The original gospel quartet of brothers Ronald, Rudolph, O’Kelly, andbecame a trio when Vernon passed in a bicycling accident in 1955.
The trio had little success at both RCA and Motown Records. Of course I loved the Isley Brothers singing “Shout” and “Twist and Shout” as everyone did. Then came my favorite Motown cut by the Brothers “This Old Heart of Mine.”
But I really fell in love with the Brothers and more specifically Ronald Isley’s tenor voice when I purchased this, one of my first long playing records ever, “Givin’ It Back!”Not a bad track on the LP!
By now the Brothers had left Motown and started their own label T-Neck and this shows the fruits of their labor. Granted there were lots of covers on this set, but the Brothers made them their very own. To my mind their cover versions always bettered the originals. “Spill the Wine” is just one examples of this.
Now don’t get me wrong, I love Eric Bordon and War’s original version and even bought the LP … but The Isley Brothers’ cover version is the one I always remember and sing whenever I think of this song.
Even Uncle Phil and Aunt Viv sang the Isley arranged version in an episode of “The Fresh Prince of Belair.” Remember this?
Siblings voices really blend well together — don’t they?