Down Beat - p.764.5 stars out of 5
- "[T]he Isleys have earned a prominent place in the pantheon of r&b."
The Isley Brothers: Ernie Isley (acoustic 6-string guitar, bass instrument); Chris Jasper (piano); Marvin Isley (bass instrument); O'Kelly Isley, Ronald Isley, Rudolph Isley.
Personnel: Chris Jasper (vocals, grand piano, electric piano, Clavinet, ARP synthesizer, tambourine, percussion, background vocals); Ronald Isley (vocals, background vocals); Charles "Skip" Pitts, Jimi Hendrix (guitar); Ernie Isley (acoustic guitar, acoustic 12-string guitar, electric guitar, drums, congas, maracas, timbales, percussion, background vocals); John Mosley (flute); Milton Westley, Truman Thomas (organ); George Moreland (drums, percussion); Buck Clarke, Karl Potter, Rocky, Gary Jones (congas); Marvin Isley (cowbells, wood block, percussion, background vocals); Malcolm Cecil, Robert Margouleff (programming); O'Kelly Isley, Rudolph Isley (background vocals).
Additional personnel: Jimi Hendrix, The Funk Brothers.
Liner Note Author: Rashod D. Ollison.
Photographers: Don Hunstein; Waring Abbott; John Bellissimo; Bob Gruen.
Arrangers: Ronald Isley; Rudolph Isley; O'Kelly Isley; Ernie Isley; Marvin Isley; Chris Jasper; George Patterson; Teachco Wilshire.
The Isley Brothers are one of the most important groups in R&B history. They modernized the concept of the black singing group, and broke new ground with hits that were either influenced by or borrowed from a variety of musical styles. In addition to performing many of their own songs, the Isleys perform soulful renditions of Seals & Crofts's "Summer Breeze" and Stephen Stills's "Love the One You're With" on this ESSENTIAL collection.
The two-disc set presents the original 1962 version of "Twist and Shout" and other latter-day Isley favorites such as the funky "It's Your Thing" and the bold "Fight the Power." Another highlight of this compilation is "Move Over and Let Me Dance," featuring a rare guest appearance by Jimi Hendrix. Boasting 34 tracks that span from '59 to '96, THE ESSENTIAL ISLEY BROTHERS is an excellent introduction to this inimitable band.