Ohio Players – Skin Tight (1974/2020) [FLAC 24bit/192kHz]

Ohio Players – Skin Tight (1974/2020)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/192 kHz | Time – 40:57 minutes | 1,62 GB | Genre: R&B
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Mercury Records

Skin Tight (April 1974) is the fifth studio album by the Ohio Players and the first album released through the Mercury label.

Skin Tight signified a turning point in the group’s career towards a more jazzy and polished funk sound. The album began the Players’ dominant platinum-selling period, and would bring them a much bigger audience. In fact, this release would outsell all of their previous LPs combined. The band produced and recorded the album in Chicago, with Barry Mraz as recording engineer. The final mix was mastered by Lee Hulko.

It is the second of five Ohio Players albums that were also available in quadraphonic (4-channel stereo), the first of four for Mercury. The quad mix is only available in the 8-track tape format. According to Billboard, Skin Tight took the top position on the Black Albums chart for six weeks, and missed the Top 10 on the Pop Albums chart by one position.

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. – Alex Henderson

1. Skin Tight (07:54)
2. Streakin’ Cheek to Cheek (05:42)
3. It’s Your Night / Words of Love (08:00)
4. Jive Turkey (07:09)
5. Heaven Must Be Like This (07:18)
6. Is Anybody Gonna Be Saved? (05:00)