So Full Of Love

The O'Jays

The Right Stuff Records, 1978



Deep down in the soul of the 1970s music were The O'Jays. By the time their 1978 release "So Full Of Love" was released, they already had a large assortment of hits, and were one of many popular acts to come out of the Philadelphia International record company, headed by the team of Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff.

So Full Of Love is so full of soul. The album starts with "Sing My Heart Out". And The O'Jays do just that. "Use Ta Be My Girl," a well-known favorite, is ultimately one of the great 70s soul records.

"Cry Together" has the soft sounding soul feel of such stars as Lou Rawls, Barry White, and Isaac Hayes. "This Time Baby" is upbeat soul as in their #1 hit, "Love Train". "Brandy" is a song that you can easily tell where other inspired groups captured their sound from 70s Soul. One act is Daryl Hall & John Oates. "Brandy" can be compared to H&O's "Rich Girl". "Take Me To The Stars" has an Earth, Wind & Fire funk sound.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

"Help (Somebody, Please)"'s orchestration is incredible. From the beginning soul bass line, the strings ensemble, to the sweet harmonies, this song, like others, defines the true slow 70s soul music sound. And lastly, with a title like "Strokety Stroke," without even hearing it, you have to conclude that it has to be a funky sounding tune. And it is. It has the funk sound, compared to a funky Earth, Wind & Fire and Rick James.

So Full Of Love should be renamed as So Full Of Soul. It has all of the components of great soul music, which is different in sound than what we hear today in black music. The ultimate sound in black music is from the 1970s. This album has soft sweet tunes, likewise upbeat and funk ones.

The O'Jays were a group of many that shared that great 70s soul sound. Somehow I envision seeing Don Cornelius of Soul Train. It's the 1970s all over again, watching TV in the basement of my parents' home and watching everyone dancing to the soul funk sound. If it wasn't American Bandstand I was watching, it had to be Soul Train, especially when it comes to the era of soul music.

Discover what great black music is all about. For us older folks, this is what defines the shape and sound of soul. In today's music, there isn't any comparison, even though the current trend in black music today is rap and hip-hop. Nowhere is it compared to music like The O'Jays. Even though black music has made another chapter in hip-hop/rap, go back a few chapters, and you'll find the greatness of soul. The O'Jays, as well as many other great acts would be in that chapter.

In all due respect, this kind of music is much, much better than any hip-hop/rap act you would hear today. Most radio stations would have no trouble playing a tune by The O'Jays. In today's music, you have to specifically find that special radio station that showcases hip-hop and rap. The 70s soul music can be found anywhere, as compared to special places you would find hip-hop and rap. Case closed.

Rating: B

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© 1999 Eric E5S16 and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of The Right Stuff Records, and is used for informational purposes only.