I spent some time on Family Day sorting out and evaluating an acquaintance’s record collection and after I had weeded out all the Crystal Gaye, Barbara Streisand, Poco and Neil Diamond bullshit I was left with some pretty cool treasures. I’m listening to one of these treasures now during this afternoon’s Day 51 of the 100 Day Challenge, the ‘Honey‘ album by the Ohio Players.
Now, truthfully, I had no previous idea who the Ohio Players were before this past Monday. However, such a provocative album cover depicting a naked woman (actually Ester Cordet, October 1974 Playmate of the Month in Playboy magazine) dripping honey into her mouth kind of catches your attention.
So then, of course, you open up the gate-fold and discover this:
That’s some sexy sheeee-ite, right there folks!
Just look how happy the members of the band are!
No wonder the old fart had this in his collection.
Although, racy and scandalous as it is, especially for the time, the album did win a Grammy Award for Best Album Cover Art…and rightly so I might add.
So I did some digging on these Ohio Players and was intrigued to learn that they
are were a very popular funk/soul band originally hailing from Dayton, Ohio (hence the name I guess) that were very a big success in the 1970’s. In fact, they have even been inducted into the inaugural class of the Official R&B Music Hall of Fame. This album is likely their most popular and famous album largely thanks to the hit single ‘Love Rollercoaster‘ (a song that was sampled to death by rappers in the ’80s and ’90s and covered by the Red Hot Chili Peppers in 1996), if not for the naked chick slathered in honey. The album ultimately peaked at #2 on the Billboard 200 in 1975.
Besides the big hit, there are other sweet (pun intended) tracks on the album as well like ‘Fopp‘, and the playfully jazz-influenced hit ‘Sweet Sticky Thing‘.
While the Players’ outstanding contributions to funk would continue to have an enormous impact long after the band’s popularity faded. and I have to wonder why I haven’t heard more about this band before. I mean, lead singer Sugarfoot’s moving performance on the remorseful ‘Alone‘ makes me wish that the Players’ ballads were discussed more often and I wasn’t just jumping on the bandwagon now.
Great surprise this afternoon, making for a really funky 20 minutes of planking, push-ups, squatting and crunching.
Oh, I also learned that there is a cool urban legend surrounded the song ‘Love Rollercoaster‘ that claims that the girl on the album cover was stabbed in the studio – when she threatened to sue in connection with supposed skin damages caused by the fake honey used – and that her screams are heard on the song. However, the scream is actually that of keyboardist Billy Beck.
So, yeah, I will definitely be asking to keep this album for sure. If for anything, then to provide me a little “solace” whenever Kelly happens to be working those long night shifts at the hospital.
P.S.> 100 push-ups in 2 minutes!