From the Vault...


Isley Brothers
"The Isley Brothers Story
Volume 1:
Rockin' Soul

© Rhino Records

Year of Release: 1991

track listing
  • Shout - Pts. 1 & 2
  • Respectable
  • Rock Around
    The Clock
  • Open Up Your Heart
  • Your Old Lady
  • Twist And Shout
  • Twistin' With Linda
  • Nobody But Me
  • She's Gone
  • You'll Never Leave Him
  • Who's That Lady
  • Testify - Pts. 1 & 2
  • The Last Girl
  • Move Over And
    Let Me Dance
  • This Old Heart Of Mine
    (Is Weak For You)
  • Take Some Time Out
    For Love
  • I Guess I'll
    Always Love You
  • Got To Have You Back
  • Take Me In Your Arms
    (Rock Me A
    Little While)
  • Behind A Painted Smile

  • WSVNRadio Archives
    A B C D E F G H I J K L M
    N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

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    Box Of Frogs--Box Of Frogs/Strange Land
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    April Wine--The Whole World's Goin' Crazy
    Isley Brothers
    "The Isley Brothers Story-Volume 1: Rockin' Soul (1959-68)"

    When you think of the Isley Brothers, most people remember their songs from the 1970s, such as "Who's That Lady," and "It's Your Thing." What most people may not know about them, is that they've been around since the late 1950s. Rhino's Volume 1: Rockin' Soul (1959-68) features the beginning years of the Isleys, where their music truly does define black rhythm & blues/soul music.

    The album opens with "Shout - Pts. 1 & 2", where most people may not remember that the Isleys version. Most people remember this song from the movie Animal House, by Otis Day & The Knights. "Respectable" is another song that many 1960s bands had covered, (most famous later by The Outsiders). And even though Bill Haley had the original, what act hasn't recorded their version of "Rock Around The Clock?" "Twist And Shout," where most people remember The Beatles' version, is also here by the Isleys.

    "Open Up Your Heart" has the common 1950s doo-wop sound. "Your Old Lady" is more rhythm & blues, and it has some pure grit to it. Other grit-R&B songs: "Twistin' With Linda," and "Testify Pts. 1 & 2," which is in the same style as "Shout," having a James Brown and/or Little Richard style.

    "Nobody But Me" is on this collection, as this song is most remembered by the band The Human Beinz. The Isleys' version is more upbeat, and most definitely, defines rhythm & blues.

    "She's Gone" truly defines soul with this ballad. "You'll Never Leave Him" has a pop sound, and it's a song that could easily have been recorded by the likes of Harry Belafonte.

    Back in this time period, the Isleys recorded "Who's That Lady," which would be later covered by them in the heyday of 1970s soul/funk. Their version here is a bit more jazzy.

    "The Last Girl" is another soul ballad, as in the style of Smokey early Robinson & The Miracles. Another typical R&B number, like their version of "Twist And Shout," "Shout" and "Testify," the song "Move Over And Let Me Dance" gets the R&B juices flowing.

    One of the most popular early Isley songs is "This Old Heart Of Mine (Is Weak For You)" is here, and it's truly a great song, which in later decades (1990) would feature Ronald Isley with Rod Stewart. "Take Some Time Out For Love" is another R&B number, as heard in many other songs from this collection. "I Guess I'll Always Love You" is a bit more pop, "Got To Have You Back" has a Smokey Robinson-Motown sound.

    And another one of those "I didn't know they did that song:" In the 1970s The Doobie Brothers recorded "Take Me In Your Arms (Rock Me A Little While)." And the Isleys recorded this song too; it's just as great as the Doobies' version. Closing out the album is "Behind A Painted Smile," another Motown sound-alike.

    Defining true-grit rhythm and blues and a small touch of soul, best defines the early years of The Isley Brothers. Ronald, Rudolph and O'Kelly Isley put more "oomph" in their early years, than the common doo-wop sound of most early 1950s acts. The music style they performed could easily be seen in the likes of Little Richard, James Brown, and early Motown. All in all, it's pure black rhythm & blues. Some of these songs you have heard on oldies stations, and maybe surprised that the Isleys recorded these songs, like "Shout" and "Twist And Shout." Even songs that would much later be covered, like "Take Me In Your Arms," and "Nobody But Me." And then there's the original version of what would later become one of their signature songs, "Who's That Lady," and the unforgettable "This Old Heart Of Mine." It's a true fine collection of songs by the Isleys, and a great listen in discovering their early recordings.

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    Previous Review: #673
    Box Of Frogs--Box Of Frogs/Strange Land
    Next Review: #675
    April Wine--The Whole World's Goin' Crazy