Shake ’em up, shake ’em up, shake ’em up, shake ’em…

The Isley Brothers

Lincoln Heights represent, represent zent. Lincoln Heights, Cincinnati has one of the longest tenured soul band of all times. The Isley Brothers formed in the early 50s, so were looking at almost 60 years of active duty in one form or another. Like most of the better groups and singers, they have strong ties to the church and Gospel music.

They were a staple in the Reynolds household while I was growing up. They were played at parties, picnics, or just while sitting around and letting the stink of the day fall off of you. I probably started liking them for the wrong reason: they were the first group I ever heard to cuss in a song. I could get away with singing “…by all this BULLSHIT going down.”, in front of my parents without getting smacked in the mouth. And of course I would play Fight the Power every day. Also, as a kid, I wasn’t really trying to hear no ballads and beggin’ music, but I never minded that while I was playing one of their albums.

You can’t have 60 years of banging without connecting with someone, and they have been influences from people like The Beatles and The Yardbirds to Ice Cube and Biggie. Hell, they were the ones to first give the world a little taste of Jimi Hendrix back in 1964. Plus, they have 60 years of mostly quality time. Sure, not every album was hit, but they sound like they always put their best into them. Except for Ronald Isley‘s songs with R. Kelly. I know I’ve posted songs by people who have questionable past, and will post more, but I just can’t get with R. Kelly. I don’t know why he gets a pass from everyone; shit, he was just on Saturday Night Live with Lady Gaga. And I’m pretty open musically and can usually separate the songs from the actual singers, but R. gets the Gas Face. Him and Chris Brown.

Anyway, given the vast library that is 60 years in the making, how do I pick out songs out for just 1 post? I can’t. Check out Part II of the Isleys next Sunday.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen:

 

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Between the Sheets- The Isley Brothers

 

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Fight the Power (Part I & II)- The Isley Brothers

 

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It’s Too Late- The Isley Brothers

 

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Hello, It’s Me- The Isley Brothers

 

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Keep On Doin’- The Isley Brothers

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Don’t Hate the Player…

The Ohio Players

I’m returning to the Motherland this post. Way back to the state of Ohio.There are a lot of groups and singers to come out of the Buckeye State, and I’m going to feature a few of them. At least ones that I have records of, so it’s a little limited.The first group I do have plenty of albums to choose from.

The Ohio Players have been around for a long time. They started up out of Dayton as the Ohio Untouchables in 1969. They didn’t have much luck and with the loss and additions of some musicians, they popped back up as the Ohio Players in 1967. They still had only had a few mild hits until Pain was released in 1971. They then went on to burn up the charts in the 70s, putting out at least 6 classic funk albums.

I’m guessing most of the young folk don’t even remember them directly, only from the Red Hot Chilli Peppers remake of Love Rollercoaster. Shit, the kids might even be too young to remember that. Anyway, I’m posting a few of my favorite songs from them, except Love Rollercoaster and Fire, just because just about everyone knows of them. I suggest you go  check out their album Gold, which is a greatest hits album, then get the rest of their stuff. You shouldn’t be disappointed. If anything, get them for their album covers, which they were almost more famous for than their songs.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen:

 

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Ecstasy- Ohio Player

 

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Funky Worm- Ohio Players

 

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I Want to Be Free- Ohio Players

 

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Sweet Sticky Thing- Ohio Players

 

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Skin Tight- Ohio Players

 

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O-H-I-O-  Ohio Players

 

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Nothing Burns Like the Cold

Deep Cover

It’s cold out and I’m cold, the house is cold, my posse is cold (except for Ra, of course). It’s truly hibernation weather. And with me being old and of fragile health, I really shouldn’t be doing anything except picking out some music to play. No. No, I got this. It’s the least I can do for you. I haven’t really gone out in the wild and brought home any captured albums, so it’s down to the vault today. No theme tonight, just hit it and quit it songs.

Buddy Johnson and his Orchestra explains what men need to achieve Nirvana. There is another take on this, which you can find in *Dark Town After Dark

I was going to say that te George Harrison cut is primed to be sampled, but I just remembered it was. Check out Nikka Costa‘s Like a Feather.

Nobody can really do justice to a Kool & the Gang song. That’s just a fact. Except nobody told this to Funk Inc.

I wish I would have had the chance to see Cannonball Adderley play live. He always had these little introductions to his songs that told you what it was about. This version of Walk Tall is slower than the original, and that makes it sound a little like it’s fighting adversity. Keeping your head up and walking tall.

This Sheila E cut is from her second album, and all it is, is a showcase for her to blaze the timbales.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen:

 

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A Pretty Girl, a Cadillac and Some Money- Buddy Johnson and his Orchestra

 

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I Dig Love- George Harrison

 

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Kool is Back- Funk Inc.

 

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Walk Tall (Baby That’s What I Need)- The Cannonball Adderley Quintet

 

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Merci for the Speed of a Mad Clown in Summer- Sheila E

 

 

*The title of this song is a quote from President Nixon and Ford’s Secretary of Agriculture, Earl Butz. He was explaining why the Republicans weren’t attracting the black vote. “I’ll tell you what the coloreds want…”.

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