High School Yearbook Photo

"More than a place, the Shady Dell was and will forever remain a state of mind." - Shady Del Knight

"More than a place, the Shady Dell was and will forever remain a state of mind." - Shady Del Knight

Sunday, March 8, 2009

On the Record: Soul Brothers Isley

Some might disagree, but I thought the Isley Brothers were at their best during their stint at Motown in the mid 60s.

Two of the superb recordings that the Isleys released on the Tamla subsidiary landed in the top 20 on my list of the 200 Greatest Hits of the Shady Dell.

“This Old Heart of Mine,” which fell just short of the top 10 on Billboard, lit a fire under the Dell crowd in February of 1966. The dance floor was jammed whenever this Motown memory maker started playing!

I vividly recall one of the Dell regulars, a young guy around fifteen. He was arguably the best male dancer in the place, and his older sister was the best female dancer. Everybody watched with awe and envy as that brother and sister duo danced together to “This Old Heart of Mine” and other up-tempo sounds. That young dude had such a great smile and so much energy, confidence and charisma that he often had two girls dancing with him at the same time. Hey, save some for the rest of us!

Unsolved history:

That brother & sister dance team –
What were their names?
Where are they now?

“This Old Heart of Mine” was still going strong in June when the Brothers Isley launched phase two of their Dell assault, setting summer nights ablaze with the scintillating dance number “Take Some Time Out for Love.” I liked “This Old Heart of Mine,” but I found “Take Some Time Out for Love” even more exciting. That's why I ranked it higher on my Dell’s Greatest Hits list. Shady’s Law certainly applies to “Take Some Time Out…” because the song’s poor performance on Billboard (lasting only 4 weeks and halting at #66) is both a mystery and a travesty. "Take Some Time Out for Love" is one of the most electrifying northern dancers ever produced!

Many Dell rats tried and many Dell rats failed...

It was simply impossible to stay seated when the Brothers Isley began to wail!

These two Isley smashes were part of an extraordinary run of Dell classics that exploded onto the scene during the first half of 1966. It is the time span that yielded the heaviest concentration of high-ranking Dell hits on my 22-month survey.

* 7 of the top 10 Dell songs were released during the first six months of 1966

* 14 out of the top 20 and

* 28 out of the top 50.

A key point that I would like to make is that the music of 1966 and earlier was somehow "greater" than the music of 1967 and later.

FACT: As the official Pac Man pie chart illustrates...

...75% of the songs in the Dell Top 100 were released in 1966 or earlier.

The Isley Brothers, already veteran performers by the mid 60s, ultimately became one of the longest-lasting recording acts in music history, placing records on the charts in six different decades!

Can you say longevity?

Have a Shady day!

1 comment:

  1. Great group. I do not remember if Shout was a big Dell song.



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