The Isley Brothers – The Essential Isley Brothers

ARTIST: The Isley Brothers             essential isley

TITLE: The Essential Isley Brothers

YEAR RELEASED: Compilation


SINGLES: Top 10: Twist and Shout (#17 US, #2 R&B, #42 UK), This Old Heart of Mine (Is Weak for You) (#12 US, #6 R&B, #3 UK), It’s Your Thing (#2 US, #1 R&B, #30 UK), I Turned You On (#23 US, #6 R&B), Love the One You’re With (#18 US, #3 R&B), Lay Away (#54 US, #6 R&B), Pop That Thang (#24 US, #3 R&B), That Lady (#6 US, #2 R&B, #14 UK), What It Comes Down To (#55 US, #5 R&B), Summer Breeze (#60 US, #10 R&B, #16 UK), Harvest for the World (#63 US, #9 R&B, #10 UK), The Pride (#63 US, #1 R&B, #52 UK), Livin’ the Life (#40 US, #4 R&B), Take Me to the Next Phase (#1 R&B, #50 UK), I Wanna Be with You (#1 R&B), Don’t Say Goodnight (It’s Time to Love) (#39 US, #1 R&B), Between the Sheets (#101 US, #3 R&B, #52 UK), Down Low (Nobody Has to Know) (#4 US, #1 R&B, #23 UK)


LINEUP: Ronald Isley, O’Kelly Isley, Rudolph Isley. The 1975-1985 group had Ernie Isley, Chris Jasper, and Marvin Isley

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Comprehensive look at the essential hits for the venerable brother vocal / funk group.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Even though “Shout” and “Twist and Shout” are well-known, those records didn’t really break the group for good. Not even Motown could, but when the vocal group added the younger brothers and in-laws to the mix, and got really funky, that’s when they had staying power.

For many years in the 70’s, they covered rock songs and made them funky and soulful, garnering hits with songs by Steven Stills, Seals & Crofts, and Eric Burdon. They lived on the R&B chart for most of the 70’s, mining a funk / disco groove with extended mixes.

They also had success with ballads, hearkening back to their Motown days, which makes for a quite diverse collection. All in all, this is a collection for those interested in the evolution of soul to funk to modern R&B.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: They recorded a few tracks with a very young Jimi Hendrix, and this collection isn’t streaming the one track that was a single from those sessions, but really, it’s not that great.


GRADE: A-: I’d say this would be a definite one for the collection, but it’s kind of bloated and the sequencing’s kind of odd.


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