Single is first launch from the soul group’s closing studio album "The Last Word,: that includes songs from Bruno Mars, Betty Wright and extra.
The mighty O’Jays are again. The legendary trio behind classics reminiscent of “Love Train,” “Back Stabbers,” “For the Love of Money” and “Use Ta Be My Girl” is releasing a brand new single immediately (Oct. 19): “Above the Law."
Just in time for the Nov. 6 midterm elections, the politically charged “Above the Law” — co-written by fellow soul legend Betty Wright and Angelo Morris — is the lead single from The Last Word, the O’Jays’ first studio album in virtually 20 years. S-Curve Records founder Steve Greenberg, Wright, Mike Mangini and Sam Hollander produced “Above the Law,” which critically addresses the social and felony justice turmoil presently enveloping America. The Last Word, due Feb. 22 from S-Curve/BMG, may even be the Rock and Hall of Fame group’s closing studio album in its wealthy 60-year legacy.
“We’re going to be loaded for bear,” says Eddie Levert Sr. of The Last Word. He notes that along with Wright, Bruno Mars can be contributing a track. The group can be trying to reunite with Gamble & Huff, the architects behind a few of the group’s greatest hits, and trade veteran Ron Fair on the forthcoming challenge.
“I’m writing a track and Walter is simply too. It’s all feeling good,” provides Levert. He along with fellow founding member Walter Williams Sr. and Eric Nolan Grant, who joined in 1995, comprise the O’Jays.
Beyond horny love ballads, the O’Jays’ different hallmark has all the time been robust, inspirational messages of their music. And The Last Word isn't any exception. The trio may even be dropping phrases of recommendation for the subsequent technology. “There’s one track we’re engaged on referred to as ‘Stand,’” explains Williams. “In the lyrics, the author desires to know ‘if there’s a coronary heart on the market someplace’ within the wake of college killings and different such information. Like ‘Love Train,’ it’s saying the correct factor.”
Watch the “Above the Law” lyric video:
Here are 5 extra takeaways from Levert and Williams’ Billboard chat:
The determination to report ‘Above the Law’:
Levert: Our supervisor Toby Ludwig [head of 21st Century Artists, Inc.] launched us to Steve Greenberg. Steve introduced us the track and we instantly associated to it. What’s transpired for the reason that presidential election and the injustice that’s occurring now directed the place this track and album are coming from. Some issues simply must be mentioned. So both we’re going to get a whole lot of airplay or individuals aren’t going to play it in any respect. If nothing else, it can hopefully open some eyes or get us blackballed out of this enterprise [laughs heartily] as a result of there are highly effective individuals who personal the radio and media wanted for this track to be heard.
Williams: When we first heard the track, we informed Steve that as quickly as we do that, we’re all going to jail. But a few of the lyrics simply take you there just about.They converse the reality whereas telling a narrative about what’s taking place proper now. People know of their coronary heart of hearts what’s taking place; they’re not blind to what’s occurring. The unhealthy apples attempting to manage the whole lot received’t spoil the entire bunch. People are going to step up. And this track actually spells it out.
Working within the studio with Betty Wright:
Levert: We’ve identified one another and finished reveals collectively for years due to her hit “Clean Up Woman” and different songs. But that is the primary time that we’re doing a few of her materials. I’m elated and impressed. She’s a craftsman who is aware of her enterprise and is a pleasure to work with. It’s remindful of what it was like working with Gamble & Huff and Bunny Sigler again in our Philadelphia International days.
Williams: I’m in awe of her songwriting expertise: what she hears, how she expresses it and the way she desires you to understand it. I love her for taking it on the way in which she does.
Coming full-circle to early ‘70s career-defining albums Back Stabbers and Ship Ahoy:
Levert: People are going to be speaking about this cowl. He [President Trump] may put our names in a tweet this time [laughs].
Williams: We did a whole lot of message materials within the ‘70s. Some issues have modified however a whole lot of issues haven't. The cowl for Ship Ahoy [featuring the group in a slave hold] was controversial for its time. Even then we had been all attempting to determine exist and get alongside. We had been on observe in these days and people [album] songs helped individuals perceive and be taught one thing as they danced. Now issues are a little bit extra tense. So this single cowl is one thing to recollect as nicely.
The secret behind the pair’s 60 years collectively:
Levert: You’ve acquired to comprehend that you just’re by no means going to love anyone every single day. You even have to comprehend that enterprise overrides all the pettiness. It’s about earning money, individuals’s lives and having the ability to pay payments. We got here to grips with that a very long time in the past. We used to disagree and get so mad with each other that we’d combat and tear up a room. But it’s the correct of each particular person to have the ability to disagree. And you can't change an individual regardless of how a lot you beat them down. No matter what our disagreement was, we needed to come to some sort of determination or else the enterprise stops. So we acquired a supervisor, a 3rd occasion to interrupt all ties.
Williams: The glue can be having fun with what we do and watching individuals take pleasure in it. And sure, the one intelligent factor Eddie and I did to have longevity and nonetheless keep impressed was discovering a mediator that we belief. We grumble about it generally. Sometimes it’s like attempting to taste crow — discovering salt, pepper and Cajun seasoning to make it style higher — as a result of it's a must to eat it generally [laughs]. But that’s our coverage and what’s stored us in the identical guide.
Favorite O’Jays message track:
Levert: Mine is “Back Stabbers” as a result of the haters are all the time there.
Williams: “Love Train” as a result of it says all of the issues that must be mentioned, inviting everybody to come back on board. There’s no prejudice in any sense. And it’s the largest track we’ve finished up to now. We’re nonetheless getting royalty checks [laughs].