Category: The Isley Brothers

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.


The Isley Brothers – Shout!

ARTIST: The Isley Brothers Shout-isleys
TITLE: Shout!
SINGLES: Shout (Part One) (#47 US), Respectable, How Deep Is the Ocean
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: They covered a lot of standards on this.
LINEUP: Ronald Isley, O’Kelly Isley, Jr., Rudolph Isley
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Shout was a hit. RCA wanted an album. Here’s what they got.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: I almost didn’t review it, especially since I had to put the album together via a playlist. However, all of the RCA masters for the Isley Brothers are in one collection (18 tracks) so it was easy to put it in the right order.

This kind of album is why I don’t want to review very many 50’s and early 60’s albums. The performances by the Isley’s are good to great for the most part, but the material is more like “What do you know, and who are the publishers that I owe favors to?” The album has When the Saints Go Marching In (as the lead cut)!

It’s good for what it is, but it isn’t going in my collection except for the obvious song.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: As you can see, Shout didn’t chart well and didn’t even make the R&B chart, but it still sold a million copies – slowly but surely!

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No but if you like this stuff the RCA Masters are available.

GRADE: C+: Shout ups the grade, otherwise it’s a good vocal group doing standards. If you like this kind of stuff (doo-wop and early R&B) go for it.