Ohio Players – Skin Tight – New LP
The Dayton band moves from Westbound to Mercury, keep many things intact but also clearly position themselves to take over the world with this 1974 offering. Solid entry point point: you can start here and both work your way forward and backwards. Essential outing for fans of this band or funk in general. -- winch
Alex Henderson: Skin Tight was a major turning point for the Ohio Players, who had enjoyed several hits on black radio (including "Pain," "Funky Worm," "Varee Is Love," and "I Wanna Hear From You") but hadn't been huge. Switching from Westbound to Mercury, the Dayton funksters became exactly that -- huge -- and went from enjoying a cult following to being one of the most celebrated funk bands of the 1970s. With Skin Tight, the band's erotic album covers went from employing bizarre S&M/bondage imagery to being more Playboy-ish, and its music became less abstract (but remained quite risk-taking and unpredictable). The title song and "Jive Turkey" are down and dirty funk classics, and the jazz-influenced "Heaven Must Be Like This" illustrates the fact that the Players could also be captivatingly romantic.