Ohio Players - Honey
Catalog#: SRM 1 1038
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album, Gatefold
Record is VG+ VG++ light scuffs ( listen)
Cover is VG with some slight water damage ( see pic)
Country: Canada issue
Genre: Funk / Soul
Style: Funk, Disco
A3 Let's Love
A4 Ain't Givin' Up No Ground
B1 Sweet Sticky Thing
B2 Love Rollercoaster
Something was in the water back in the 1970s, for it seemed there was a population boost of sorts going on (where are all these teen-pop singers coming from? *smiles*). Most likely, it was the music that was encouraging people of all races to get it on, from Marvin Gaye's LET'S GET IT ON (1973) to just about anything by the late, great Barry White. Although most of their famous music was uptempo & funky, the Ohio Players probably had a hand in cozying up the bedrooms back in the day.
By the time of 1975's HONEY, the Players had streamlined their album covers from HUSTLER-ish to PLAYBOY-ish, while keeping their music still delightfully funky & sexy beyond description. 1974's FIRE contained their first #1 pop hit with the title track, and the music was definitely what its title stated: blazing! While HONEY hints at something a little more, well, smooth, it's still a fantastic album with enough grit to rock the dance floors before putting on the slower stuff when you get back home.
"Love Rollercoaster" was the Player's 2nd #1 pop hit, and is probably their most famous song thanks to cover versions like that from the Red Hot Chili Peppers. While the Peppers' version was a good White-boy version of it, the Players' one is still the funky king, one to get you up & moving no matter how many times it's been played at parties, sporting events or oldies radio. Also, doesn't the line "your love is like a rollercoaster, baby baby/I wanna ride" scream poetry? *wink*
"Fopp" is another chaotic funky delight with the opening drum line indeed sounding reminiscent of the opening to Guns N' Roses' "Paradise City". Maybe Axl Rose needs to pay some restitution to the Players, who knows? "Ain't Givin' Up No Ground" is a short nonsense number that closed out side one of the original album, and is more of a space-filler than anything else. The Players maybe included it on the album to put it over a half-hour length.
As has been proven time & time again, ballads were always the Players' secret weapon, and they remain underrated with all the loud, screaming funk that was their trademark. "Sweet Sticky Thing" was lucky to be released for it is indeed much smoother-edged than what the Players were known for at the time. The fact this jazz-grooved tune (man, that saxophone!) did so well really says something.
The opening title track was a brave way to start out the album, especially after just having a massive #1 hit with "Fire". I can easily imagine this song coming from Earth, Wind & Fire, who were probably the only other group the Players could really compete with in the funk sweepstakes (Parliament/Funkadelic were already the kings, so they were out of the running).
"Let's Do It" is another romantic jam to melt your lover's heart with, and hopefully you won't find yourself singing the closing ballad "Alone" before long. The man singing this song is all-too-obviously heartbroken and, as my good friend Nathan says, it definitely is a forgotten treasure of '70s R&B balladry with Leroy "Sugarfoot" Bonner's lead vocal just tear-inducing. Even the spare musical back-up on the song heightens its emotional nakedness.
Back in the mid-1970s, an actual band in R&B/soul was not all that uncommon, unlike today where they seem to be an exception. The fact that most of them were self-contained was even more of a wonder, and the Ohio Players definitely had most of the control over their careers. HONEY was produced, written & performed by the Players themselves, so you know the album is exactly how they would have wanted it. Even those ever-present covers were their brainchild, with HONEY's being the undoubtedly the most famous of all (the inner photo is a true "how could they do it?" affair).
While the Players have been sampled like mad by hip-hop artists for years, and are still adored by R&B lovers today, they have been sort of overlooked in the overall pantheon of popular music. Earth, Wind & Fire have been inducted in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, as has Parliament/Funkadelic, so why not the Players? Until that day comes, we can be sure that an album as fantastic & funky as HONEY will be one of the things that gets them in there
Ohio Players - Honey
love the Ohio Players. This is the all time jam. Reminds me of the blue light in the basement parties
Ohio Players - Love Rollercoaster
Bad ass shitt fo sho.... REAL MUSIC
And still now its way cool and classy.
wow! wolfman jack introducing the players!! how cool is that!!
Such greatness, simply as good as funk gets. Who knew we'd long for the day when artists wrote and performed their own stuff