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: Aerosmith; Toys in the Attic (Sony)

THE BARGAIN BUY: Aerosmith; Toys in the Attic (Sony)

There's a fairly lazy shorthand about Aerosmith, they are the band that so wanted to be the Rolling Stones that over time frontman Steve Tyler and guitarist Joe Perry started to look like Mick and... > Read more

THE BARGAIN BUY: The Sony "Original Album Classics" series: Softly, softly

THE BARGAIN BUY: The Sony "Original Album Classics" series: Softly, softly

What is that saying? The heart wants what the heart wants? And sometimes hearts just want to slow the pace, turn the volume dpwn and just let some really really nice music wash over it. Well,... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE COMPILER'S QUESTIONNAIRE: Grant Gillanders

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE COMPILER'S QUESTIONNAIRE: Grant Gillanders

When Auckland's Grant Gillanders puts together a compilation or prepares a reissue of New Zealand music – and he has done at least two dozen in the past decade or so – it's not for... > Read more

The Skatalites: Anthology (Primo/Southbound)

The Skatalites: Anthology (Primo/Southbound)

This 35-track double disc pulls together essential Skatalite material alongside work that appeared under the names of some the group's members (Rolando Alphonso, Baba Brooks, Don Drummond, Tommy... > Read more