Fantastic 23-CD collection puts spotlight on The Isley Brothers

The Isley Brothers‘The RCA Victor and T-Neck Album Masters (1959-1983)’
The Isley Brothers (Legacy)
4.5 stars out of 5

I have never been able to fully appreciate The Isley Brothers. Sure, songs like “Shout,” “It’s Your Thing,” “Twist and Shout” and “Lady (Part 1)” are terrific, but I never dived into their extensive back catalog. Until now, that is. The folks at Legacy have put together the definitive Isley Brothers collection in “Thhe RCA Victory and T-Neck Album Masters (1959-1983).”

The Isley Brothers CDThe whopping 23-disc set chronicles the Isleys quarter century rise from fledgling doo-wop group to worldwide R&B powerhouse. In addition to the 21 albums the group recorded for the labels during that time, the set includes the “lost” album “Wild in Woodstock: The Isley Brothers Live at Bearsville Studios 1980.” For hardcore fans, the boxed set features 84 rare and unreleased bonus tracks spanning the band’s entire career.

What I find most compelling about The Isley Brothers’ was their ability to create funk-fueled covers of pop songs of the day. Their spin on “Ohio,” “Summer Breeze,” Love the One You’re With,” “Hello It’s Me” and “Lay Lady Lay” are flat-out fantastic. “The RCA Victor and T-Neck Album Masters” has made me an Isley Brothers convert. If you invest in this set, I’m guessing you’ll be a convert, too. (Jeffrey Sisk)

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