Ohio Players – Pleasure

ARTIST: Ohio Players                                     220px-pleasureohioplayers

TITLE:  Pleasure

YEAR RELEASED: 1972

CHART ACTION: #63. #4 R&B

SINGLES: Pleasure (#45 R&B), Varee is Love, Funky Worm (#15, #1 R&B)

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Not unless you were funky enough.

LINEUP: Sugarfoot Bonner, Rock Jones, Pee Wee Middlebrooks, Junie Morrison, Andrew Noland, Marvin Pierce, Gregory Webster.

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT:  Funk group hits its stride, and breaks out with a novelty hit about…well…a funky worm.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: “Funky Worm” was a hilarious (well, I think it’s funny) tune about a worm that plays guitar, and features the “Granny”, a character developed by Junie Morrison.

Dang it, though, this is funky and hot all the way through. The synthesizers and keyboards by Morrison were definitely trailblazing, and the rest of the band develops great grooves and hooks in the grooves. The band sounds loose and like they’re having fun, which adds to the atmosphere.

Ballads (first and last cut of side two) still trip them up a bit, and vocals are an afterthought. It’s still quite funky.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: Morrison’s ARP synthesizer in “Funky Worm” has been sampled by numerous acts.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes, a few b-sides and leftover cuts. Some great, some not so great.

GRADE: A-: Except for the ballads, this is like nine cans of shaving powder funky.

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