Wednesday, April 3, 2013

"Girl, Don't Let It Get You Down" by The O'Jays

Song#:  0308
Date:  08/23/1980
Debut:  84
Peak:  55
Weeks:  11
Genre:  R&B, Soul

Girl, Don't Let It Get You Down by ojay on Grooveshark

Pop Bits:  As a quintet, the O'Jays first hit the pop chart in 1963 and through to 1970 had an unremarkable run of chart songs with none of them ever reaching the pop Top 40. They fared a bit better on the R&B chart, but still only managed one Top 10 hit in that time. As the 70s started, the group was about to call it a day. Two members left and the future seemed bleak. But as a trio, the group worked with the team of Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff and joined their Philadelphia International label - a rival of Motown. Together, they created recordings that became a part of the Philly soul movement with their first release "Back Stabbers" hitting #3 and going gold. Over the next decade, the group would go on to have five more pop Top 10's including the 1973 #1 smash "Love Train." This streak included ten R&B #1's as well. Although they would continue to put songs on the R&B chart throughout the 80s, this song ended up being their last pop chart entry (and a #3 R&B hit).

ReduxReview:  The O'Jays are terrific. I think they kind of get overlooked with Motown groups like The Temptations and the Miracles getting more attention. So if you haven't heard their brand of Philly soul from their prime 70s era, look it up and listen. This song is not one of their prime time best, but it is a very pretty mid-tempo selection with a solid arrangement and great vocals.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) There was no one in the group with the name of O'Jay. The name was chosen as a tribute to Cleveland radio DJ Eddie O'Jay.  2) Group member Eddie Levert's two sons, Gerald and Sean, had successful music careers as well. The two were part of the group LeVert who had five R&B #1 hits including their #5 pop hit "Casanova" in 1987. Gerald would have further success as a solo artist and as a part of the R&B supergroup LSG (with Keith Sweat and Johnny Gill). Gerald and his dad would record together as well and they topped the R&B chart in 1992 with "Baby Hold On to Me."

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