Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

Help support this site! Consider clicking an ad from time to time. Thanks!

« Go Back to Previous Page «  

Tagged: Isley Brothers

Caravan of Love

First recorded by Isley-Jaspar-Isley (US #51/R&B #1/NETH #21 1985).
Other hit version by The Housemartins (UK #1/IRE #1/AUS #7/NETH #3/SWE #1 1986).

From the wiki: “‘Caravan of Love’ was a 1985 R&B hit written and originally recorded by Isley-Jasper-Isley for their 3+3 album. The song became the trio’s biggest hit, going to #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart and #51 on the Billboard pop chart in 1985, but would be their only prominent hit before they splintered into solo careers in 1988.

Love Is a Wonderful Thing

Based on “Love Is a Wonderful Thing” written and first recorded by The Isley Brothers (1964 |US #110 1966).
Hit version by Michael Bolton (US #4/MOR #1/UK #23/CAN #2/NZ #12 1991).

From the wiki: “In 1964, the Isley Brothers recorded a song titled ‘Love Is a Wonderful Thing’. Not included on an Isley Brothers album until years later, the song was first released as a single in 1966 with minimal chart impact.

“Michael Bolton’s song, ‘Love Is a Wonderful Thing’, was found to contain similarities to the Isleys’ song that exceeded the title. In 1994, a jury found songwriters Bolton and Andrew Goldmark liable for copyright infringement due to multiple similarities between the two songs. The pair were ordered to pay the Isleys all profits earned from the Bolton single plus 28% of the album profits.”

Nobody But Me

First recorded by The Isley Brothers (US #106 1962).
Hit version by The Human Beinz (US #8 1968).

From the wiki: “‘Nobody but Me’ was written by O’Kelly, Rudolph, and Ronald Isley of the Isley Brothers and was first recorded by The Isley Brothers. Released in 1962, as the second single follow-up to ‘Twist and Shout‘, it failed to make the Top 40 or R&B charts.

“The most commercially successful and widely-known version to date is the 1968 US Top 10 garage rock hit by The Human Beinz, their only chart success. Dave Marsh, in his Book of Rock Lists named the version by the Human Beinz ‘The most negative song to hit the Top 40,’ noting that the word ‘no’ is sung over 100 times in a mere 2:16. Marsh also counts the word ‘nobody’ 46 times more.”

Make It Easy On Yourself

First commercial release (as “Are You Lonely By Yourself”) by The Isley Brothers (1962).
Hit versions by Jerry Butler (US #20/R&B #18 1962), Walker Brothers (US #16/UK #1 1965), Dionne Warwick (US #37/MOR #2/R&B #26 1970).

From the wiki: “‘Make It Easy On Yourself’, written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David, was first recorded for commercial release by the Isley Brothers. Much to Bacharach’s chagrin, the Brothers messed with the lyrics (turning it into ‘Are You Lonely By Yourself’) and he objected to the release of their version. (The Isley recording remained unreleased until 2001.) Instead, to fill out the time remaining of their studio session, the Isley Brothers recorded ‘Twist and Shout‘.

“It was Jerry Butler (‘He Don’t Love You‘, ‘Moon River‘, ‘Gypsy Woman‘) who first made ‘Make It Easy On Yourself’ a chart hit – his third Top 20 hit since departing The Impressions for a solo career.

(Who’s) That Lady

First recorded (as “Who’s That Lady?”) by The Isley Brothers (1964).
Hit version by The Isley Brothers (US #6/R&B #2/UK #14 1973).

From the wiki: “‘That Lady’ was a 1973 R&B and Soul hit song for The Isley Brothers (‘Twist and Shout‘), originally performed by the group, inspired by the Impressions, nearly a decade before in 1964. Jimi Hendrix toured as a guitarist with the Isley Brothers in 1964 (and the band also employed Elton John on piano for their 1964 UK tour). Hendrix’s influence was demonstrated on the 1973 re-recording of ‘That Lady’ with Ernie Isley’s guitar playing.

Twist and Shout

First recorded (as “Shake It Up, Babe”) by The Top Notes (1961).
Hit versions by The Isley Brothers (US #17/R&B #2 1962), The Beatles (US #2/UK #1 1963).

From the wiki: “In 1961, a year after Phil Spector became a staff producer at Atlantic Records, he was asked to produce a single by an up-and-coming Philadelphia vocal group, the Top Notes (sometimes named ‘Topnotes’): ‘Shake It Up, Babe.’ This was before Spector had perfected his ‘Wall of Sound’ technique, and the recording lacked all of the energy the Top Notes exhibited in its live performances. Also, rather ironically, even though ‘twist’ was in the title, Spector chose to arrange the song in a pseudo-Bossa nova style, it being the dance fashion of the day.

“Songwriter Bert Russell felt Spector had ruined the song, and went out to show Spector how the song should be done. When the Isley Brothers decided to record the song in 1962, Russell opted to produce, and thus demonstrate to Spector, what he had intended to be the ‘sound’ of the record.

“The resulting recording captured the verve of an Isley Brothers live performance, and became the trio’s first record to reach a Top 20 position in the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart (peaking at #2 on the R&B chart).

That’s the Way Love Is

Originally recorded by The Isley Brothers (US #125 1967).
Hit version by Marvin Gaye (US #7/R&B #2 1969).

From the wiki: “Co-writer Norman Whitfield produced both recording sessions for Motown, taking his up-tempo Isley Brothers arrangement and turning it into a slowed-down psychedelic Soul opus for Marvin Gaye.”