Tuesday, December 3, 2013

"Contradiction" by the Ohio Players

In 1976, the Ohio Players released the brilliant, soul-stirring track “Contradiction.” This underrated rock/funk gem is among the band’s best recordings. The lyrics address the many paradoxes of life and love, which drives the song’s narrator into a sea of confusion, uncertainty and inner turmoil. The powerful groove mirrors the narrator’s disquiet and angst. The track boasts a terrific rock-fueled guitar riff and tight, hard-hitting horn lines. And probably the best thing about the song is the superb vocal work. The mellifluous, falsetto-laced background harmonies provide a nice contrast to Sugarfoot’s raw, soulful baritone. Additionally, the song has a great jazzy bridge, and Sugarfoot accentuates the groove with a searing guitar solo following the second bridge.

“Contradiction” is the title track off the Ohio Players’ 1976 album release, which is a topflight collection of tracks. In addition to “Contradiction,” some of the other strong cuts from the album include “Bi-Centennial,” “Little Lady Maria,” “Far East Mississippi” and the mega-funky dance hit “Who’d She’d Coo?,” which topped the R&B singles chart and peaked at #18 on the Billboard Hot 100. And the album itself also performed extremely well on the charts, climbing all the way to #1 on the R&B album charts and #12 on the Billboard 200 album charts.

The lineup for the band upon the release of Contradiction was the following: Leroy “Sugarfoot” Bonner (guitar, harmonica, percussion, vocals); Marshall “Rock” Jones (bass, percussion); Marvin "Merv" Pierce (trumpet, trombone, percussion); Ralph "Pee Wee" Middlebrooks (trumpet); James "Diamond" Williams (drums and various percussion instruments); William “Billy” Beck (piano, keyboards); and Clarence "Satch" Satchell (flute, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, percussion, vocals).

“Contradiction” was written and composed by all seven band members.

"Contradiction" at Amazon

Related blog entry: Review of The Ohio Players' Album Fire