THE BARGAIN BUY: The Isley Brothers; The Essential Isley Brothers (Sony Legacy)

 |   |  1 min read

The Isley Brothers: This Old Heart of Mine
THE BARGAIN BUY: The Isley Brothers; The Essential Isley Brothers (Sony Legacy)

The great Isley Brothers out of Cincinnati have hardly received their due by rock and pop writers (although they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in '92).

Yet they crafted some of the sassiest, slippery and and most sexy funk-rock'n'pop of their era, which was long. They first troubled the charts in '59, were dominant if not always commercially successful in the late Sixties and early Seventies and a morphing line-up was active in the Nineties. As far back as '75 they were singing "we got to fight the power that be".

It is widely known that Jimi Hendrix was in the band in the early Sixties (a track by him with them is here), and that the Beatles among others covered Twist and Shout which they had brought to mainstream popularity in '62. They were the group which sang This Old Heart of Mine (with the Funk Brothers) which Rod Stewart (again, among others) covered.

Their biggest hit was the glorious Who's That Lady ("sexy lady") in '73 which boasted a wonderful guitar part by Ernie Isley.

They were a family band and a multiple threat -- Ronnie sang, Ernie played guitar and percussion, Marvin was on bass and both Rudy and Kelly sang backing vocals. They had startd in gospel and doo-wop (excellent grounding), moved into rhythm'n'blues then soulful funk, embraced a little disco. . .

They could turn their hands to just about anything . . . as this non-chronological 34-song double disc attests.

It doesn't catch all of their best work (they label-hopped so some material would have been unavailable) but at just $9 from JB Hi-Fi stores here you can hardly argue. And it does include Twist and Shout, That Lady, the groovy Groove With You, their distinctive cover of Summer Breeze (the Seals and Croft hit), This Old Heart, Spill the Wine, Between the Sheets and Caravan of Love (the later Isley-Jasper-Isley hit).JB_HZ_CHEAP_long

It closes with Down Low from '96 where Ronnie and Ernie joined up with R. Kelly.

Good collection, ridiculously low price -- which is why it is this week's Bargain Buy

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   The Bargain Buy articles index

THE BARGAIN BUY: The Real Duke Ellington

THE BARGAIN BUY: The Real Duke Ellington

Many years ago I posted a piece about Duke Ellington under the heading "A genius, but not that great?" in which I referred to the argument by jazz scholar James Lincoln Collier. His... > Read more

THE BARGAIN BUY: Patti Smith; Original Classic Album Series

THE BARGAIN BUY: Patti Smith; Original Classic Album Series

Although few have done it as successfully, or with such frequent inspiration, Patti Smith has had her followers, acolytes and copyists. Which makes it a little harder to come to her innovative... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . ABNER JAY: Play dem bones and skulls

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . ABNER JAY: Play dem bones and skulls

There is an interesting photo of singer and one-man band Abner Jay in the late Seventies playing at what is described as a folk festival. As he pours his all into whatever song has captured him, by... > Read more

CHINA POWER; ART NOW AFTER MAO, a documentary by PIA GETTY (DV1/Southbound DVD)

CHINA POWER; ART NOW AFTER MAO, a documentary by PIA GETTY (DV1/Southbound DVD)

In a recent documentary Drilling for Art, the spotlight was put on Dubai as a place with no art history (other than some minor folkloric things) and a city where 95 percent of people come from... > Read more