ClassicRockHistory.com presents The Top 10 Isley Brothers songs. Our Top 10 Isley Brothers songs list looks back at the career of one of the longest running groups in popular music history. From 1959 to 2017, a career spanning almost sixty years and seven decades, The Isley Brothers have released one hundred and eleven singles, thirty one studio albums, fifteen compilation albums and four live records, Most importantly, they were one of the most significant and inspiring musical groups in popular music history. The Isley brothers did not just merge all styles of music like rock, R&B and soul, they helped develop those styles.
The Isley Brothers were originally from Cincinnati Ohio. The group was formed in the mid-1950s by three of the brothers, O’Kelly Isley Jr., Rudolph Isley and Ronald Isley. The group moved to New York in the late 50s and formed their own music label called T-Neck records. During the 1960’s the Isley Brothers recorded for various labels including Motown records. In the early sixties, the groups guitar player was an up and coming musician called Jimi Hendrix, yes that’s right Jimi Hendrix. The Isley Brothers had great success in the 1960s releasing a huge catalog of music. In 1973, the group was joined by younger brothers Ernie Isley and Marvin Isley. Chris Jasper who was Rudolph Isley’s brother in law also joined the group. The band’s sound changed with the new additions as they continued to have great success with their funk and smooth soul records.
Over the years, many of the brothers began to age and the group had to deal with sickness and health issues along with the passing of O’ Kelly and Marvin Isley. In 2017, Ernie and Ronald Isley joined forces with Carlos Santana to release a new Isley Brothers album entitled Power Of Peace, which is the last Isley Brothers album released as of this writing in 2020.
# 10 – I’m Gonna Knock On You Door
We open up out top 10 Isley Brothers songs list with the great song “I’m Gonna Knock On Your Door.” The song was written by Aaron Schroeder and Sid Wayne, The Isley Brothers recorded the song in the late 1950s and released it as a single in 1959. The song was not released on The Isley Brothers’ first studio album entitled Shout! that was also released in 1959. This is pure fifties rock and roll done the Isley Brothers way.
# 9 – Between The Sheets
Continuing with our top 10 Isley Brothers songs list we segue many years ahead to 1983 when the group sounded very different from their 1959 recording. The group went through many musical changes over the years and putting these two songs back to back on this list is a great presentation of those changes. The song “Between The Sheets,” was an Isley Brothers original written by Rudolph Isley, O’Kelly Isley, Jr., Ronald Isley, Ernest Isley, Marvin Isley and Chris Jasper. “Between The Sheets,” was also the title of their 1983 album Between The Sheets. The song was released as the album’s first single.
# 8 – For The Love Of You
Continuing our fun presentation of jumping through the decades of Isley Brothers songs we skip backwards in time to that 1970s Isley Brothers sound. Released on the 1977 Isley Brothers album entitled Fight The Power, below is the great Isley Brothers song titled “For The Love Of You.” The Isley Brothers were capable of rocking out and being as funky as anyone. However, when it was time to lay down a smooth soul groove, the Isley Brothers gave a Master Class on how to do it every time they released a great song like this one.
# 7 – Nobody But Me
Yes, this is the same song as the The Human Beinz top 10 hit and signature song “Nobody But Me.” But guess who wrote it? “Nobody But Me,” was written by The Isley Brothers and released as a single on Wand Records in 1962. The Isley Brothers version is far different from the Human Beinz version presenting more of that frat house Otis Day and The Nights aura than the Human Beinz more acid style interpretation.
# 6 – This Old Heart Of Mine
“This Old Heart Of Mine,” is another great Isley Brothers song that was covered by an artist who had more success with the song than the Isley Brothers did originally ………but not by much. The Isley Brothers scored a Billboard Top 20 hit with “This Old Heart Of Mine,” in 1965 when the song was released on Motown Records. It peaked at number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 that year. Rod Stewart recorded a version of the song in 1975 on his Atlantic Crossing album, but it did not do that well on the charts. Nonetheless, fourteen years later Rod Stewart recorded a new version of the song with Ronald Isley.
The two legends had a top 10 hit on their hands as the song peaked at number 10 on the Billboard Hit 100. “This Old Heart Of Mine,” is an interesting song because it depicts the Isley Brothers taking part in the Motown Sound or as some might argue helping shape the Motown sound in the same fashion The Temptations and The Supremes did. The group recorded for the label over a four year period from 1966 to 1969.
# 5 – Fight The Power
“Fight The Power,” was released on the Isley Brothers’ brilliant 1975 album The Heat Is On. The song’s great James Brown meets the Isley Brothers groove stands as one of the funkiest tracks the band ever recorded. “Fight The Power,” was a huge hit for the group. The song broke the Billboard’s Top 10 of the Hot 100 peaking at number four. It was the group second biggest hit of their career as far as chart success. Standing up for social issues helped fuel the success of the album and this great hit single.
# 4 – That Lady ( Who’s That Lady)
One of our favorite Isley Brothers songs of all time was this fantastic r&b track “That Lady.” The Isley Brothers had many of their songs covered by various artists, but the group also covered their own songs. What we mean by that is they re-recorded some of them and released them years later in updated versions. “That Lady,” was originally released by the Isley Brothers in 1964 as a non-album single entitled Who’s That Lady?
In 1964, the song did not chart. However, the group recorded a fantastic new version of the song in 1973. It was a smart idea because the song “Who’s That Lady,” which was retitled as “That Lady,” became one of the biggest hits of their career. The song peaked at number six on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1973. “That Lady,” was written by The Isley Brothers.
# 3 – It’s Your Thing
Well speaking of big hits and chart success. The Isley Brothers single “It’s Your Thing,” was the biggest hit of their career as far as chart success. The song broke the Billboard top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 peaking at number two. The Isley Brothers never had a number one single on the Billboard Hot 100. “It’s Your Thing,” was the closest they got. It was a great one. The Isley Brothers How many number one singles on the billboard R&B charts but they never got one on me Billboard Hot 100. Nonetheless, this song also won them a Grammy Award fo Best R&B Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group. The song was written in response to Berry Gordy’s handling of certain Motown Acts. This was the first single released after the Isley Brothers left Motown records. The song was released in 1969.
# 2 – Shout!
As we come close to the end of our top 10 Isley Brothers songs list, we turn to two of their most popular songs that have become ingrained in pop culture over the past 50 years. The song “Shout!” gained a huge resurgence when it was featured in the movie Animal House in one of the greatest scenes of the film. The performance by Otis Day and the Knights at the Frat party and all the wild shenanigans that went on during the song was a moment to remember in motion picture history in 1979. It soon became the go-to song for garage bands, party bands and wedding bands at all events and shows. Want to get the crowd going crazy, just play Shout! and you got them. The song was originally released by the Isley Brothers in 1962 on the album entitled Shout!
# 1 – Twist And Shout
We close out our top 10 Isley Brothers songs list with one of the most popular rock and roll songs of all time. The great Isley Brothers song “Twist and Shout,” is not only one of the most popular rock songs of all time, its one of the most famous songs in history. Everyone knows “Twist and Shout.” From The Beatles to Ferris Bueller (by way of The Beatles) “Twist and Shout,” is just one of those celebratory party songs that no one gets tired of. It’s one of the greatest examples of how simplicity in music often leads to greatness. A three chord song that follows the standard I, IV, V blues chord changes that Chuck Berry used in all his songs.
“Twist and Shout,” is probably the most played rock song of all time right up there with “Johnny B Good.” Many rock fans have always associated the song with The Beatles classic version, but it was the Isley Brothers who recorded the song in 1962 whose version inspired so many rockers. The song was written by Phil Medley and Bert Berns in 1961, The first recording was done by the Top Notes, but their version hardly made a dent anywhere.
Top 10 Isley Brothers songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2020
Classicrockhistory.com claims ownership of all its original content and Intellectual property under United States Copyright laws and those of all other foreign countries. No one person, business or any organizations is allowed to republish any of our original content anywhere on the web or in print without our permission.