The O’Jays: “Love Train” and “For the Love of Money”

Love Train, above, has gotten a second life in Coors beer commercials. There are versions with far better audio quality than the original video — such as this version from Midnight Special, which has the added bonus of being introduced by Wolfman Jack. Mid-1970s videos are great, especially sweet-natured ones like this. Though The O’Jays were from Ohio, one of the trains seems to be from The Long Island Rail Road. I bet this was shot in Queens.

Wikipedia profiles the group:

The O’Jays are an American R&B group from Canton, Ohio, formed in 1958 and originally consisting of Eddie Levert (born June 16, 1942), Walter Williams (born August 25, 1943), William Powell (January 20, 1942 – May 26, 1977), Bobby Massey and Bill Isles. The O’Jays made their first chart appearance with “Lonely Drifter” in 1963, but reached their greatest level of success once Gamble & Huff, a team of producers and songwriters, signed them to their Philadelphia International label in 1972. With Gamble & Huff, the O’Jays (now a trio after the departure of Isles and Massey) emerged at the forefront of Philadelphia soul with “Back Stabbers” (1972), and topped the Billboard Hot 100 the following year with “Love Train”. Numerous other hits followed through the 1970s and into the 80s and 90s, and The O’Jays were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2004, and The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2005. (Continue Reading…)

Here is the beginning of the gleefully over-the-top profile at The O’Jay’s site:

The O’Jays is one of the world’s truly legendary singing groups and an American treasure. The term legendary is often overused, but that is an apt description for The O’Jays, a musical act that holds a unique place in the history of music. After establishing a recording history that includes an international body of work that generated 24 top ten smash records and 59 total songs on the charts, incredibly energetic and dynamic live shows, mad respect for their Olympian vocals and a social and political impact that spans many generations and multiple nations, The O’Jays could have coasted to a life of sandy beaches, umbrella-decorated drinks and total relaxation. Slowing down is not in the cards for Eddie Levert, Sr., Walter Williams, Sr. and Eric Nolan Grant however. (Continue Reading…)

For the Love of Money is below.