Sunday, November 12, 2017

"Kiss and Tell" by Isley Japser Isley

Song#:  2220
Date:  02/16/1985
Debut:  80
Peak:  63
Weeks:  7
Genre:  R&B

Pop Bits:  The original trio known as The Isley Brothers had some good success in the 60s, particularly their 1969 #2 Pop/#1 R&B track "It's Your Thing." But it wasn't until 1973 when the trio of brothers added their other two siblings, Ernie and Marvin, and their brother-in-law Chris Jasper to the line up that the gold and platinum albums began. For a solid decade, the family group amassed ten gold, platinum, or multi-platinum albums along with sixteen R&B Top 10 hits, including five #1's. But early in '84 the group was having some financial and career disagreements and Ernie, Marvin, and Chris decided to break out on their own away from the original three Isley Brothers. They stayed on CBS Records and formed Isley Jasper Isley. They recorded their first album, titled Broadway's Closer to Sunset Boulevard, and the lead-off single "Look the Other Way" did well at R&B reaching #14. This follow-up single didn't do as well, but it did break through on three charts. It got to #46 Dance, #52 R&B, and #63 Pop.

ReduxReview:  This synth-based workout nearly butts up against the soft rock sounds of Michael McDonald thanks to a background vocal that certainly comes close to mimicking the former Doobie Brother. The song certainly sounds dated now, but the production on this tune was pretty slick. The style was a bit more modern than the old school R&B they were doing with the other three Isley brothers and it helped get them established on their own. It's not a real strong song, but it's a pretty good listen.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  Even though the group was highly successful, apparently the three elder Isley Brothers encountered significant financial issues in the early 80s. Because of that, they wanted to file for bankruptcy. They also wanted to get out of their contract with CBS. However, the three younger members didn't have any money problems and were happy at CBS. With the two factions at a crossroads, it was decided that the group would split. This gave the younger three the opportunity to form Isley Jasper Isley. Unfortunately, the original three Isleys decided to sue the other three along with CBS to block the release of their debut album. Their attempt failed and the young trio set out on their new career. But like a lot of other families, they ironed things out and later in the 90s, Ernie and Marvin would join their older brother Ronald for a trio version of The Isley Brothers.


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