The Isley Bros. | Why When Love Is Gone

15 09 2010

I really love this old Isley Brothers tune, “Why When Love Is Gone”. It’s from the earler part of their career, during a short stint with Berry Gordy at Motown. It was recorded in 1967 on the Motown subsidiary Tamla Records and released the same year. It absolutely is a soul tune but it also has elements more a kin to the British rock music from the same period. It’s kinda like The Animals meets Marvin Gaye… really good stuff. As great as this song is though, it was never a hit single for The Isley Brother or any other Motown artist for that matter (there are versions by The Originals and Kim Weston too). In fact it was never even considered as a potential single release. Instead, tt was released on the group’s second and final album for Motown, Soul on the Rocks.  Given the attention the song gets 50 years later it’s hard to believe it could be overlooked but then again, Berry Gordy was sinking all his resources into act like The Temptations and The Supremes. Don’t get me wrong, they’re amazing acts, but this tune is a classic.

References:

More info on The Isley Brothers

More info on Soul on the Rocks

More info on Motown

More info on Berry Gordy

More info on O’Kelly Isley Jr.

More info on Ronald Isley

More info on Rudolph Isley

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We Gotta Get Out Of This Place

26 02 2010

After just going through a major apartment move yesterday, which involves a temporary space downgrade until moving out to LA in June, I am going crazy. Not only did we have to cull through all of our “worldy” possessions to determine whether they are staying with us in our tiny new studio apartment, going to storage for LA or being unloaded entirely, but the actual move took place during this giant snow storm that has hit the NY Metro area and beyond. I am just glad that it’s over… for now. As much as I want to enjoy my last few months in NYC, a move of this magnitude makes you just want to get where you’re going and be done with it. The whole time, I just kept thinking about this classic from The Animals. It’s my favorite tune of theirs, despite the popularity of their other big hit, “House Of The Rising Sun”. I really like the gritty American soul music inspired sound of this 1960’s British invasion stuff. The Animals were on the cooler side of the invasion too, opting for a rougher look (supposedly) than the suit and tie clad Beatles or Gerry & The Pacemakers. Now, don’t get me wrong… I absolutely love The Beatles but at this time they were still pretty clean cut with both their look and the music. I remember reading something once about how it was a really big deal that Lennon undid the top button of his shirt and wore his tie loose on stage. Totally absurd. Keeping that in mind, The Animals were apparently going for the “bad boy” image, which is funny because looking at this 1965 TV performance they don’t give off that vibe at all. Unless you count the smoke machine, which one would assume was a really big deal back then.

Although still not what you would expect from the “bad boy”, this picture from 1963 is a much better representation of their style.








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