Tag Archives: Leon Huff

Rocks In The Attic #786: The O’Jays – ‘Ship Ahoy’ (1973)


I’ve been after this soul/funk gem for a few years now, and was hoping I’d run into a second-hand copy in the wild somewhere. Instead I managed to find the 2015 reissue at a whopping 30% off in the sale bins at Auckland’s Southbound Records. That’ll do nicely.

Ship Ahoy, the O’Jays’ third studio album finds them following up the Billboard Top 10 success of 1972’s Back Stabbers with a record built around the slavery theme of its title track. Coming three years before the success of Alex Haley’s Roots revitalised the topic for white America, the O’Jays used their prominence in the pop charts to deliver an album full of socially-conscious lyrics set against the grooves of Philadelphia soul.

RITA#786aProduced and (mostly) co-written by Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, the album was released by Philadelphia International Records. Today, For The Love Of Money lives on in the dozens of Hip Hop samples taken from the grooves of Anthony Jackson’s phased bassline and chanting vocals of Eddie Levert, William Powell and Walter Williams. I could listen to that bassline all day.

Hit: For The Love Of Money

Hidden Gem: Put Your Hands Together

Rocks In The Attic #110: Wilson Pickett – ‘Wilson Pickett In Philadephia’ (1970)

Rocks In The Attic #110: Wilson Pickett - ‘Wilson Pickett In Philadephia’ (1970)I found this in the sale racks at Real Groovy in Auckland. I figured it must be a relatively decent release as the record was brand new – indicating that it was a reissue – so I quickly surmised that the general bad taste of New Zealand record buyers had left it languishing in the ‘New Items’ racks for so long that the staff decided to put it in the sale racks. I held onto it until I got it out of the shop – and what a find!

This album represents Pickett’s first recording outside of the Deep South, and away from the familiarity of Memphis and Muscle Shoals. It has a slightly grittier and funkier sound than his earlier work, but it’s nicely held together by the studio band and producers Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff.

Hit: Help The Needy

Hidden Gem: Get Me Back On Time, Engine Number 9 (Part 1)