The Essential O'Jays [2-CD]

by: The O'Jays

The Essential O'Jays covers 1972's Back Stabbers through 1978's So Full of Love, including all but six of the Philly soul group's charting singles from the period. Nearly every crucial hit is here, including the number one R&B singles "Back Stabbers," "Give the People What They Want," "I Love Music," "Livin' for the Weekend," "Love Train," "Stairway to Heaven," and "Use ta Be My Girl." A pair of singles that put major dents in the disco chart, "Unity" (number one) and "Rich Get Richer" (number six), are not here, but this disc was still one of the better single-disc O'Jays compilations made available. [Sony's Legacy division sort of contradicted itself in 2008, when it released a two-disc version of The Essential O'Jays, expanding their idea of the O'Jays' essential material from 16 songs to 35 songs. This edition added seven songs that predate Back Stabbers and an assortment dating from 1979-1995. It also went deeper with the earlier '70s releases, adding a few of the relatively minor hits.] ~ Andy Kellman

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