into the original bpm of track were not that uncommon in the 60′s. David Saviile made an industry out of his concoction The Chipmunks doing just that, and through the decade, there were occasionally hits by others as a result.

Not only did The Ran-Dells ‘Martian Hop’ use just this gimmick, but in the process possibly documented the first audio moment that would eventually become techno. Then there was David Bowie’s ‘The Laughing Gnome’ originally recorded and ignored in ’67, yet eventually becoming a UK hit during the summer of ’73 when Bowie mania had it’s first peak. By that time, the technique was quickly becoming as dated as the Hula Hop is today in the world of toys.

Did The Ohio Players hear ‘The Laughing Gnome’ while touring England, or simply conjure up the sonic angle based on their very own talents? Quite possibly the later.

‘Funky Worm’ has the added twist of not only encompassing the studio effect described above, yet possibly stumbling on an early ‘feature’ single, this time with a Moms Mabley style voice as the guest vocalist. No, not really, but comically, slightly possible.