Tomorrow, September 2, is the date for the latest – and funkiest! – release from Second Disc Records and Real Gone Music! Groove with You…Live! was the great “lost” Isley Brothers album, a sizzling slab of live-in-the-studio soul…but it’s lost no more!
In 1980, Ronald, Rudolph, O’Kelly, Ernie and Marvin Isley and Chris Jasper were riding high with their singular, electrifying fusion of rock, funk and soul. After having transformed in 1973 from a three-man vocal group to a self-contained six-man band, The Isleys cranked out hit after hit. Original powerhouses like “That Lady,” “Fight the Power” and “For the Love of You” were joined in the Isleys’ repertoire by dramatic covers of pop songs introduced by the likes of Seals and Crofts, Carole King and Todd Rundgren.
1980’s quiet storm ballad “Don’t Say Goodnight (It’s Time for Love)” had given the Isleys their longest stay atop the R&B charts since 1969’s “It’s Your Thing,” and savoring its success, they decided to follow in the footsteps of The Commodores, Parliament and Earth Wind & Fire to record a live album. Rather than bring a mobile truck to a concert venue, however, The Isley Brothers chose to cut Groove with You…Live! at Bearsville Sound Studio in Woodstock, New York. The resulting recordings were faithful to The Isleys’ contemporary stage performances, and had all of the incendiary thrills of a live show in pristine studio fidelity. The band overdubbed an audience’s frenzied reception and the energetic introduction of MC “Gorgeous” George Odell to create an in-studio live album as captivating as the real thing.
The completed album was presented to CBS for release on the band’s T-Neck imprint, but the label opted to wait for an original studio record. As a result, Groove with You…Live! was shelved. Fast forward to 2015, and the Bearsville sessions were remixed, sans crowd ambiance, for inclusion asWild in Woodstock, one disc of The RCA Victor and T-Neck Album Masters (1959-1983), Legacy Recordings’ massive, acclaimed Isleys CD box. Later that year, Groove with You…Live! was restored and released in its originally-intended “live” version on limited edition vinyl for Record Store Day’s Black Friday event…and we’re now bringing this album, with overdubs as the Isleys envisioned it, to CD! Those of you who own the box set can now complete your Isley Brothers collection with this disc – a very different listening experience than Wild in Woodstock.
We’re incredibly excited and proud to bring this sizzling, swooning and immersive double-album document of The Isleys at the peak of their powers to CD for the very first time! Featuring powerful renditions of classic hits like “Take Me to the Next Phase,” “Summer Breeze” and “Livin’ in the Life,” Groove with You…Live! has been mastered by Mark Wilder and Chris Le Monde. Our CD premiere boasts an expanded package including my liner notes based on fresh interviews with both Ernie Isley and Chris Jasper! Ernie reflected upon hearing the album for the first time in decades: “We said, ‘Wow, man! How did we overlook this?’ The very first time I heard it [again], I said, ‘that’s really good stuff! It’s an excellent representation of what we do.'”
We hope you’ll agree: This must-have release due TOMORROW, September 2 as part of Real Gone Music’s deliciously eclectic September slate will, without a doubt, make you want to shout! You can pre-order the CD at the links below!
- Introduction (Spoken Word)
- That Lady
- Here We Go Again
- Don’t Say Goodnight (It’s Time for Love)
- Medley: Hello, It’s Me/Footsteps in the Dark/For the Love of You
- Take Me to the Next Phase
- Fight the Power
- Groove with You
- Summer Breeze
- Say You Will
- Voyage to Atlantis
- It’s a Disco Night (Rock Don’t Stop)
- Band Introductions
- Livin’ in the Life/Go for Your Guns