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Not to be confused with the 1958 LP of the same name by Sonny James.

Honey is the seventh studio album by American band Ohio Players. Released on August 16, 1975, This album is the band's third release through the Mercury label. The album was well-received, and it is generally regarded as a classic, the band's best album, and the last great full-length release of their dominant era in the mid-1970s.

History

Like previous albums by the band, Honey is known for a cover photo that was very obscene by the standards of the day, in this case depicting a nude woman (Panamanian-born model Ester Cordet) holding a sticky jar of honey in one hand while lasciviously swallowing a spoonful of it with the other. The inside cover photo is even more famous. It shows a nude Cordet lying on her back with honey poured all over her body, and the Players looking at her with sheer delight and amazement. Cordet was Playboy magazine's October 1974 Playmate of the Month. The album won a Grammy Award for Best Album Package. It was recorded and remixed at Paragon Recording Studios in Chicago, with Barry Mraz as their recording engineer. Marty Link, Steve Kusiciel, Rob Kingsland, and Paul Johnson are credited as tape operators. Gilbert Kong mastered the final mix at Masterdisk in New York City.

It is the fourth of five Ohio Players albums that were also available in quadraphonic (4-channel stereo), released in the 8-track tape format. The quad mix was available on 8-track tape in the U.S., and on vinyl in Japan. It was released digitally as a DTS Audio CD by DTS Entertainment in 2001. Honey peaked at #2 on the Billboard 200 during the week of September 27, 1975, kept out of the top spot by Jefferson Starship's Red Octopus. In addition, it was the third album from the band to top the Soul/Black Albums chart where it spent three weeks.

Urban Legend

An urban legend surrounded the song "Love Rollercoaster," claiming that the girl on the album cover was stabbed in the studio—when she threatened to sue in connection with supposed skin damages caused by the fake honey used—and that her screams are heard on the song. However, the scream is actually made by keyboardist Billy Beck.

Track Listing

All tracks written by James Williams, Clarence Satchell, Leroy Bonner, Marshall Jones, Ralph Middlebrooks, Marvin Pierce, William Beck.

Side one
No. Title Length
1. "Honey" 4:15
2. "Fopp" 3:45
3. "Let's Love" 5:15
4. "Ain't Givin' Up No Ground" 1:45
Side two
No. Title Length
5. "Sweet Sticky Thing" 6:13
6. "Love Rollercoaster" 4:52
7. "Alone" 4:40

Personnel

Ohio Players

  • James "Diamond" Williams – drums, timbales, congas, percussion, lead & background vocals
  • Billy Beck – piano, Hammond organ, Fender Rhodes piano, RMI electric piano, clavinet, ARP Odyssey, ARP string ensemble, percussion, lead & background vocals, source of the "mysterious scream" on "Love Rollercoaster"
  • Marvin "Merv" Pierce – trumpets, flugelhorn
  • Marshall "Rock" Jones – electric bass
  • Leroy "Sugarfoot" Bonner – guitars, lead & background vocals
  • Ralph "Pee Wee" Middlebrooks – trumpets
  • Clarence "Satch" Satchell – tenor saxes, bariton sax, flute

Production

  • Ohio Players – producers
  • Barry Mraz, Gilbert Kong – engineers
  • Marty Linke, Steve Kusiciel, Rob Kingsland, Paul Johnson – tape operators
  • Richard Fegley – photography
  • Jim Ladwig – art direction
  • Joe Kotleba – design

Why It Rocks

  1. Awesome songs, which consist of funky tunes ("Love Rollercoaster", "Sweet Sticky Thing", "Fopp", "Ain't Givin' Up No Ground") and soul ballads ("Honey", "Let's Love", "Alone").
  2. Good vocals.
  3. Though the album is only a little over 30 minutes in length, it is still fun to listen to.

Bad Qualities

  1. NSFW cover and inside cover photo.

Reception

Critical Reception

The album received critical acclaim. AllMusic's Alex Henderson said that "the album kept the band's commercial momentum going thanks to such hard-driving funk as "Love Rollercoaster" (a song that was sampled to death by rappers in the '80s and '90s and covered by the Red Hot Chili Peppers in 1996), "Fopp," and the playfully jazz-influenced hit "Sweet Sticky Thing." BBC's Daryl Easlea stated that "Honey’s seven tracks clock in at a little over half an hour, but they leave you wanting much more, especially after Larry ‘Sugarfoot’ Bonner’s impassioned vocal on Alone, which is so languorously-paced and peaceful that it brings the album to a dead stop. With all its light-hearted musical schizophrenia, Honey remains the Ohio Players’ greatest album."

Accolades

Award Category Winner Result
Grammy Award Best Album Package Jim Ladwig Won

Cover Versions

  • "Fopp" by Soundgarden, from the 1988 EP Fopp
  • "Love Rollercoaster" by Red Hot Chili Peppers, from the 1996 soundtrack to Beavis and Butt-head Do America
  • "Let's Love" was covered by Vanessa Williams, on her covers album Everlasting Love.

Chart Performance

Chart (1975) Peak
US Billboard Top LPs 2
Billboard Top Soul LPs 1

Singles

Year Single Peak chart positions
US
US

R&B

1975 "Sweet Sticky Thing" 33 1
"Love Rollercoaster" 1 1
1976 "Fopp" 30 9

Certifications

  • RIAA: Platinum

Videos

External Links

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