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Got to have you back - the Isley Brothers

Back in 1969, when an early teen schoolboy, I was the object of much teasing mainly because of the above picture. My mates were growing their hair as long as they could possibly get away with, and were into groups like Humble Pie and Blind Faith while I bought the Isley Brothers Greatest Hits on the EMI 99p Regal Starline budget label. It wasn't so much the content of the label as the picture on the cover that made me the object of ridicule - three overweight middle aged black guys in matching yellow ochre suits trying desperately to look snazzy and cool. The grin of the one on the left caused me most trouble. Eventually a foray into Virgin Records Piccadilly (water beds and the first ever UK listening booths and all) returning with Steve Miller's Number 5 and Deep Purple In Rock restored my credibility (Miller was obscure, Purple, heavy). Of course, if my friends had listened to the music a bit more closely, they would have realised the Isleys WERE snazzy and cool, and this album of the best of their Motown recordings still gets more than ten times the plays of the other two put together, excellent though they are, 46 years on.

I was listening to it while washing up the other day, marvelling at how great this track was, and wondering how I'd missed its terrific driving beat, attacking vocals, sitar like electric guitar and awesome harpsichord (is it electric harpsichord in 1967?) and determined to put it on this site. But I couldn't find the version online that I had on my piece of vinyl, no matter how hard I searched. It took me a while to figure out that the low grade record player I had in the kitchen was slightly speeding everything up and messing with the balance so that this already great track really moved and the harpsichord became a hot up front feature throughout the song, let alone the scorching solo. It's a disco secret I'll be using in future.

So take a listen to this again, and imagine it rebalanced and notched up a little higher. And for those who are lucky enough to have indi technics decks - as do I - enjoy.

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