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Soul/Funk/R&B - Released August 21, 2015 | Epic - Legacy

Hi-Res Distinctions 4F de Télérama - The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Pitchfork: Best New Reissue
In a way, the Isley Brothers have been taken for granted. Part of that is the group's unwitting doing because they were exceptionally steady. From 1966 through 1983, the Isleys placed at least one single on the Billboard R&B chart each year. They were always present, frequently at or near the top. For an extended period, they were among the most progressive groups, whether they were mixing gospel, soul, and rock, incorporating synthesizers without sacrificing the funk, covering pop hits and often surpassing them, or epitomizing quiet storm. When they retreated from the fore, they adapted with ease. Another factor in their undervalued status is that their vast discography has been reissued in chunks by various sources across the decades. The RCA Victor & T-Neck Album Masters: 1959-1983, released by the Sony catalog's Legacy division, is a corrective measure in the form of a compact 23-disc box set. It doesn't cover the Isleys' brief '60s stints with Wand, United Artists, and Tamla, but it is remarkably generous with dozens of bonus tracks -- mono versions, single edits, instrumentals, and so forth -- and LP-replica sleeves for each album. As an extra enticement for those who dutifully rounded up those late-'90s Legacy and early-2010s BBR reissues, there's Wild in Woodstock, a previously unreleased recording of the Go All the Way-era band performing at Bearsville Studios. Intended for release with overdubbed crowd noise that was thankfully never applied, the set alternates between blistering and gliding and deserves a separate physical issue outside the box. ~ Andy Kellman

Funk - Released August 21, 2015 | Epic - Legacy

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography

Pop - Released January 1, 2003 | DreamWorks

Body Kiss is one of those Isley Brothers recordings. Feeling more like a return to the T Neck years than anything else, Body Kiss is an album of the prime seductive variety harking back in terms of tempo, song structure, production, and pace to releases like The Heat Is On and Harvest for the World. Produced and almost completely written by R. Kelly, Body Kiss features Ron and Ernie Isley taking the soft soul approach to decidedly urban love songs. Kelly understands the dynamics inherent in the Brothers' approach and has constructed a set of songs that plays to those strengths. While Ron's voice has lost none of its deep emotional expressionism, Ernie's guitar playing is more restrained here, though no less imaginative. There's less Hendrix and more Isley. On the title track, his dovetailing lead lines tie off the ends of Ron's sung lines and open up on to the next one. On "Superstar," his lilting tone is affected just enough to add to the rich textural palette of the vocal and basslines. "What Would You Do?" features his Stratocaster painting the vocal just enough. If seduction is the M.O. for these tunes, they flower not only in steamy eroticism, but also in honest and deeply moving romanticism. Isley makes even the most suggestive love song seem like a paean to commitment and endurance. Kelly's particular ability to write for the strength of conviction in the grain of his voice also turns back the clock on urban soul tropes but simultaneously brings the Isleys' signature sound into the 21st century. The shimmering, laid-back funk in "Prize Possession," with its tapered flute fills, is the kind of song Aaron Hall would have given his right arm to record. And in Ron Isley's silky tenor, every word is believable, no matter how macho. Body Kiss is a better Isleys record than listeners had any right to expect and it is a signature collaboration between the band and Kelly; given that this is a first outing for the team, one hopes that the creative field that exists between will be further explored. ~ Thom Jurek

Soul/Funk/R&B - Released August 24, 2004 | Epic - Legacy

The reactionary days of "you kids are killing us with your downloading!" and big FBI anti-piracy warnings on the back of every major-label offering don't warrant a collection this quirky-cool and risky. The idea of remixing the Isley Brothers is hardly the stunning part; it's the excellent and tasteful selection of remixers on Taken to the Next Phase, an unnecessary but incredibly fun reworking of the Isley Brothers' deepest moments. None of the producers here mishandle the Isleys, but they aren't afraid to attack these tracks with an unexpected attitude either. Reggae hitmaker Steven "Lenky" Marsden's hectic dancehall reworking of "Between the Sheets" is a huge surprise and works wonderfully. Deep house man Gabriel Rene makes "Footsteps in the Dark" a deeper delicious with loopy touches and De La Soul sound like it's the Daisy Age once again on "It's a New Thing" (their update of "It's Your Thing"). The great big killer is saved for last with Mos Def turning "Groove With You" into the title-says-it-all "Beauty in the Dark." The rap world has mined the Isleys' back catalog for their own use plenty of times, and this payback shows how much these artists appreciated it. A remix collection you don't have to make excuses about; that's rare. A throwback that's as funky as the original; that's incredible. ~ David Jeffries

Soul/Funk/R&B - Released January 9, 2001 | Epic - Associated - Legacy

It's hard to believe that Ronnie Isley collaborated with Dr. Dre and the departed Tupac Shakur on some of the late 20th century's most hardcore hip-hop music. Isley, of the renowned group the Isley Brothers, has his roots firmly placed in '70s R&B and soul music. D'Angelo, Maxwell, and R. Kelly, among other bedroom-music artists, all owe a bit of thanks to the Isley Brothers, the original slow-jam crooners. The trio's sexiest and most sensual moments have been captured on Love Songs, an ongoing series of CD collections of the same name on Columbia Legacy and Epic Legacy Records. (Other Love Songs sets for 2001 include recordings from Frank Sinatra, Patti LaBelle, Aretha Franklin, and Duke Ellington.) And as far as thematic compilations go, this one is a winner. The 13 selected tracks on Love Songs don't skip a beat, and the sexy boudoir fare remains consistent throughout the album's 70-plus minutes. There is a certain sensitivity inherent to Isley's falsetto voice that sets him apart from other singers in this category of music. It's a vulnerability and tenderness that Barry White, and others of the like, do not have. Such Isley Brothers greats as "For the Love of You," "Voyage to Atlantis," "Sensuality," and "Between the Sheets" are included on Love Songs. The CD is a treasured example of the original bedroom music, and arguably more potent than its contemporary counterparts. No amount of pheromones, love potions, or "spells" can come close to the romantic rendezvous that is the Isley Brothers' Love Songs. Play this album at your own risk -- and expect to call in "sick" to the office the next day. ~ Liana Jonas

Soul/Funk/R&B - Released February 2, 1999 | Epic


R&B - Released January 1, 2001 | DreamWorks

Within seconds of listening to "Move Your Body," the opener to Eternal, the latest by the Isley Brothers, audiences will easily agree -- the forefathers of boudoir faire still have it. Forty years in the business have not chiseled away at the talented brothers: Ronald Isley's falsetto is unwavering and remains inimitable in 2001, when the R&B market is saturated. Ernie Isley soars on guitar -- "Ernie's Jam" showcases the brother playing soulful and tasty solos, à la Jimi Hendrix -- adding further sexiness to this already sensual disc. Cheaters are blatantly busted on the slithering "Contagious," where the rogue-lover is caught in the act. The words coming from the jilted are so vivid and painful. Ronald specifically describes walking toward the bedroom, hearing his lover crying out someone else's name. Ouch. While it's all about sex and pleasing a lover on the arousing "Just Like This," the disc is not just skin on skin. The album poignantly explores commitment on such romantic slow jams as "You're All I Need," "Settle Down," and the title track. An impressive roster of collaborators -- writers, performers, and producers -- grace Eternal and they span old-school and modern R&B players such as R. Kelly, Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis, and Jill Scott. There is nothing groundbreaking on this recording, however, the longtime R&B legends prove they're still very much worth their salt and can keep up very well with the Joneses. Indeed, the Isley Brothers are eternal. ~ Liana Jonas

Soul/Funk/R&B - Released October 17, 2000 | Epic - Associated - Legacy

The Isley Brothers have had such a long and varied career that trying to sum up their highlights in a best-of package is bound to fall short of the mark. That hasn't, of course, kept people from trying to do so, in both single-disc and multi-disc sets. Although every song on this 17-song, single-disc anthology was a hit, it severely short-changes their vital (and extensive) pre-1970 output. The pre-"It's Your Thing" era is represented by just two tracks, "Twist and Shout" and "Shout," omitting not just bona fide hits like "This Old Heart of Mine," but great cuts like "Nobody But Me" and "Testify." As a survey of their 1970s and early-'80s hits, this does a more reasonable job. But still, few would agree that their cover of Seals & Crofts' "Summer Breeze," for instance, is among their best 17 songs, even if it did make number ten on the R&B listings in 1973. One good thing this collection does manage to do is include their cool 1971 cover of "Spill the Wine," which somehow did not make it onto the three-CD 1999 box set, It's Your Thing: The Story of the Isley Brothers. Other than "Spill the Wine," every song here appears on that box set, which is a recommended alternative if you can cough up a little more dough. Or better yet, try to find Rhino's two-volume, three-CD Story series, which not only has better selection and packaging than the Epic/Legacy collections, but sensibly divides the pre-"It's Your Thing" era and the post-"It's Your Thing" era into separate installments. ~ Richie Unterberger

Pop - Released January 1, 2000 | Motown

Classic Isley Brothers: The Universal Masters Collection is an 18-track disc released in Europe that looks almost exactly like Early Classics -- a disc that was released around the same time in 2000. In fact, the two releases contain the same selection of songs, but the sequencing is slightly different between the two. Regardless, this is an adequate compilation of the Isley Brothers' Motown stint, including their lone hit from it -- "This Old Heart of Mine" -- along with several other Holland-Dozier-Holland songs "("Stop! In the Name of Love,"" "Leaving Here," "Baby Don't You Do It"), and a song co-written by a very young Leon Ware ("Catching Up on Time"). The chief problem with the disc is its title. It's misleading; most of the contents aren't classic at all. ~ Andy Kellman

R&B - Released November 13, 2017 | golden times


R&B - Released October 6, 2017 | Fable Entertainment


R&B - Released October 2, 2017 | cappo digital


R&B - Released September 29, 2017 | Itube


R&B - Released September 20, 2017 | cappo digital


R&B - Released September 20, 2017 | Belle Wood