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In Focus: The Isley Brothers

Cincinatti , 16.07.21

Focus on The Isley Brothers

The group began as teenagers recording doo-wop recordings in the 1950s, and had an early hit in “Shout!” in 1959. A young Jimi Hendrix played lead guitar for the group during the early 60s before breaking away to start his own project. They signed with Motown in 1965, leaving a few years later to pursue a more funk and soul oriented sound.

In 1973 the group incorporated two of their younger brothers and brother-in-law Chris Jasper, additions which would define the direction of the songwriting for the next decade, characterized by a shift away from acoustic arrangement and increased use of synthesizers and modern production techniques. The group split in 1983, with the original three brothers continuing to tour and record under the Isley Brothers name and three younger members forming Isley-Jasper-Isley. Though their success dwindled in the late 80s, their reputation continued to grow due to a new generation of hip hop producers who found their songs rich in sampling potential. The surviving members continue to record albums and play live shows to this day.

This edition of In Focus takes a look at the more than 60 year career of R&B trailblazers The Isley Brothers. Selected by Image Search.