Ohio Players ‎- 1972 – Pain

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“Pain” is a classic slab of raw, fatback funk, with Greg Webster’s thick in-the-pocket drumming and Marshall Jones elastic bass lines. Mostly an instrumental, with Junie Morrison adding a few lyrics and a whole lot of catchy hollers, all bandmembers get their moment in the spotlight. Sugarfoot Bonner’s crisp guitar licks are preceded by an especially vicious trumpet solo courtesy of Ralph ‘Pee Wee’ Middlebrooks.

When the tune takes it to the bridge, the funk gets so strong you can smell it. The boys decided to end it with a blast of hard boppin’ jazz, too… 

A1 Pain 6:12
A2 Never Had a Dream 4:36
A3 Players Balling (Players Doing Their Own Thing) 4:26
B1 I Wanna Hear From You 2:52
B2 The Reds 5:05
B3 Singing in the Morning 6:59

Review By Soulmakossa

The Players repeat this bit of superior funkafication on the laid-back groover “Players Balling (Players Doing Their Own Thing)“, another loose instrumental riddled with – at times hilarious – adlibs from various bandmembers. More supreme funkin’ here, with Junie’s piano riffs riding through the thang like a freight train. A snippet of this track was sampled by Pete Rock on his ‘Mecca and the Soul Brother’ jam. 

Showing their softer side, “Never Had a Dream” is a mellow, mid-tempo ballad with some nice jazz touches and the bumpin’ “I Wanna Hear From You” seems to incorporate Motown elements with early Earth Wind & Fire melodies. The nasty, bluesy guitar riffs throughout are all OP, though… 

The Reds” take it all the way back to the Blues… real low-down, dirty, down and out delta blues… Brilliant, piercing guitar licks from Sugarfoot and old-timey piano fills by Junie. 

The finale is taken up by the lengthiest cut here, the jazz-funk-rock opus “Singing in the Morning“, which features a cameo appearance by one of the Players’ wackiest characters, the funky granny that would become famous somewhat later as the manager of that “Funky Worm”… 

The Ohio Players at their rawest…

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Conversation for album: Ohio Players ‎- 1972 – Pain

  • Devon
    Posted at 23:38h, 09 April 2019 Reply

    aaahhh!!! god damn that guitar player!!!!

  • Eric
    Posted at 09:29h, 10 April 2019 Reply

    Wow that takes me way back there love it

  • MisterGaga
    Posted at 09:33h, 10 April 2019 Reply

    One of the best bands i’ve heard of

  • Frog Daw
    Posted at 04:18h, 12 April 2019 Reply

    Thank you. Amazing blog.

  • Andrew
    Posted at 10:18h, 12 April 2019 Reply

    This is bad assss…real music

  • Chris
    Posted at 13:41h, 12 April 2019 Reply

    Dope dope dope

  • Theodore
    Posted at 04:05h, 13 April 2019 Reply

    Pleasure, Pain and Ecstasy are awesome albums. I guess the last one is coming too. Respect.

  • Sammy
    Posted at 15:57h, 14 April 2019 Reply

    Funk rules

  • Felomino
    Posted at 16:01h, 14 April 2019 Reply

    Buy the gatefold vinyl guys. Artistic masterpiece.

  • Mino
    Posted at 05:06h, 16 April 2019 Reply

    Perfection by the ohio players

  • M
    Posted at 18:47h, 17 April 2019 Reply

    Good to see you doing your own thing. looking fwd to more funk classics.

  • Pascal
    Posted at 01:10h, 18 April 2019 Reply

    oommmgggg!!!! looovvveee itt!!!! 🙂

  • Mane
    Posted at 01:41h, 18 April 2019 Reply

    thx for this one , I guess that I do know a few of the songs here, but you can never have too much go wrong with Ohio Players.

  • Shemp David Niven
    Posted at 18:18h, 29 May 2019 Reply

    I live by a very simple rule: if it’s on Westbound Records, buy/borrow/steal that LP! (If only all of Life’s Rules were that simple….)

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