Title - 'RCA Victor and T-Neck Album Masters (1959-1983)'
Artist - The Isley Brothers
Wow! What an INCREDIBLE box-set compilation of one of the music industry's GREATEST ever bands this truly is. A pure and honest delight to behold, let alone own, let alone play, The Isley Brothers: The RCA Victor and T-Neck Album Masters (1959-1983) is a monumental 23-disc box CD set collection chronicling the sonic evolution and abiding achievements of the unprecedented R&B ensemble, The Isley Brothers.
This box set follows The Isley Brothers through their transformation from a 1950's doo-wop/gospel vocal group into the world's preeminent R&B rock 'n' soul powerhouse party band. As you all know, by now, The Isley Brothers are an American musical group originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, originally a vocal trio consisting of brothers O'Kelly Isley, Jr., Rudolph Isley and Ronald Isley. Indeed, the group has been cited as having enjoyed one of the "longest, most influential, and most diverse careers in the pantheon of popular music".
Alongside a fourth brother, Vernon, the group originally performed gospel music until Vernon's death a few years after its original formation. After moving to the New York City area in the late 1950s, the group had modest chart successes during their early years, first coming to prominence in 1959 with their fourth single, 'Shout', written by the three brothers.
Initially a modest charted single, the song eventually sold over a million copies. Afterwards the group recorded modestly successful works for a variety of labels, including the top 20 single, 'Twist and Shout' and the Motown single, 'This Old Heart of Mine (Is Weak for You)' before recording and issuing the Grammy Award-winning hit, 'It's Your Thing' on their own label, T-Neck Records.
Initially influenced by gospel and doo-wop music, the group began experimenting with different musical styles incorporating elements of rock and funk music as well as pop balladry. The inclusion of younger brothers Ernie Isley (lead guitar, drums) and Marvin Isley (bass guitar), and Rudolph's brother-in-law Chris Jasper (keyboards, synthesizers) in 1973 turned the original vocal trio into a self-contained musical band. For the next full decade, the siblings recorded top-selling albums including The Heat Is On and Between the Sheets.
The six-member lineup of the band splintered in 1983, with Ernie, Marvin, and Chris Jasper forming the short-lived spinoff group Isley-Jasper-Isley. Eldest member O'Kelly died in 1986 and Rudolph and Ronald released a pair of albums as a duo before Rudolph retired for life in the Christian ministry in 1989. Ronald reformed the group two years later with Ernie and Marvin in 1991; five years later in 1996, Marvin Isley left the group due to complications with diabetes. The remaining duo of Ronald and Ernie would accomplish mainstream success with the albums Eternal (2001) and Body Kiss (2003), with the former album spawning the top twenty hit, "Contagious". As of 2015, the Isley Brothers continue to perform under the lineup of Ronald and Ernie.
Throughout their career, the Isley Brothers have had four Top 10 singles on the United States Billboard chart. Sixteen of their albums charted in the Top 40. Thirteen of those albums have been either certified gold, platinum or multi-platinum by the RIAA. The brothers have been honored by several musical institutions including being inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992. Five years later, they were inducted to Hollywood's Rockwalk and in 2003, were inducted to the Vocal Group Hall of Fame.
The RCA Victor and T-Neck Album Masters (1959-1983) features newly remastered versions of The Isley Brothers' 21 albums, nearly all of which are expanded with rare mixes and tracks making their CD and digital debuts. The new collection includes 84 rare and previously unreleased bonus tracks including the "Great Lost Isley Brothers Album" Wild In Woodstock: The Isley Brothers Live At Bearsville Sound Studio 1980, a live studio double album now newly restored.
The Isley Brothers: The RCA Victor and T-Neck Album Masters (1959-1983)
Shout! (RCA Victor, 1959)
It's Our Thing (T-Neck, 1969)
The Brothers: Isley (T-Neck, 1969)
The Isley Brothers Live At Yankee Stadium (T-Neck, 1969)
Get Into Something (T-Neck, 1970)
In The Beginning The Isley Brothers & Jimi Hendrix (T-Neck, recorded 1964-1965; remixed/released 1971)
Givin' It Back (T-Neck, 1971)
Brother, Brother, Brother (T-Neck, 1972)
The Isleys Live (T-Neck, 1973)
3+3 (T-Neck, 1973)
Live It Up (T-Neck, 1974)
The Heat Is On (T-Neck, 1975)
Harvest For The World (T-Neck, 1976)
Go For Your Guns (T-Neck, 1977)
Showdown (T-Neck, 1978)
Winner Takes All (T-Neck, 1979 2 CDs)
Go All The Way (T-Neck, 1980)
Wild In Woodstock: The Isley Brothers Live At Bearsville Studios 1980 (previously unreleased)
Grand Slam (T-Neck, 1981)
Inside You (T-Neck, 1981)
The Real Deal (T-Neck, 1982)
Between The Sheets (T-Neck, 1983)
Having listened to this box-set twice now - and yes, that means all the discs - ALL of them twice - I can tell you that, as you would guess anyway, of course, that there are lots of lost gem bonus tracks here. Tracks like Rudy Isley's 'Rudy and Judy' duet single with Judy White and other early Isley-written and produced T-Neck singles for White, Baby Cortez, the Sweet Cherries. Not to mention their forgotten funkadelic masterpiece 'Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out, Parts 1 & 2' (released as the Brothers Three).
BUT, in truth, there's a massive ten year/four album gap between Shout (1959) and It's Our Thing (1969). So I can only wonder if they tried to get them included and what might have happened to prevent it. The albums are hit and mostly miss, in all honesty, but they had several excellent singles during that time. Such as 'Nobody But Me', 'Twist And Shout', 'Who's That Lady' (the 1964 original), 'This Old Heart Of Mine', and 'Write To Me'.
Oh, and for the Isley Brothers purists out there, and yes, I'm kinda throwing myself in the ring for this one, they're also missing the 'Rudy & Judy' B-side, and two other T-Neck singles they wrote and produced for the Vandals from this collection. but, you cannot have it all, all the time, and so this INCREDIBLE 23-disc box CD set collection IS, for all intents and purposes, quite possibly (probably) the closest thing we'll ever get to the ultimate' Isley Brothers musical collection.