Album #299 – 3 + 3
This album blew me away. I knew The Isley Brothers music well (or at least I thought I did). Shout, It’s Your Thing and That Lady (this album’s hit single) are songs of the Isleys that I knew very well before. I had pre-concieved notions going in to this record. I felt, like so many of the other soul albums that have been on the list, I would be disappointed because unlike Aretha, Stevie, Otis, Marvin’s What’s Going On and a few others, there were some duds in the soul category on this list (so far). But, 3 + 3 turned out to be the opposite. I loved every minute of it. I got a renewed appreciation for That Lady (Parts 1 & 2). It is an amazing jam. This album was their first for Epic Records and the first to feature three new Isleys: a cousin and their two younger brothers. Also of significance is that this album was recorded at the same time that Stevie Wonder was recording Innervisions. No wonder (no pun intended…hahaha) this album is so good. Wonder’s influence definitely rubbed off. The group were also jamming a lot in the studio and incorporating rock music into their albums and overall sound. One of the biggest surprises on this album were the amazing covers of rock classics: James Taylor’s Don’t Let Me Be Lonely Tonight, Jonathan Edwards’ Sunshine, The Doobie Brothers’ Listen to the Music and Seals and Crofts’ Summer Breeze. All these covers are brilliant. I love them even more than the originals. But, the album tracks are also good and show a new side to this long-running soul group. I highly recommend this album (even for the covers alone). Other highlights include: If You Were There, You Walk Your Way and The Highways of my Life. Overall, I give this album 5 out of 5.
Next: The New York Dolls’ self-titled debut album