The O'Jays: Eddie Levert, Walter Williams, William Powell (vocals).
Additional personnel: Anthony Jackson (bass); MFSB.
Producers: Kenneth Gamble, Leon Huff, Bobby Martin.
Principally recorded at Sigma Sound Studios, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
in 1973. Originally released on Philadelphia International (32408). Includes liner notes by Joe McEwen, Bobby Martin.
This is part of Legacy's "Rhythm & Soul" series.
The once monolithic Motown Sound had begun to fragment in the early '70s, and into the breach came Philadelphia International, the label run by genius producers/songwriters Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff. Their stable of artists basically ruled the radio and the nation's dance floors in the middle of the decade, and the O'Jays were probably their classiest act.
This 1973 album is one of the group's absolute best. It's a genuine landmark of the genre, a brilliantly arranged and sung effort offering a fascinating look at a sadly vanished era. Here, socially conscious music such as "For the Love of Money" and "Don't Call Me Brother" co-exists with party anthems like "Put Your Hands Together," and conceptual masterstrokes like the nautical sound effects on the title track.
Rolling Stone (6/12/03, p.98) - 4 stars out of 5 - "...Tight, brassy arrangements and the kind of gospel-tinged vocalizing that epitomized the sound of Philly soul..."
Mojo (Publisher) (p.68) - "[A] potent mix of message tracks and gorgeous love songs. 'Put Your Hands Together' started the album at a ripping pace before the epic nine-minutes plus title track..."