Song of the Week: “Back Stabbers” by The O’Jays

by Douglas Cowie on 9 November 2018

Each Friday I pick a song–new, old, borrowed, blue–that’s been on my mind and in my ears, and write a short post about it.

This is “Back Stabbers” by The O’Jays:

A couple of things I’ve been rereading and teaching recently mention “Back Stabbers” by The O’Jays, which was a huge hit back in 1972, though in each case, the song is positioned in relation to other, more well known songs from the same era (“Papa Was a Rolling Stone”, “Superfly”, “Living for the City”…). Somehow “Back Stabbers” holds a position of great song that everybody mentions, but nobody talks about in depth in the same way they do those other songs. I guess I’m not really doing anything different here, but I think we ought to all listen to “Back Stabbers” more than we do. We should all be wearing suits like the one Don Cornelius is sporting here more often, too.


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