The Isley Brothers: Ronald Isley (vocals); Chris Jasper (vocals, piano, Clavinet, ARP synthesizer, tambourine, percussion); Ernie Isley (acoustic, electric & 12-string guitars, bass, drums, congas, timbales, maracas, percussion, background vocals); Marvin Isley (bass, woodblocks, percussion, cowbell, background vocals); Rudolph Isley, O'Kelly Isley (background vocals).
Additional personnel: Charles "Skip" Pitts, Chester Woodard (guitar); John Mosley (flute); Truman Thomas, Milton Westley (organ); George Moreland (drums, percussion); Karl Potter, Buck Clarke, Gary Jones, Rocky (congas).
Producers include: Bert Berns.
Compilation producers: Leo Sacks, Marvin Isley.
Recorded between 1959 & 1985.
Includes liner notes by Elvis Mitchell.
Personnel: Malcolm Cecil, Robert Margouleff (programming).
Recording information: A & R Studios, NY; Bearsville Sound Studios, Bearsville, NY; Bell Sound, NY; E.A.R.S., East Orange, NJ; Kendum Recorders, Burbank, CA; Media Sound, NY; Record Plant, Hollywood, CA.
Arrangers: Chris Jasper; Ernie Isley; George Patterson; Marvin Isley.
As a single-disc sampler of this pioneering soul group's work, THE ULTIMATE ISLEY BROTHERS is hard to beat. Just about everything here is priceless, from the early R&B classics like "Shout" to their later excursions into Sly Stone-influenced funk ("It's Your Thing"). One of the Isleys' signature songs, the iconic "Twist and Shout" is a transcendent, visceral experience that would bear even greater impact a couple of years laters as part of the Beatles' initial onslaught. Brilliant cover versions of seemingly unlikely material including Eric Burdon's "Spill the Wine" (Ronald Isley's vocal shreds the original) and Seals and Crofts's "Summer Breeze" further illustrate the band's potent versatility.