Pain (Ohio Players album)

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Studio album by
ReleasedFebruary 1972
GenreSoul, funk
ProducerOhio Players, Herb James, Billy Pittman
Ohio Players chronology
Observations in Time
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic4/5 stars [1]

Pain is the second studio album by The Ohio Players, and their debut for the Westbound label.


After recording an album for Capitol Records in 1968, the group had split up. Some of the members decided to take a chance once more and it led them to Armen Boladian, whose Westbound label in Detroit was the then-home of George Clinton and his band Funkadelic. The group recorded "Pain" and was released as a single. Positive feedback lead to Boladian signing them for a full contract, making the band record enough material for their Westbound debut.

The group still has some of the vocal and musical qualities found on their Capitol material, but their first work in the 1970s showed them incorporating a bit of jazz and a harder yet polished soulful sound.

A number of things were established with this album. The romantic and sexy aspects of their music started with Pain, with songs devoted to their love of women. It would become one of their trademarks throughout their career. The group would also become known for their suggestive photos on the album covers. Fans of the group in the mid-1970s may have been taken aback by ladies in various states of undress, but for those who knew of them beforehand, the music was defined by the S&M, bondage & discipline imagery on their sleeves, which can be viewed as a mixture of the sexual and perhaps cultural metaphor. The group would also present a character in the form of a grandmother who was simply known as Granny, voiced by Walter "Junie" Morrison. Granny and her stories would remain with the group until Junie left the group in 1974, the year the Ohio Players signed with Mercury.

When the album was released, the original mono mix of "Pain" was used. In 2018, the very first stereo mix of Pain emerged. It was featured on a 1/4" mastertape from the Nashville recording sessions in May 1971, before the move to Westbound. The Ohio Players were still signed to Top Hit Records at that point. The Nashville tape contains 6 songs, including 2 songs that ended up on the "Pain" LP : "(If You Were) My Woman" and the very first stereo mix of "Pain". All songs on the Nashville tape were mixed by Bud Billings @Music City Recorders in Nashville. The mixes are different from the later releases on Westbound : the stereo field is wider and the sound is drier with less reverb. The Westbound album was engineered by Arlen Smith who also engineered Pleasure and Funkadelic's America Eats Its Young.

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Ohio Players (Gregory Webster, Andrew Noland, Walter Morrison, Marshall Jones, Leroy Bonner, Ralph Middlebrooks). The names of band members Bruce Napier, Marvin Pierce, and Clarence Satchell were mistakenly omitted from the writing credits on the original LP. Andrew Noland is believed to be a pseudonym for Westbound Records owner Armen Boladian..

Side one
2."Never Had a Dream"4:35
3."Players Balling (Players Doin' Their Own Thing)"4:22
Side two
4."I Wanna Hear from You"2:52
5."The Reds"5:08
6."Singing in the Morning"7:01


Some tracks feature singer Dale Allen. According to drummer Greg Webster, Allen joined the group after being recommended by Bootsy Collins, but was fired from the band after a heated argument with Clarence Satchell in the studio during the third day of recording the album.


  • Ohio Players, Herb James, Billy Pittman – producers
  • Ohio Players – arrangement
  • Joel Brodsky – photography


Chart (1972) Peak
U.S. Billboard Top LPs 177
U.S. Billboard Top Soul LPs 21
Year Single Peak chart positions

1971 "Pain (Part 1)" 64 35


  1. ^ Henderson, Alex. Pain review at AllMusic. Retrieved 2012-01-15.
  2. ^ a b c "US Charts > Ohio Players". Allmusic. Retrieved 2013-03-30.

External links[edit]