Thursday, 31 May 2018

The O'Jays - Survival (1975)

 

Released April 1975

Recorded at Sigma Sound Studios, Philadelphia

By 1975, unfortunately, it would seem that the time for the O’Jays’ brand if social comment and sweet Philly soul was in the past. A shame, but that was just the way it was. Disco was on its way to change soul music for a while. Most soul acts subsequently felt obliged to put out disco-influenced material. The first notes of “Unity” from their next album, “Family Reunion” saw the O’Jays doing just that.

Back to “Survival”, while not reaching the heights of the previous two albums, there is still some good stuff on here - the syrupy soulful material juxtaposed with the biting, potent funk of the “message” songs. This is still a good album.

The highlight is the anti-big business and finance song in “Rich Get Richer”, which covers the same ground as “For The Love Of Money”. Other “aware” songs are “Survival” and “Give The People What They Want”

“How Time Flies” and “Let Me Make Love To You” are both immaculately delivered slow soul numbers and we are reminded just how good the group were. 

The brooding “What Am I Waiting For” is possibly the group’s last classic song. A great vocal over a rich bass and horns backing. Like Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes, The Chi-Lites and Chairmen Of The Board, we should be grateful to the O’Jays for giving us some truly memorable soul music in the first half of the 1970s.

C+

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