Song Of The Day 6/18/2014: The O'Jays - "Your Body's Here With Me (But Your Mind Is On the Other Side of Town)"

Black Music Month/Philadelphia Week: This is the newest of all 20 R&B songs I'm featuring this month: It's from 1982. It reached #13 on the Billboard R&B chart. By that point the O'Jays had scored their last big pop hit, "Use Ta Be My Girl" (not "Used To") in 1978, but Eddie Levert still maintained one of music's most recognizable voices and hadn't slipped a twitch off his game. A true triumph of salacious extended parenthetical titles, "Your Body's Here With Me" was co-produced and co-written by Philadelphia cult hero Bunny Sigler, whom you'll be hearing from in a more personal manner a little later.

I discovered this song in the same unlikely place I discovered yesterday's SOTD from the Mighty Clouds Of Joy: sitting unheralded in the R&B album shelves at KAOS Olympia, on the vinyl copy of the enclosing album My Favorite Person. No group brought as much unguarded peril to tense emotional situations like the O'Jays -- yeah, they had "Love Train," but on the rest of the Back Stabbers album lovers are playing with fire, locked in cycles of deception and angry as hell. Same here, ten years later. It's a little frightening. You know, even "Love Train" sounds a little intimidating in a way. It's a big-ass train and I can't see the conductor.

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