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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "...Go Where You Want To Go...That's Freedom..." - Original Classic Albums by THE ISLEY BROTHERS (2008 Legacy CD Remasters), 27 Jan. 2010
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This review is from: Original Album Classics (Audio CD)
Now here's a whole stack of fabulous Soul for not a lot of your hard-earned. UK issued in October 2008 "Original Classic Albums" on Epic/Legacy 88697304842 (Barcode 886973048429) is one of those dinky 5CD card-repro mini box sets from Sony and it breaks down as follows:

Disc 1 (30:43 minutes):
1. I Turned You On
2. Vacuum Cleaner
3. I Got To Get Myself Together
4. Was It Good To You?
5. The Blacker The Berrie (a/k/a Black Berries)
6. My Little Girl
7. Get Down Off Of The Train
8. Holding On
9. Feels Like The World
Tracks 1 to 9 is the LP "The Brothers: Isley", issued November 1969 in the USA on T-Neck TNS 3002 and June 1970 in the UK on Liberty SSL 10300. All tracks are originals.

Disc 2 (39:48 minutes):
1. Get Into Something
2. Freedom
3. Take Inventory
4. Keep On Doin'
5. Girls Will Be Girls
6. I Need You So
7. If He Can You Can
8. I Got To Find Me One
9. Beautiful
10. Bless Your Heart
Tracks 1 to 10 is the LP "Get Into Something", issued February 1970 in the USA on T-Neck TNS 3006. All tracks are originals.

Disc 3 is the LP "Givin' It Back", issued September 1971 in the USA on T-Neck TNS 3008 - all 7 tracks are cover versions (41:56 minutes):
1. Ohio/Machine Gun [Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young/Jimi Hendrix - segued as one]
2. Fire And Rain [James Taylor]
3. Lay Lady Lay [Bob Dylan]
4. Spill The Wine [War]
5. Nothin' To Do But Today [Stephen Stills]
6. Cold Bologna [Bill Withers - also features BW on Guitar]
7. Love The One You're With [Stephen Stills]]

Disc 4 is the LP "Brother, Brother, Brother" (credited to "The Isleys"), issued June 1972 in the USA on T-Neck TNS 3009 (38:03 minutes):
1. Brother, Brother
2. Put A Little Love In Your Heart
3. Sweet Season/Keep On Walkin'
4. Work To Do
5. Pop That Thang
6. Lay Away
7. It's Too Late
8. Love Put Me On The Corner
All 8 tracks are originals - except 1, 3 (Part 1 of) and 7 which are Carole King covers while track 2 is a Jackie DeShannon cover

Disc 5 is the LP "3 + 3", issued September 1973 in the USA on T-Neck KZ 32453 and November 1973 in the UK on Epic S EPC 65740 (43:13 minutes):
1. That Lady (Part 1&2)
2. Don't Let Me Be Lonely Tonight
3. If You Were There
4. You Walk Your Way
5. Listen To The Music
6. When It Comes Down To
7. Sunshine (Go Away Today)
8. Summer Breeze
9. Highways Of My Life
All 9 tracks are originals - except track 2 is James Taylor cover, track 5 is a Doobie Brothers cover, track 7 is a Jonathan Edwards cover, track 8 is a Seals & Crofts cover
Track 10 is a CD bonus track, a live version of "That Lady" recorded in 1980

The remastered sound quality is superb throughout and the 5 card sleeves repro the original American 'T-Neck' Records album covers front and rear. Unfortunately they're too small and blurry to actually read any details off of them. But you can download a full Sessionography for each album from Sony's online site [...] (download runs to 9 pages).

In truth I bought this mini box set for the "Givin' It Back" LP - their hard-to-find covers album from 1971. It's one of those fabulous lost soul gems you rarely ever see on vinyl let alone reissue CD (it pushes £25 in places). "Givin' It Back" opens with a dynamite mix of CSYN's "Ohio" with Hendrix's "Machine Gun" and its genius - both songs imbibed with extraordinarily passionate Isley vocals (the Vietnam war and its protests looming everywhere in the lyrics). "Lay Lady Lay" is excellent too, but it does overstay its welcome at ten minutes plus. This is offset against a radically reworked version of James Taylor's "Fire And Rain" which is now brilliantly soulful.

That the other albums also contain such an embarrassment of riches is of course a blast - a constantly repaying bonus. Check out their stunning cover of Carole King's "It's Too Late" from her wonderful 1971 "Tapestry" album - it's ten minutes long, but this time it works - beautifully soulful with searing guitar work throughout. The brass on "Freedom" too (lyrics above) leaps out at you from the speakers. Another particular favourite of mine is "Work To Do" which the Average White Band practically made their own on the fab "Pick Up The Pieces" Atlantic Records "AWB" album.

So there you have it - properly great soul music in wonderful sound - and five albums worth of it too - a wee peach of an Isleys thing...
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 28 Jan 2010 19:17:04 GMT
Last edited by the author on 25 Feb 2010 08:40:19 GMT
Mark Barry says:
PS: Other artists in the "ORIGINAL ALBUM CLASSICS" Series are [FIVE DISC SETS]...

1. The Allman Brothers Band
2. Argent (see REVIEW)
3. Jeff Beck
4. George Benson
5. Big Audio Dynamite
6. Blue Oyster Cult
7. Pierre Boulez
8. The Brecker Brothers
9. The Byrds
10. Johnny Cash
11. Cheap Trick
12. Stanley Clarke
13. Cypress Hill
14. Miles Davis
15. Duke Ellington
16. Earth, Wind & Fire
17. Agnetha Faltskog [Frida of Abba]
18. Rory Gallagher
19. Glenn Gould
20. Hall & Oates
21. The Isley Brothers (see REVIEW)
22. The Jacksons
23. Jefferson Airplane
24. Jefferson Starship
25. Waylon Jennings
26. Judas Priest
27. Kansas
28. Carole King
29. Kris Kristofferson
30. Mario Lanza
31. The Mahavishnu Orchestra
32. Henri Mancini
33. John McLaughlin
34. Thelonious Monk
35. Mott The Hoople
36. Willie Nelson
37. Harry Nilsson
38. Ted Nugent
39. Dolly Parton
40. Murray Perahia
41. Michel Petrucciani
42. Poco
43. Prefab Sprout
44. Elvis Presley
45. Leontyne Price
46. The Psychedelic Furs
47. Lou Reed
48. Lou Reed Vol.2
49. Sonny Rollins
50. Artur Rubinstein
51. Run DMC
52. Santana Box 1
53. Santana Box 2
54. Joe Satriani
55. Nina Simone
56. Lonnie Liston Smith
57. Patti Smith
58. Smokie
59. Isaac Stern
60. The Stranglers
61. Ivor Stravinsky
62. Steve Vai
63. Various - Carols For Christmas
64. Various - The Joys Of Christmas
65. Weather Report
66. John Williams
67. Sophie Zelmani

PPS: Mondays 1 and 8 February 2010 sees the introduction of THREE DISC SETS in the Series in the "UK" (3 Original Album Classics) - the artists featured are...

1. AMERIE (01/02/2010)
(All I Have/Touch/Because I Love It)
2. SHAWN COLVIN (08/02/2010)
[Steady On/Fat City/Cover Girl]
3. AGNETHA FALTSKOG [FRIDA of ABBA] (01/02/2010)
[Agnetha Faltskog/Nar En Vacker Tanke Blirsang/Elva Kvinnor I Ett Hus]
[Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac/Mr. Wonderful/The Pious Bird of Good Omen - The Original UK Album Track Lists - No Extras]
5. ARETHA FRANKLYN (01/02/2010)
[The Electrifying/The Tender The Moving The Swinging/Soul Sister]
6. JOURNEY (01/02/2010)
7. WILLIE NELSON (01/02/2010)
[Yesterday's Wine/Red Headed Stranger/Stardust]
8. DOLLY PARTON (8/02/2010)
[Eagle When She Flies/Slow Dancing With The Moon/White Limozeen]
9. (CARLOS) SANTANA (08/02/2010)
[Illuminations/Oneness/The Swing of Delight]
10. SCORPIONS (01/02/2010)
[In Trance/Virgin Killer/Taken By Force]
11. SIMON and GARFUNKEL (01/02/2010)
[Sounds Of Silence/Parsley, Sage, Rosemary & Thyme/Bookends]
12. TOTO (08/02/2010)
[Toto/Hydra/Turn Back]
13. LUTHER VANDROSS (01/02/2010)
(Never Too Much/Give Me The Reason/The Power of Love)
14. THE WALKER BROTHERS (01/02/2010)
[No Regrets/Lines/Nite Flights]

Posted on 28 Jul 2011 14:23:54 BDT
R. King says:
Great review, cheers.

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Oct 2011 05:27:58 BDT
superb review, thank you
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Review Details



Mark Barry "Mark Barry"

Location: London

Top Reviewer Ranking: 19