The O’Jays – 1977 – Travelin’ At The Speed Of Thought

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The O'JaysTravelin' At The Speed Of Thought front

 Review by Andre S. Grindle

When I first discovered this album at the now defunct Borders Book & Music over a decade ago,I was already very familiar with the O’Jay’s vast catalog of albums. This was in the bargain bin and you could imagine the thoughts of a young man with little money at the chance of hearing an album he’d never heard of by a group he really respected. For some reason after that I never did listen to this much after that-more or less skipped songs. But the more I know of it’s history I realize,for very different reasons I probably wasn’t the only one.

A1 Travelin’ at the Speed of Thought 4:59
A2 We’re All in This Thing Together 4:52
A3 So Glad I Got You, Girl 3:32
A4 Stand Up 4:46
B1 Those Lies (Done Caught Up With You This Time) 3:45
B2 Feelings 7:11
B3 Work on Me 4:26
B4 Let’s Spend Some Time Together 4:33

The O'JaysTravelin' At The Speed Of Thought back

 After a string of early/mid 70’s successes as a Philly Soul album act who,by the way could also pack SERIOUS PUNCH on their single records too there were a lot of other acts doing what the O’Jays started as the 70’s drew to a close. So basically this album didn’t produce any big hits and got lost in the mass wave of popular disco that…ironically the group and Philly soul helped to bring about. But still there was a lot of life left in the group during this period.

The title song was an excellent place to start the album. With it’s early appropriation of the synthesizer “video game” sound mixed in with the danceable uptempo,orchestral Philly soul there’s a message here looking to the future of humanity and relationships between lovers-somewhat inspired by something of a Logan’s Run/Star Wars outlook possibly.

The O'JaysTravelin' At The Speed Of Thought gatef

Primarily an album of uptempo material there are some sure fire highlights here. One of them is the inspired gospel/funk powered “Stand Up“. Seemingly recorded live the apparent audience seemed almost hysterical as the power of the groups delivery and the firey tempo got everyone up and running. “Those Lies (Done Caught Up With You This Time)” is another strong number,very much in the disco era for sure but still carrying their Back Stabbers era message fully intact. Aside from an overlong version of “Feelings“,which does nothing to save it from the stigma the original has there’s “Work On Me“,the hit song from this album and by far the most funk oriented.

The O'JaysTravelin' At The Speed Of Thought label 1

You also get two more smoother songs on this album-not ballads exactly but not as quick in tempo. “We’re All In This Together” again fits pretty comfortably into the disco era with it’s very tight harmonies and the closer is the romantic “Let’s Spend Some Time Together“,celebrating a break from stresses in a relationship. This is not the greatest album for the O’Jay’s. Or for Philly International for that matter. Part of it is similar to what happened with Motown. After a time,the type of sound the label became famous for ran out of ways to variate itself. And the result was getting suck in something of a rut. True Gamble/Huff and the trio themselves are still making the most of adding what new elements they could into what was becoming a somewhat predictable sound. But there were signs that the band would need something of a commercial overhaul so people would realize they hadn’t sunk into total obscurity. Lucky for this talented harmony/vocal trio they would soon get their chance at this.

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Conversation for album: The O’Jays – 1977 – Travelin’ At The Speed Of Thought

  • Grumpy
    Posted at 09:47h, 22 January 2015 Reply

    Thank you!

  • Troye
    Posted at 11:16h, 22 January 2015 Reply

    One of the best soul groups ever! 1

  • Kendr
    Posted at 00:27h, 23 January 2015 Reply

    The wonderful Philly Sound man.

  • Virginia
    Posted at 11:45h, 23 January 2015 Reply

    The feeling I still have after sooooooo many years..

  • 12SE12
    Posted at 16:18h, 24 January 2015 Reply

    Love these tunes too.

  • Motorsoul
    Posted at 17:28h, 24 January 2015 Reply

    Gamble & Huff Philly layin’ it down!

  • Hulio
    Posted at 17:32h, 24 January 2015 Reply

    Love almost everything they recorded. Thank you. A fan from Argentina.

  • Romen
    Posted at 23:16h, 25 January 2015 Reply

    much love to the ojays

  • Palmtreesoul
    Posted at 00:00h, 26 January 2015 Reply

    Wow. Another tight one!

  • mILLER
    Posted at 12:24h, 26 January 2015 Reply

    Never heard this one though I got most of their cd’s. Much appreciated.

  • Gino
    Posted at 22:37h, 26 January 2015 Reply

    Gamble & Huff’s Philly Soul was making the best music in the 70’s.

  • Neil
    Posted at 10:00h, 27 January 2015 Reply

    I wasn’t familiar with it. Love it. Cause it’s the mighty O’Jays!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Marcolino
    Posted at 00:39h, 29 January 2015 Reply

    Nobody like The O’Jays. Amazing site. 1

  • Varis
    Posted at 01:11h, 29 January 2015 Reply

    Respect. God bless ya.

  • Rimental3
    Posted at 11:35h, 29 January 2015 Reply

    I can honestly say soul music is the best music..

  • Dorma
    Posted at 16:06h, 29 January 2015 Reply

    WOW this is really good quality!!

  • Nikolas
    Posted at 23:33h, 29 January 2015 Reply

    Man, I think no matter what generation you were born in, you can still appreciate truly beautiful songs. They don’t make ’em like this anymore.

  • Kris
    Posted at 10:48h, 30 January 2015 Reply

    Plain AWESOME!!!!! Thanks for uploading!!!!!

  • gke
    Posted at 16:05h, 30 January 2015 Reply

    serious joint right here peace!!!!!

  • Jocelyn
    Posted at 17:42h, 31 January 2015 Reply

    The music i adore. The group i love. The composers i respect. Philladelphia is my life.

  • bowlisha1
    Posted at 22:50h, 05 February 2015 Reply

    Today I shall travel at the speed of darn good music. Nobody did it like “The O’Jays” and still do. 🙂
    Thanks for posting one of the top 10 on MY all time favorite groups list. Stand Up Yall!!!

  • Antonio
    Posted at 02:00h, 08 February 2015 Reply

    This is what ya call music! 🙂

  • Henry
    Posted at 15:03h, 09 February 2015 Reply

    Yeah this puts me in one of those moods. Forever a classic..

  • nik
    Posted at 04:58h, 23 April 2015 Reply

    looking fwd to this one, thanks.

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