The O'Jays: Eddie Levert, Walter Williams, Sammy Strain (vocals).
Additional personnel includes: Bobby Martin, Jack Faith, Ron Kersey (arrangers).
Producers include: Kenneth Gamble, Leon Huff, Bunny Sigler, John Whitehead, Gene McFadden.
Recorded at Sigma Sound Studios, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Includes liner notes by David Nathan.
Personnel: Walter Williams , Eddie Levert, William Powell (vocals).
Liner Note Authors: David Nathan; Kenny Gamble.
Recording information: Sigma Sound Studios, Philadelphia, PA.
Photographer: Don Hunstein.
Unknown Contributor Roles: Sam Strain; William Powell; The O'Jays.
Arrangers: Bobby Martin ; Jack Faith; Ron Kersey.
The once monolithic Motown Sound had begun to fragment in the early '70s, and into the breach came Philadelphia International, the label run by genius producers/songwriters Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff. Their stable of artists basically ruled the radio and the nation's dance floors in the middle of the decade. The O'Jays were probably their classiest act.
This 1976 album is a typically propulsive affair, despite the fact that founding member William Powell had been forced to leave the group due to illness. He's replaced here by Sammy Strain, a former member of Little Anthony and the Imperials. Musically, MESSAGE IN THE MUSIC is a prime example of the synergy between the O'Jays and Gamble and Huff. It's a brilliantly arranged and sung effort in which all concerned are a little more serious than usual. Socially and spiritually conscious music such as the title track co-exists with deeply sensual love songs like "Desire Me." One of the O'Jays' best.