Isleys

Adel Gabot

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8:10PM

I was walking through a mall yesterday afternoon when I heard a cover of an old favorite Aaliyah song off the PA system of a restaurant—At Your Best (You Are Love), sung by an unidentified male jazz singer. I hadn’t heard the song for a while, and the version by the guy was a nice one.

As I walked, I hummed the song to myself, and I thought, I got to get the lyrics of that off the net so I can properly sing it to myself when I wanted to.

The next day, I looked for the Aaliyah song, and was surprised to find out that Aaliyah’s version was actually a cover of an Isley Brothers original, which they originally wrote for their mother. (Gives you an idea of my knowledge of music history—hey, I was a radio DJ for contemporary music; I can’t be expected to know everything.) Reading further, I found out that the song had been done over by many artists, including a couple of local ones—notably Nina, and Juris of MYMP .

My knowledge of the Isley Brothers was confined to Harvest For The World and Highways of My Life. I loved Harvest, and Highways used to get played often back in the day on AM radio, and I remember sort of liking it as a kid. But that was the extent of my experience with the band.

So I dug further into the Isleys, and my curiosity got piqued so much that I downloaded a greatest hits album—and was shocked to find I knew a lot of their songs, but sung by other artists! Some of my favorites!

Like Listen To The Music done over by The Doobie Brothers, Summer Breeze done by Seals & Crofts, and For The Love of You by the late Whitney Houston. (To be sure, the Isleys did covers too, like Put A Little Love In Your Heart, Don’t Let Me Be Lonely Tonight and Love The One You’re With, which goes to show that what goes around, comes around.)

Thing is, I hadn’t realized they were covers. Man.

The Ultimate Collection of The Isley Brothers is a old-new favorite I’ll be listening to a lot these next few months.


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