Tuesday, June 20, 2006
Ohio Express - "Roll It Up"
Greetings, here I am back from my vacation on the west coast. I had a great time in sunny California, where it was a cool 65 degrees pretty much the entire week. It sure beats the 90 degree heat we've had throughout the spring in southern Illinois. Anyway, I ate a lot of chowder, fish and other seafood, enjoyed the ocean view right outside our window and, yes, did a little record shopping. I must say though, the latter hardly turned out to be a bonanza. I did find a few records, including a couple that I might feature here in the future.
Today, I decided to write about a record that I found a few months ago. We've extolled the virtues of the Buddah label in the past and here's yet another winner, "Roll It Up" by the Ohio Express. And it's one more single on the imprint that's interesting for what's on the b-side. That's not to say that the hit side is bad. In fact, "Mercy", a top 40 hit in the spring of 1969, is probably above average as these things go. It's bubblegum to be sure (not a bad thing at all) but not quite as sweet sounding as some of the rest.
But the real action, as is so often the case, is over on the flipside. "Roll It Up" is a simple song by any measure but quite the uptempo mover. It starts with a little bass guitar that keeps running throughout the song. The singer says "All right, we're gonna start rollin' it up right around here". He asks for the organ to come in and it obliges. The balance of the lyrics consist mainly of "roll it up" and a lot of "na na's". It's not wholly original but who cares? As a throw away, it's a pretty great homage to things like "Gimme Some Lovin'" and "Land of 1000 Dances". And, of course it's short, clocking in at a very modest 1:40. Still more proof that the simple and the borrowed can be greater than the majority of what's out there.