Groove With You ….. Live (Vinyl)
Review by David Bowling
The eighth annual Record Store Day took place last April with an annual Black Friday event occurring the day after Thanksgiving. This means that not only are record stores honored but a variety of releases are issued on vinyl in time for the holidays, which brings us to the Isley Brothers.
If there ever was a band that needs to be listened too on vinyl, it is the Isley Brothers. They were perennial party favorites during the 1960’s and then morphed into a funk band during the 1970’s and 1980’s, which led to their induction into The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.
During 1980 The Isley brothers recorded a live album, which sat in the vailts. That album has now been released under the title Groove With You ….Live. It has been issued on colored 180 gram vinyl. The sound is pristine and the jacket is designed to match the albums released on the T-Neck label at the time of its recording.
Guitarist Ernie Isley, bassist Marvin Isley, vocalists Ronald, Rudolph, & O’Kelly Isley, keyboardist Chris Jasper, drummer Everett Collins, and percussionist Kevin Jones were at the height of their creative and commercial powers.
The 12 tracks are built around the hits “That Lady,” and “Fight The Power,” plus perennial concert favorites “Here We Go Again,” “Summer Breeze,” and “Voyage To Atlantis.” The pulsating bass and funky guitars carry extended versions of the songs into, at the time, unexplored territory. The medley “Hello It’s Me/Footsteps In The Dark/For The Love Of You” have textures that most bands could not create in the studio, never mind live.
The Isley Brothers career is now past the half-century mark. Groove With You ….Live is a nice slice of the midpoint of their career after their progression from a rhythm & blues sound to some of the grittiest funk of the era. It is one of those releases that will make you return to vinyl.