Isley Brothers: S/D

Message Bookmarked
Bookmark Removed
These guys have an incredible legacy, but seem SPREAD OUT. Give it your best -- 60's pop hits, 70's soul men. Do it like Ronnie would...

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Tuesday, 20 May 2003 21:09 (eighteen years ago) link

The "Part 2"'s of EVERYTHING.

Nick Southall (Nick Southall), Tuesday, 20 May 2003 21:20 (eighteen years ago) link

Jesus, ONE response?? And from a no-good Brit?

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Wednesday, 21 May 2003 18:20 (eighteen years ago) link

Ernie Isley is the most underrated rock guitarist I can think of. Anything that stretched over three minutes (which is everything, methinks) had hot acid-drenched licks all over it.

And I'm a no-good American, so so there.

Neudonym, Wednesday, 21 May 2003 18:23 (eighteen years ago) link

i just bought a few Isley Brothers' records. if you collect records, they should all go for cheap. mine were all dollar records.

Follow the Brit's advice. all the songs with a part I and a part II are phenomenal.

Live It Up (74) - "Live it up (Part I and II)", "Midnight Sky (Part I and II) and "Ain't I been Good to You (Part I and II)" all feature Ernie Isley's fucked up distorto guitar solos. these are the reasons i buy Isley Brothers' records. brain melting.

The Heat Is On - Featuring "Fight the Power" (75) - each of the six songs has a Part I and II. they break it up into two sides. Side A is the funky, upbeat shake your skinny, white ass side. Side B is the slow romantic, shake your ass vertically in bed side. You will instantly recognize "For the Love of You" and "Make Me Say It Again Girl" from all the oldies soul stations.

Go For Your Guns (77) - i usually stay away from funk and soul albums after say maybe 75, but this one just rocks the shit out. tons of funk and acid guitar. you wouldn't even think disco had any sort of foothold. only four of the seven tracks have Parts I and II. "Footsteps in the Dark (Part I and II)" was sampled for Ice Cube's "Today Was a Good Day". if the rest of the album wasn't already killer, i'd say buy it just for this song.

JasonD (JasonD), Wednesday, 21 May 2003 18:39 (eighteen years ago) link

what's all this Mr. Biggs nonsense? C or D? i haven't heard any of the Mr. Biggs songs so from my perspective, it seems horribly cheesy, but maybe it's a brilliant move.

anthony kyle monday (akmonday), Wednesday, 21 May 2003 18:41 (eighteen years ago) link

"Summer Breeze" rooooolz.

Neudonym, Wednesday, 21 May 2003 18:42 (eighteen years ago) link

so does anyone else think it's really cool they have the number one album in the country right now?

James Blount (James Blount), Wednesday, 21 May 2003 18:45 (eighteen years ago) link

it's incredibly great. anyone heard the record itself?

Neudonym, Wednesday, 21 May 2003 19:00 (eighteen years ago) link

I'm sure it's more R. Kelly extravaganza, which is fine by me. I'm not crazy about much of his own stuff but the summer of the Sparkle/Kelly Price/Ron Isley epics was pure heaven for me. (Sterling Clover to thread now btw)

James Blount (James Blount), Wednesday, 21 May 2003 19:03 (eighteen years ago) link

The achievement of making genuinely great records in the '50s, '60s and '70s, of very different types, is pretty major, I think. Twist & Shout and Shout in the '50s, This Old Heart Of Mine in the '60s, Harvest For The World and Summer Breeze in the '70s. And Neudonym is right about how great Ernie's guitar playing was.

Martin Skidmore (Martin Skidmore), Wednesday, 21 May 2003 19:50 (eighteen years ago) link

IMO, you only need exactly three albums by this band:

It's Our Thing - shockingly hard grooves for the 60s
The Heat Is On

Though keep in mind I listen to them for the rock and
funk, not the ballads or the R&B (though they're
good too, of course).

Squirrel_Police (Squirrel_Police), Thursday, 22 May 2003 01:53 (eighteen years ago) link

"Give The Women What They Want" rules.

Fritz Wollner (Fritz), Thursday, 22 May 2003 02:09 (eighteen years ago) link

I particularly like "3+3" ("Who's that lady" with its classic Ernie Isley guitar solo, but the whole album is brilliant) and the opening medley of "Ohio" and "Machine Gun" at the start of "Givin' it back" - very powerful.

James Ball (James Ball), Thursday, 22 May 2003 07:20 (eighteen years ago) link

Anybody heard the new album?

jad, Thursday, 22 May 2003 07:55 (eighteen years ago) link

Yeah 'The Heat is On' is GREAT! It's so good I can't decide between the rock side and the makeout side.

Andrew Thames (Andrew Thames), Thursday, 22 May 2003 11:07 (eighteen years ago) link

two months pass...
I so need to get some more Isley Brothers records. I had no idea how good 'Footsteps in the Dark' was.

What's this about a new album?

N. (nickdastoor), Monday, 4 August 2003 15:40 (eighteen years ago) link

one year passes...
I think I love almost all of the songs on your disk, N.

'footsteps in the dark' is amazing.

cºzen (Cozen), Thursday, 11 November 2004 17:33 (seventeen years ago) link

3+3 has been rocking my world lately -- especially Summer Breeze.

This reminds me of a great argument/conversation between two of my bandmates about the original Seals and Croft version. One member kept saying that the "jasmine in my mind" part was obviously about "being high" and the other one insisted that it was about "B'Hai" (Seals and Croft are apparently of that persuasion).

Hurting (Hurting), Thursday, 11 November 2004 17:42 (seventeen years ago) link

That wouldn't surprise me. What's the best comp to get by these fellas, anyway?

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Thursday, 11 November 2004 17:51 (seventeen years ago) link

There's no best comp - their three great eras were on different labels, and the best stuff has never been brought together, as far as I know. You need different comps for the great '50s stuff, the Motown stuff and the '70s stuff.

Martin Skidmore (Martin Skidmore), Friday, 12 November 2004 19:50 (seventeen years ago) link

That's what I thought.

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Friday, 12 November 2004 20:08 (seventeen years ago) link

Nah, the "It's Your Thing" three-CD box covers a lot of great stuff from different labels and eras. Also contains two killer singles from when Hendrix was in the band -- "Move Over and Let Me Dance" (one of the three or five best things they ever did) and "Testify."

Rickey Wright (Rrrickey), Saturday, 13 November 2004 10:57 (seventeen years ago) link

My two faves have to be "Work to Do" and the incredibly beautiful "Harvest for the World." Never liked "Summer Breeze" all that much myself, but it certainly is preferable to listening to Dash Ashcroft and his Performing Seal or whoever those guys were. I only really know the '70s stuff, need to bone up on their earlier material.

eddie hurt (ddduncan), Saturday, 13 November 2004 17:35 (seventeen years ago) link

"Get Into Something" is fucking amazing.

Tantrum The Cat (Tantrum The Cat), Saturday, 13 November 2004 17:36 (seventeen years ago) link

Legacy did some nice reissues in the late 90s of the Isleys' underated turn-of-the-seventies rock/funk albums. "Get Into Something" is my fave. "Brother to Brother" has its moments.

lovebug starski (lovebug starski), Saturday, 13 November 2004 17:51 (seventeen years ago) link

S: Fight The Power, the long version

billstevejim, Saturday, 13 November 2004 17:56 (seventeen years ago) link

My two favourite things about "Get Into Something" are the "Dance To The Music"-style breakdown ("Give the drummer some!"), and the slowdown into what is essentially a rewrite of "It's Your Thing" on the outro.

An astute DJ could use this record as a fast-to-slow transition track. In fact, I'm surprised that this record isn't sampled or remixed more often - I've only ever heard one break lifted from it (for a Norman Cook track on the very first Beats International album).

Tantrum The Cat (Tantrum The Cat), Saturday, 13 November 2004 17:59 (seventeen years ago) link

DJ Kool Herc and Bambaataa played "Get Into Something" back in the day, and I believe the track also shows up on playlists from early disco hotspots like The Loft and the Gallery.
As you said, it's got a dope breakbeat and a fast-to-slow transition -- hiphop and disco bases covered!
When I reviewed the reissue I also suggested DJs take advantage.

lovebug starski (lovebug starski), Saturday, 13 November 2004 18:03 (seventeen years ago) link

one year passes...
where to start! where to start!

s1ocki (slutsky), Friday, 30 December 2005 04:21 (sixteen years ago) link

I have the 3 disc "It's Your Thing," which is solid throughout and covers a lot of ground, but there was a 2 disc "Essential" put out by Sony last year that might be better value, not sure.

"Move Over And Let Me Dance" w/ Hendrix is killer

TS: "Keep on Doin" vs "The Grunt" by the J.B.'s

Keith C (lync0), Friday, 30 December 2005 04:55 (sixteen years ago) link

a 2-disc set would really be the perfect size for me.

s1ocki (slutsky), Friday, 30 December 2005 04:57 (sixteen years ago) link

Love for the Brother, Brother, Brother album, especially the title track (Carole King cover). No one track as astonishingly good as "Summer Breeze" but a solid listen all through.

Joseph McCombs (Joseph McCombs), Friday, 30 December 2005 05:24 (sixteen years ago) link

get everything ever released on T-Neck; from the It's Your Thing album to Between the Sheets. Then maybe that comp of the complete RCA stuff too.

Stormy Davis (diamond), Friday, 30 December 2005 05:29 (sixteen years ago) link

i saw the essentials today & i came close but i didn't buy it. and of course i'm regretting it now.

s1ocki (slutsky), Friday, 30 December 2005 20:08 (sixteen years ago) link

i for one have yet to find anything topping "soul on the rocks" and its supreme fuzz-slathered octane romp, "why when love is gone". that track never fails to get a reaction.

naturemorte, Saturday, 31 December 2005 10:06 (sixteen years ago) link

three years pass...

givin it back is totally crucial for ohio/machinegun and spill the wine

El Tomboto, Thursday, 15 January 2009 01:20 (thirteen years ago) link

ten months pass...

Overwhelming to know where to start with these guys....what is some stuff that captures the vibe of "Footsteps in the Dark"?

milliband (Abbott), Tuesday, 17 November 2009 03:13 (twelve years ago) link

Why does the guy on the bottom left corner have his face covered?

milliband (Abbott), Tuesday, 17 November 2009 03:15 (twelve years ago) link

check that whole album

GANGSTA KILLER (deej), Tuesday, 17 November 2009 03:17 (twelve years ago) link

two months pass...

What's the effect pedal/technique that Ernie uses on Who's That Lady? Any other songs that have that sound out there?

Brio, Sunday, 24 January 2010 01:55 (twelve years ago) link

four months pass...

RIP Marvin Isley

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 8 June 2010 14:32 (eleven years ago) link

don't forget the early stuff. THis Old Heart of Mine takes some beating

Dr X O'Skeleton, Tuesday, 8 June 2010 14:44 (eleven years ago) link

RIP Marv :(

Wenlock & Mandelson (Tom D.), Wednesday, 9 June 2010 10:13 (eleven years ago) link

one year passes...

"this old heart of mine" sounds like it was written for the four tops first

ASPIE Rocky (dayo), Saturday, 12 November 2011 20:06 (ten years ago) link

wikipedia says it was meant for the supremes. oh well close enough

ASPIE Rocky (dayo), Saturday, 12 November 2011 20:08 (ten years ago) link

four months pass...

This take just kicks ass.

It's a good record all the way through.

I'd love to have a time machine to check out what the r&b club scene was like in the late 60s in Ohio. There was so much talent in that area in that time, I bet there was some great shows that went down.

earlnash, Thursday, 5 April 2012 01:52 (ten years ago) link

gonna rep for "givin it back", amazing covers on there

the late great, Thursday, 5 April 2012 01:54 (ten years ago) link

one year passes...

Ernie Isley just wails on "Climbin' Up the Ladder, Parts 1 & 2" from 'Go for Your Guns'. It gives a taste what some Hendrix might have sounded like on top of some heavy mid 70s funk grooves.

earlnash, Sunday, 28 July 2013 23:56 (eight years ago) link

The Isleys are easily in the very top strata of artists of all time.

There shouldn't be a thread for Dennis Perrin tweets. (stevie), Monday, 29 July 2013 06:47 (eight years ago) link

five months pass...

This is a cool article I found on the recording of "That Lady" and that amazing lead guitar sound. There is an interesting connection between the Isley's and Tonto's Expanding Head Band that I did not know about.

earlnash, Wednesday, 8 January 2014 04:48 (eight years ago) link

That's a great read!

the "Weird Al" Yankovic of country music (stevie), Wednesday, 8 January 2014 09:46 (eight years ago) link

THey put out a Classic lp box set a few years ago which consists of their late 60s, early 70s material. I think it was about the first time I came across a Classic years box.

Had been wanting to check out that stuff for years I think it goes up to 3+3, cos I don't think i have that lp elsewhere though I did have it on vinyl years back.

Their late 50s stuff is pretty great frenetic stuff a feeling they kept throughout their Motown years too. I thought the This Old Heart Of Mine lp pretty hard-edged for Motown.

Stevolende, Wednesday, 8 January 2014 11:04 (eight years ago) link

Yeah, I think that's why their Motown career didn't really work out - they were an odd fit, though the clash between Motown's sweet polish and Ron's gutsy vocal gave us This Old Heart Of Mine, which is just the greatest.

I wrote an 'Isleys in 10 tracks' piece for the Guardian that went up yesterday, and boiling a five decade career down to 10 tracks was a pulverisingly tricky task. I'm currently being taken to task in the comments for not including Summer Breeze (which, obv, is a brilliant track, but I prefer Harvest For The World as an example of their light pop side, and That Lady as a showcase for Ernie's guitar skills).

the "Weird Al" Yankovic of country music (stevie), Wednesday, 8 January 2014 11:32 (eight years ago) link

one year passes...

man I wish "Summer Breeze" was 100 minutes long

droit au butt (Euler), Wednesday, 18 February 2015 09:40 (seven years ago) link

stretches out a bit but really I want this to go on forever

droit au butt (Euler), Wednesday, 18 February 2015 12:26 (seven years ago) link

one of the best parts of the "Internet Age" is that I can find a band like this that I'd never really paid attention to before, except for the most obvious singles, and listen the shit out of them on a binge and realize THEY'RE THE BEST BAND EVER

& yes I am listening to "Summer Breeze" YET AGAIN right now. such an amazing song: piano and drums dancing together, lovely singing, and massive fuzzed out guitar wailing. the piano gives it jazziness but it swings in a rock way too, is there a book about this song I can read, I feel like I could understand everything I want to know about music from reading it & listening to this song forever

but then like "Between The Sheets" is amazing too in a completely different way. like was there not a style these guys didn't do? I used to think that about the Young Rascals, like they were behind every "oldies" song whose name I didn't know, but with the Isleys, it's like, they did everything, from the early 60s through what became g funk.

they are really the best band in the world, I'm so blown away

droit au butt (Euler), Thursday, 19 February 2015 17:07 (seven years ago) link


hammer smashed nagls (mattresslessness), Thursday, 19 February 2015 17:28 (seven years ago) link

six months pass...

Euler so otm!

In other news p4k rates 23 Isley Brothers albums with mathematical precision

niels, Friday, 11 September 2015 09:04 (six years ago) link

he's definitely right about the heat is on being their best album. the slow side of that one is like heroin thru the veins.

J. Sam, Friday, 11 September 2015 12:56 (six years ago) link

I'm hard-pressed to think of a bigger chasm between a crap original and a brilliant cover:

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Friday, 11 September 2015 14:04 (six years ago) link

that live album is phenomenal

fund metal health (stevie), Monday, 14 September 2015 09:44 (six years ago) link

one year passes...

Don't say goodnight, best slow jam

A True White Kid that can Jump (Granny Dainger), Saturday, 10 June 2017 06:35 (four years ago) link


niels, Saturday, 10 June 2017 08:55 (four years ago) link

was there ever a better guitar solo than Ernie's on Summer Breeze?

niels, Saturday, 10 June 2017 08:59 (four years ago) link

seven months pass...

They really were awesome.

morning wood truancy (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 11 January 2018 03:48 (four years ago) link

Nice! Was hoping you would include “Love the One You’re With” - the live version- but hey, who am I to tell you who to sock it to.

Before Hollywood Swing (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 11 January 2018 04:06 (four years ago) link

That live version - the entire album, in fact - is awesome.

"Taste's very strange!" (stevie), Thursday, 11 January 2018 11:22 (four years ago) link

Repost of link that shifted and broke upthread:

Before Hollywood Swing (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 11 January 2018 11:43 (four years ago) link

six months pass...

Where's the best place to start with these guys? Seems like I've heard a fair bit but it's so all over the place stylistically and there's so much stuff..

Scritti Vanilli - The Word Girl You Know It's True (dog latin), Friday, 3 August 2018 08:40 (three years ago) link

Bought this v v cheaply from Fopp a little while ago - excellent 3 CD set of their late 60s/70s stuff - all the hits and lots of deep cuts:

Ward Fowler, Friday, 3 August 2018 08:49 (three years ago) link

I almost think it'd have to be a box set, but the Live album from the 70s, plus Brother, Brother, Brother, 3x3 and Fight The Power are all favourites of mine.

Arthur Funzonerelli (stevie), Friday, 3 August 2018 08:50 (three years ago) link

I'm not deep in their catalog but 3 + 3 is one of my favorite albums, a joy from start to finish

niels, Friday, 3 August 2018 09:55 (three years ago) link

Late 60s/early 70s is prob my fave era but some highlight albums:

Shout (1959)
This Old Heart Of Mine (1966)
Doin' Their Thing (1969)
3+3 (1973)

I guess you could try those and go from there

Colonel Poo, Friday, 3 August 2018 10:03 (three years ago) link

This is my go-to Isleys comp:

Spans the '50s through the '80s, includes live stuff and Motown.

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Friday, 3 August 2018 13:49 (three years ago) link

one year passes...

Good lawddd...the groove on "Live it Up Pt 1 & 2" is unbelievable. I bet there was some DJs that could turn a crowd upside town with a couple of copies of that record.

earlnash, Thursday, 2 January 2020 03:14 (two years ago) link

three months pass...

I have the Isleys boxset...just randomly pulling albums out without looking...currently got on 81’s ‘Inside Out’...v pleasant but unremarkable...they made some absolute crackers though

X-Prince Protégé (sonnyboy), Tuesday, 7 April 2020 15:04 (two years ago) link

WEIRD. Just listened to like five Isley albums yesterday.

'Take Inventory' is a solid groove but lyrically it has, er um ahh, not aged well.

Unparalleled Elegance (Old Lunch), Tuesday, 7 April 2020 15:28 (two years ago) link

I love the title track of that 1981 album (it’s Inside You btw). It’s very Marvin Gaye-ish.

No mean feat. DaBaby (breastcrawl), Tuesday, 7 April 2020 15:46 (two years ago) link

Just slapped on Isleys Live, inspired by seeing this thread appear in my New Answers. Such a great, great set.

Pinche Cumbion Bien Loco (stevie), Tuesday, 7 April 2020 15:50 (two years ago) link

There’s an unreleased live album in the box set ‘Live At Bearsville’ (probably recorded live in the studio) that I listened to a while ago...remember thinking how great it was

X-Prince Protégé (sonnyboy), Tuesday, 7 April 2020 15:52 (two years ago) link

argh woah i wanna hear that

Pinche Cumbion Bien Loco (stevie), Tuesday, 7 April 2020 15:57 (two years ago) link

Sorry it’s called ‘Wild In Woodstock’ ...just checked it’s on streaming services and I’ve just put it’s fucking great

X-Prince Protégé (sonnyboy), Tuesday, 7 April 2020 16:00 (two years ago) link

such an incredible band

Joey Corona (Euler), Tuesday, 7 April 2020 16:01 (two years ago) link

I just learned of the existence of that boxset yesterday, as well. Something like 28 discs?!? I mean, including some of their labelmates' work, but

Unparalleled Elegance (Old Lunch), Tuesday, 7 April 2020 16:35 (two years ago) link

three months pass...

A little slow on the uptake but why on earth is this Live at Bearsville not a separate release? The version of Summer Breeze alone - Ernie is pure fire!

Vanishing Point (Chinaski), Friday, 17 July 2020 21:37 (one year ago) link

I kinda bought the box set for that’s so great as are the Isleys

X-Prince Protégé (sonnyboy), Friday, 17 July 2020 22:53 (one year ago) link

eight months pass...

did no one here see the verzuz between EWF and the isleys? (sorry if its discussed in another thread). has to be the best verzuz that ive seen. literally not listened to this stuff in at least a decade and it was just amazing to hear it, but also just to see how cool both bands were with each other, as well as to see ernie isley playing along. seriously regretting not seeing them the last time they were touring in london.

candyman, Tuesday, 13 April 2021 18:04 (one year ago) link

I've been saving it for a blue day, but looking very much forward to it.

avatar of a kind of respectability homosexual culture (Eric H.), Tuesday, 13 April 2021 18:05 (one year ago) link

i watched half, then did the same as you. almost dont want to finish it as i loved it so much.

the R&B ones of verzuz are my favourite from what ive seen. you can sense real admiration and congeniality between them (eg babyface and teddy riley).

my one gripe, apart from wishing they were playing with their bands, rather than just playing along with the records (though ron isley just sounds so good, despite his age), is that the DJ kept messing up the chronology, so you had late 70s EWF being paired up with 60s isleys, which made no sense to me, but then maybe that made it a bit less obvious? idk.

candyman, Tuesday, 13 April 2021 18:15 (one year ago) link

in verzuz, don't the artists pick and choose the songs and order? i think d-nice was just doing what he was told

voodoo chili, Tuesday, 13 April 2021 18:37 (one year ago) link

Yeah, I doubt it was some kind of "stump the band" thing.

but also fuck you (unperson), Tuesday, 13 April 2021 18:57 (one year ago) link

three months pass...

Can’t tell if this was posted before but even so it’s so tasty worth doing it again.

that's not my post, Saturday, 17 July 2021 03:43 (ten months ago) link

nine months pass...

TIL they have an incredible catalog of 60s/70s soft rock covers beyond Summer Breeze. Their covers of It's Too Late, Lay Lady Lay, Sunshine (Go Away Today) and Fire and Rain are mind blowing.

that's not my post, Saturday, 7 May 2022 04:09 (one week ago) link

The live album from around that era is sublime

politics is about vibes and the vibes are off (stevie), Saturday, 7 May 2022 09:08 (one week ago) link

Love the One You’re With as well, iirc

Johnny Thunderwords (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 7 May 2022 10:38 (one week ago) link

There's a decent Original Albums set covering the turn of the 70s T-Neck etc material up to 3+3 .
Starts on Brothers Isley. So I think may be skipping one T-Neck set not sure what the reasoning behind what is and isn't included on these things tends to be. I remember it being pretty good throughout but has been a while since i last listened through it.
Possibly just that they wanted 5 lps and to end on 3+3. So they've just done the consecutive ones.

Stevolende, Saturday, 7 May 2022 11:22 (one week ago) link

Years ago I took Rhino's two The Isley Brothers Story releases and combined them with Sony's much heralded but less comprehensive It's Your Thing: The Story Of The Isley Brothers. A lot of overlap, and after dropping a few mediocre CD-only bonus tracks found only on the Rhino set, the whole thing fit on to three CD-R's packed to the brim. I would have recommended the Rhino and Sony sets to anyone, but merged together, it's a mightily impressive summary of their career.

birdistheword, Saturday, 7 May 2022 16:58 (one week ago) link

I do like their Motown mid 60s stuff too which si pretty hard for Motown. Then & The Contours.
& the earlier r'n'r stuff that the Beatles had early hits with is quite great too.

Stevolende, Saturday, 7 May 2022 17:44 (one week ago) link

You must be logged in to post. Please either login here, or if you are not registered, you may register here.