The first album in nearly a decade to include younger brothers Ernie and Marvin backing up brother Ronald, the album scored two more R&B hits with "Whatever Turns You On" and "Sensitive Lover". It would be the group's last studio recording for Warner Bros.
1975's The Heat Is On was the third album that the Isley Brothers recorded with their 3 + 3 lineup, and by that time, the lineup had really perfected its attractive soul/rock sound. The Isleys were providing great R&B long before keyboardist Chris Jasper, bassist Marvin Isley, and the distinctive guitarist Ernie Isley came on board in 1973; nonetheless, the newcomers added a lot to the group and helped it provide some of its best recordings. Marvin's basslines are as funky as it gets, and the Jimi Hendrix-influenced Ernie is a killer guitarist; he would have been perfect for Deep Purple, Blue Öyster Cult, or Judas Priest if the Isley Brothers hadn't kept him busy in the 1970s.
This CD contains some interesting material not found elsewhere. Recorded live at Palace of Festivals Theatre in Cannes, France in January 1981 and January 1983, the disc features Metheny, Gary Burton, the Heath Brothers, Ahmad Jamal, and the Hum Trio. It is very hard to find and available only on the Fruit Tree (Italy) label (1999). Highly recommended, this CD will be irrestible to fans of quartet-format jazz or any of the artists, who seem to have been captured at their best.
Live! is a 1993 live album by The Isley Brothers on Elektra Records. Their final Warner album, the Isleys sung all of their classic hits including "It's Your Thing", "That Lady", "Between the Sheets", "Voyage to Atlantis", "Shout", "Take Me to the Next Phase", "Fight the Power" and "For the Love of You".
The Isley Brothers came with love, funk and the too seldom mentioned socially consicous songs; this album is titled after one of those social gems. However, "Who Loves You Better," with its disco flair, was the album's first release. Ronald Isley's aggressive delivery blends nicely with Ernie Isley's tantalizing guitar solos. It was a top three single on the Billboard R&B charts. The title track is a tour de force. Preceded by a mellow intro in which Ronald Isley's earnest plea rings with urgency, the timeless lyric and festive rhythm make "Harvest for the World" a welcomed anthem for all the people of the world. It cracked the Billboard R&B top ten at number nine.
This history-making family, even with all the success it's had, the critical acclaim, and the adoration of its loyal fans, is still probably the most under-rated act of the "rock era." It sounds like a pretty bold statement, but think about it. How influential were songs like "Shout," "Twist And Shout," "This Old Heart Of Mine," and "It's Your Thing"? And that was before phase II of the Isleys story began. Now add to the list "That Lady," "Fight The Power," and "For The Love Of You." This was a living legend of a group at the time "Go For Your Guns" was released in 1977. Yes, 1975's "The Heat is On" topped the pop chart, but for my money, "Go For Your Guns" is the ultimate Isleys experience.
Guitarist/vocalist George Johnson and bassist/vocalist Louis Johnson formed the band Johnson Three Plus One with older brother Tommy and their cousin Alex Weir while attending school in Los Angeles. When they became professionals, the band backed such touring R&B acts as Bobby Womack and the Supremes. George and Louis Johnson later joined Billy Preston's band, and wrote "Music in My Life" and "The Kids and Me" for him before leaving his group in 1973.