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Album Review: The RCA Victor and T-Neck Album Masters: 1959-1983 [Box Set] by The Isley Brothers
Exceptionally Good, Based on 4 Critics
Record Collector - 100 Based on rating 5/5
Morphing from their roots in gospel and doo-wop through funk, rock and then, finally, into slow-jam R&B, The Isley Brothers remain one of the most fascinating groups of all time. Yet, somehow, they’re also perennially unappreciated – underrated, almost; certainly taken for granted in a way that James Brown or P-Funk are not. The RCA Victor And T-Neck Album Masters (1959-1983) will go a long way towards redressing that balance.
In a way, the Isley Brothers have been taken for granted. Part of that is the group's unwitting doing because they were exceptionally steady. From 1966 through 1983, the Isleys placed at least one single on the Billboard R&B chart each year. They were always present, frequently at or near the top ….
Formed in 1954, The Isley Brothers isn’t just one of America’s longest-running bands, it’s also one of their best and most eclectic. Coming to life in Ohio, Isleys showed promise in their earliest days and quickly left the Buckeye State behind for the promise of New York City. They racked up regional hits and finally broke into the national scene in 1959 with “Shout!” As ubiquitous as that song seems today it only climbed to 47 on the Billboard pop charts and didn’t bother the R&B world at all.
The Isley Brothers first appeared on Billboard in 1959, when "Shout (Part 1)" made its way to 47 on the Hot 100. They last cracked the charts in 2006, with "Just Came Here to Chill" petering out at 25 on the R&B charts. Few other artists can match that kind of longevity and, fittingly, the band's biggest hits still resonate. "Shout", "Twist and Shout", "This Old Heart of Mine", "It's Your Thing", "That Lady", and "Fight the Power" all arrived during the glory days of Top 40 in the '60s and '70s, enduring hits still heard on oldies radio, movies, television, and commercials.