Anybody seen the Isleys live lately? FORUM: SoulfulDetroit Forum: Anybody seen the Isleys live lately?
Top of pageBottom of page   By Wonder B ( on Tuesday, August 12, 2003 - 06:29 am:

I just saw on their official website that the Isleys are about to tour Europe next month (long English tour but also dates in Amsterdam and Paris). I don't want to miss that (and I will not), but I was wondering if their current set was more geared towards R'nB audiences (heaven forbid) because of his Mr Biggs success, or if the huge hit catalog from the 60's/70's was used to good effect...
I'd rather hear the old stuff but...

Can anybody here shed some light?

Wonder B

Top of pageBottom of page   By Julian ( on Wednesday, August 13, 2003 - 01:16 am:

Isn't the Isley's '60's and 70's stuff RnB? If not then excuse me.

Top of pageBottom of page   By JoB ( on Wednesday, August 13, 2003 - 03:24 am:

Wonder B...I have never been to one of their live shows, so my insight in that category may be a little limited...I'm sure that they they would probably "run over" some of their old hits...but from what I've been seeing on TV, and read in magazines about their live act recently, don't count on being "taken back in the day"...with the success of their new album, I can almost guarantee you that it will mostly be a tribute to "Mr. Bigg"...complete with lots of sexy young females all over the stage (and him)...I had the chance to hear his new CD, and let me tell you, he is trying very hard (if you ask me a little TOO hard) to appeal to a young audience...nothing WRONG with that necessarily, but when I heard a part with him singing something like, "can I hit that?", and another part where he's talkin' bout (and this is what really did it for me), "rollin' in my Bentley on some twenties" (talking about the rims on his car), I popped that CD out so quick and laughed so hard I hurt myself...

I am in no way putting him down for what he feels he needs to do to pay his rent and put food on his table, but come on, he knows full well that in 1965 when HE was the age of the people he is trying so hard to be like now, that he didn't know what in the HELL some "twenties" each his own, but like Otis said in the interview, could you see the Tempts, Ojays, etc., telling some young girl "can I hit that?" or rollin' on some twenties??? It just looks too fake to ME, IMO (before I get something started), and I think he is trying too hard. The last straw came just earlier today when I happened to see his new video (which by the way features his new 23 YEAR-OLD real-life girlfriend, yep, that would be a 40 year difference, and I'm not knocking it if they're really in love, but hey I'M 23 years-old, and I just don't think I'd have much in common with a guy his age)...but anyway, in the video, he is sporting one of those jersey outfits that all the rappers and younger acts are wearing nowadays...again, nothing wrong with it, times and styles change ya know, but he just looked kind of silly to me.
I don't want anyone to mistake the purpose of my post as trying to talk you OUT of going to see the show, the Isley Bros. as I hear are always known to entertain and put on a good show, I just wanted to let you know may be in for something different than you would expect. :o)

Top of pageBottom of page   By janebse ( on Wednesday, August 13, 2003 - 09:46 am:

There is a difference between trying so hard to be young and current that you throw away everything you once stood for and emerge merely as a fool. Once went to a wedding where the mother of the bride wore puffed sleeves.

Unfortunately today it goes way beyond merely fashion and looking silly by trying to look young. It entails vulgarity, obscenities, nudity,immorality and murder.

You say "nothing wrong with it, times and styles change." But I wonder if dignity, grace, and other attributes are not lost when one's pants hang off one's butt and drag along the ground, gathering dirt and dust. How can you admire someone when you see no human dignity at all? How can you admire someone who shreds all dignity to be a fool and be noticed?

I watched a video clip of the Temptations in 1969, tall, lean, tempting, dressed in tuxes and oh, so elegant and classy looking. Their dance steps were smooth, flowing and elegant too. None of the raw sexuality exhibited on today's stages. And I remembered Otis Williams' comment that on their second tour of the Deep South in the '60's, he noticed many of the ropes and lines of segregation had disappeared and he thought that maybe the Tempts had had something to do with the acceptance of black acts in the South. One not only admired the Temptations singing, one respected it.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Mark ( on Wednesday, August 13, 2003 - 09:48 am:

Janebse: that was so pefectly put.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Eli ( on Wednesday, August 13, 2003 - 10:11 am:

I totally concur with Janebse and for the most part JoB.

The catalyst behind all of this bullshit is none other than R. Kelly. Need I say more.

Ever since he entered the picture, Kelly's perversive attitude towardand penchant for very young girls has rubbed of on Ron Isely.

He looks like a damn fool in that pimp get up.

I can understand wanting to hit a younger market, but wanting to "hit" on some young girl is shameful.

Also, the "classic" Iselys were one of the worst live acts out there, to the point where people would walk out on them.

i suppose that today people will stay to watch the young hootchie mamas shake their butts.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Funkyone D J Dollar BILL ( on Wednesday, August 13, 2003 - 12:02 pm:

At the Stones/SARS show in Toronto,The Isley's did mainly older material and quite well from what I heard.However this is likely just because they new the crowd didn't want to hear Bump n' Grind R&B.Too bad Timberlake didn't think about that too!Mind you he doesn't have a 50 year catalog of music to fall back on.

How's the weather in your neck of the woods Wonder B?

Top of pageBottom of page   By stephanie ( on Wednesday, August 13, 2003 - 01:55 pm:

When I saw that Ron Isley video BUSTED with some young girl I was so dissapointed. I know RKelly helped him to get back on track but if I were Ron I would do maybe three of the R Kelly songs and then bust out with the Isley Brothers stuff.
Im not saying he should do This Old Heart of Mine Im saying he should do Its Your Thing and Whos That Lady and Voyage to Atlantis and his stuff holds up well. I dont think the man would get booed at all their music is funkier than this crap today!! I never will forget when I saw James Brown and he was yelling 'Im Black and Im Proud" all of the 6 year old and 60 year old white people were doing it too....LOL My eyes and ears couldnt believe what I was seeing to see white people screaming "Im Black and Im Proud" I saw a clip of James singing this song in the sixties and the same thing was happening.
Even James didnt stoop to this low that Ron Isley has.

Im telling you Ron and the Isleys have a catalog that is so big and that holds up so well after this Rkelly stuff if I were him I say hit the oldies circuit and do your own stuff..where the heck is Angela Winbush arent they still married?
I would think she could write something for him,

Top of pageBottom of page   By Eli ( on Wednesday, August 13, 2003 - 02:49 pm:

The remaining Isleys received MILLIONS of dollars from the Pullman Orginization as a "bond payment" for their catalog meaning that it was basically a glorified loan, bonded by their future earnings on their back catalog and when it is all recouped with interest, they will receive their catalog back.
Similar deals were done for James Brown, David Bowie, Ashford and Simpson, HDH and others.
In order to qualify one had to earn a minimum of 200,000 dollars per year in CURRENT royalties.

So with that in mind, I am sure that Ron can now buy those "twenties" for his whip and cases Cristal for all them young ho's!!

Top of pageBottom of page   By Tony B. ( on Wednesday, August 13, 2003 - 03:07 pm:

Have you seen the Isleys live before Blaise?

I saw them at Bristol in 1994 when they finally returned to the UK, 30 years after their previous visit. I suppose the death of Kelly made them overcome their fear of flying. Didn't they used to travel all over the USA by bus?

Although it was 1+2 (plus Angela Winbush) not 3+3, I'm really glad I got to see them at last. Ronnie Isley is my favourite singer and he was superb all through the show. He said that the Isleys' biggest regret was not coming to the UK during their heyday in the 70s.

I seem to remember they started off with "Shout" and did a medley with "Twist & Shout," "This Old Heart Of Mine" and "I Guess I'll Always Love You" then mostly 70s stuff afterwards. There was a really good age mix, with the older Isleys and younger band members.

My brother-in-law Nigel could tell that Angela Winbush was there, singing backing vocals in the shadows on one side of the stage before we could see her. She was very good and did a duet with Ronnie.

I wondered beforehand how they'd handle "Voyage To Atlantis" with all the lead vocal echoes. Whether Ronnie had a switch on his mic or there was someone backstage twiddling a knob, it was perfect! (Unlike Ernie's wig! :-)

Top of pageBottom of page   By Eli ( on Wednesday, August 13, 2003 - 03:19 pm:

Hair Club For Men!!
If they realy wanna go "gangsta" they should get baldies!!

Top of pageBottom of page   By BankHouseDave ( on Wednesday, August 13, 2003 - 05:31 pm:

Sir Bobby: Are you saying the Isleys were not good live? I have their seventies stuff in the car (Harvest and so forth) and really dig it. It sounds like live material, if you know what I mean. Whereas their great Motown material sounds like the Funks at their fiercest (by which I mean pianoest or Van Dykest) with truly great vocals.

Never knew anyone saw them live.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Eli ( on Wednesday, August 13, 2003 - 05:38 pm:

I have witnessed many Iselys shows whereby Ron could not hit those notes and the singers were below par.
Ernie always did great sols but thats about it.
Many people here share my thoughts on me.

Top of pageBottom of page   By ErikT.O. ( on Wednesday, August 13, 2003 - 07:02 pm:

Hm, I like their 2 live albums from the 70's, the Bitter End one and the Live @ Yankee Stadium (1 side Isleys, 3 sides other folks on T-Neck)... in fact I like that material better than a lot of their 70's ballad-y stuff...

Top of pageBottom of page   By stephanie ( on Wednesday, August 13, 2003 - 07:42 pm:

Bobby is right!! There were some times in their prime that the Isley Brothers didnt sound as good as their studio creation in the 70s. Its hard to believe but ask anyone who has seen them live. When they are on they are great but when they are not they sounded subpar..

Top of pageBottom of page   By b.soul ( on Wednesday, August 13, 2003 - 10:14 pm:

How is Marvin Isley doing? What is the latest on his health, and has anyone heard how Rudolph Isley and Chris Jasper feel about the Isley Brothers latest material?

Top of pageBottom of page   By BankHouseDave ( on Thursday, August 14, 2003 - 02:44 am:

Thanks, Bobby. A friend of my cousin's engineered a session with them in London in the 70s and tells a story of how they pulled weapons on each other to decide who would get to leave with the masters.

Top of pageBottom of page   By JoB ( on Thursday, August 14, 2003 - 05:24 am:

I didn't want anyone to confuse what I was saying in my earlier post---I think it's pretty silly too (the Isley's new act)--I'm just not going to knock anyone, no matter how silly they look, for doing what they feel they need to do to provide for their families and put food on the table.

Janebse...from what I saw in the video, Ron's pants weren't hanging off of his butt and he in no way looked disrespectful, I just thought he was trying a little too hard to look young.

I understand that R. Kelly is their current producer and everything, but I don't think it's fair to blame the whole thing on him...I'm sure that Ron Isley still has plenty of say in what goes on with his career, and whether R. Kelly suggested it or not, Ron is ultimately responsible for his own new look. He obviously agreed to do it or I'm sure it wouldn't have happened, as he is a legend in the business and has the power for the most part to call his own shots.

One question for any and everyone:
Do you think that there is much of a (record buying) market for lovers of older, more traditonal music?? By that I mean, a market that would generate nearly as much revenue as the younger one?? I mean, let's face it, all of us here and many people that we know are TRUE to good old make-you-feel-good soul and R&B music, but I don't think that there enough of us to compete with the KAZILLIONS of 50 Cent lovin', wanna-be-like-Ashanti, spending-half-their-paychecks-at-the-CD-store younger audience, for the artists (old and young) and record companies to want to try and appeal to us as oppose to making more money appealing to the kiddies. Do you see what I'm saying here (I almost confused myself)??? I mean, I believe that most older acts truly would love to be able to stay true to their older fanbase mostly, but when you are as they say "past your prime" and the sales start to drop, and you need to pay for that huge house that you bought back "IN your prime" and the cash was rollin' in, I think that they may have to sacrifice what you really want to do (just a little), and "go where the green is" so to speak...
Take the Tempts for example (whom I love)...their new albums I hear are doing pretty well...and they surely stick to the good ol' stuff when it comes to their live shows (which are great)...but who do you HONESTLY think is generating more dead presidents between them and the Isley's?? As much as I love the Tempts (and as long as they keep makin' good music I'll keep buying it), I never here other younger people saying, "...yeah, I gotta get that new Tempts joint...", unlike the Isley Bros., of whom I know many people (my age and younger) who have their new "Body Kiss" CD...

I guess my point is, if the older music loving crowd spent as much money at the CD stores as their younger counterparts, maybe groups like the Isleys could stick to what made them legends in the first place...just a thought...and I guess I'm kind of on both sides here because I love older music and think some of this new stuff from the IB looks a little silly too, but hey you can't blame a guy for feedin' his (probably grown)kids...and their kids...and THEIR kids :o)

Top of pageBottom of page   By Eli ( on Thursday, August 14, 2003 - 09:26 am:

Bankhouse dave,

I have heard many stories regarding the Iselys and weapons including one standoff between them and Wilson Pickett.

So the thug/pimp image that they have now does not surprise.

As War once sang...The world is a ghetto.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Des ( on Thursday, August 14, 2003 - 10:09 am:

I thought an interesting snippett I picked up in Mojo today --- The Isleys are finishing off Studio work on album of Bacharach covers - with Burt-B at the Production helm.
Anybody heard this???
To me,this sounds like the kinda musical place that some of the posters here would like to see the Isleys be(well,Ron's voice,if the truth be told).
I certainly will be intrigued to hear what they cover and how they cover it.
Hope the story is true.

Top of pageBottom of page   By 1Wicked ( on Thursday, August 14, 2003 - 01:38 pm:

B. Soul: I believe it was KevGo who stated in an earlier post that Marvin was doing well and supervising Isley's compilations (for later release ?).....and I doubt that Chris and Rudolph would say anything about the current status & product of the group...since they CAN'T say anything nice. (LOL) Chris is probably too involved with his own "Gold City" Records and his "born again" career.

Des: That sounds like an interesting concept for an album...ooops...CD, but rather doubtful. He would alienate too many of the current fan base....and would be difficult to do a hootchie dance to. Another talked about project (and IMHO more likely) is an album of "religious" music that would reunite Ron & Ernie with Chris and Rudolph.

Top of pageBottom of page   By BankHouseDave ( on Thursday, August 14, 2003 - 05:05 pm:

JoB - As I understand it there is more of a market for people re-buying 'older' music, such as Motown and Philly than there is for most of the current chart stuff. Nothing now sells in anything like the numbers you'de be looking for for a chart entry in the sixties or seventies. Aside from the aficianados who haunt this forum, average punters are now restocking their shelves with CD versions of the wax they grew up on - so I'm told - making them the most significant market right now.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Des ( on Thursday, August 14, 2003 - 07:54 pm:

1wicked - Seems the Bacharach thing is for real.
I surfed in to and plugged in 'Isley ' to their Discussion Forum 'search option' and up came the news that Ron had recorded 'live' with Orchestra and BB in front of an invited audience.All happened midJune this year at the Capitol Recording Studios,L.A.
Check it out.
I'm personally delighted and maybe helps ignore some of the more distasteful aspects of the 'game playing' Mr.Biggs.
The tracks listed that were recorded are all what you'd expect + a couple of newies specially written --- Can't wait.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Wonder B ( on Friday, August 15, 2003 - 05:05 am:

OK thanks for your comments...
I will post mine when I get to see them on stage next month.
I do hope they do more of the old funk than the recent horrible R'nB... maybe they'll adapt their style to the countries they v isit and if they do their homework they'll see that here in France we prefer the old school to the current wave of soundalikes...
$Bill about the weather over here it's been terrible for the past month and a half... not only have we been waiting for rain since March but the heatwave (three weeks almost in the 100's) has taken it's toll and they have just annouced this morning that between 3000 and 5000 deaths were to blame on that heatwave alone. You'd have to back to 1875 (one of the first recorded temp charts I assume) to find such terrible draught and heat...
I guess the tourists won't be complaining of having visited Paris under the rain!
Wonder B

Top of pageBottom of page   By BankHouseDave ( on Friday, August 15, 2003 - 06:03 am:

Wonder B:

When I heard those death figures on the news, I thought it was the usual propaganda. It's so hard to believe that that could happen in France with plentiful water supplies, good healthcare and so on. Gives you an idea of the hopelessness of people in some parts of Asia and Africa.

Top of pageBottom of page   By stephanie ( on Friday, August 15, 2003 - 07:40 am:

hey Des,
Maybe the Burt Bacharach thing will do for Ron what recording the classics did for Rod Stewart and when Natalie Cole did Unforgettable and BOTH of those albums did very well. Since Ron is on top again he doesnt need any name recognition and maybe the young people will buy this album and us old timers will be happy again..Im sure this album will be promoted and Im sure that Ron is in fine voice...

Top of pageBottom of page   By Scratcher ( on Friday, August 15, 2003 - 11:12 am:

Ron Isley transforms any songs he records into Ron Isley. Along with Aretha Franklin and the Temptations the Isley Brothers have always excelled at recording songs originally done by others and more often than not makes the definitive versions. Check out their versions of the Impressions' "I'm So Proud," James Taylor's "Fire and Rain," and others like "Lay, Lady Lay," "Ohio," "Machine Gun" and "Summer Breeze."

Top of pageBottom of page   By Wonder B ( on Saturday, August 16, 2003 - 04:20 am:

Yeah Bankhousedave it's amazing to hear what a heatwave can do even in a civilized country... but since there was never one like this, people are not used to dealing with such a problem and don't know how to react. Most of the persons who died were either elderly or very young. The elderly don't feel the need to drink and get dehydrated very quickly and for the young some of the parents just don't know how to take care of their children... sad

Wonder B

Top of pageBottom of page   By BankHouseDave ( on Saturday, August 16, 2003 - 04:46 am:

Sad indeed, Wonder B. Hope none of yours were affected.

Top of pageBottom of page   By janebse ( on Saturday, August 16, 2003 - 09:26 pm:


Your statement about the older material outselling the new material is very interesting. I have been wondering what the actual comparison was. But it seemed to me that more and more of the older material was being re-released. And the only explanation I could think of was, "It pays." Record companies do not do this for emotional reasons. Are there any particular artists that are specially popular or any particular songs or types of songs that are specially popular?

Top of pageBottom of page   By JoB ( on Sunday, August 17, 2003 - 05:56 am:

Bankhouse Dave...I agree with you that the market for lovers of older music is growing (and I am glad that it is), more and more even as we speak, but I seriously doubt that Marvin Gaye is outselling 50 cent, or that the Tempts (and God knows I love'm) are outselling B2K, or the Supremes are outselling Destiny's much as I wish this were true, I seriously doubt it. We have to face it (at least for the moment), there are zillions of kids out there who have not as of yet "seen the light" :o), and are spendin' BIG BUCKS on the music that THEY grew up on (post 80's), and record stores are more than likely having to reorder Ashanti's new joint a lot faster and more often than a classic from Aretha.
Is there a large market for fans of older music??...Heck yeah. Is it larg-ER than the market for the current music scene??...IMO (and I'm sure there are statistics that concur), unfortunately, no.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Eli ( on Sunday, August 17, 2003 - 01:18 pm:

There was a recent special in Billboard regarding the growing adult demographic regarding classic soul and other adult oriented genre, but we never see the kind of numbers that are generated by todays music.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Eli ( on Sunday, August 17, 2003 - 10:25 pm:

Ron Isely appeared at Unity Day today, a yearly Philly outdoor event where today, there were over one million people in attendance throughout the day!!
I could not attend but I saw a ment on the ten o'clocnews and Mr. Biggs was in full regallia.

Top of pageBottom of page   By BankHouseDave ( on Tuesday, August 19, 2003 - 04:37 am:

JoB: An individual artist such as Marvin is not outselling anyone on the chart in the present time frame, but he's been selling for four decades, is still doing it, and will go on doing it. If you look at the whole Motown canon, it's being bought and played on the radio right around the world on a minute to minute basis years after it was produced. This is not just a nostalgia effect. It's picking up new fans all the time. There have always been here today, gone tomorrow pop acts, but this material is reliable solid gold that no one has to develop or even take a chance on. Most of the acts on the chart, no matter how big their advances, will not lodge in the universal musical mind for more than 40 minutes. The economics of selling reliable acts to people with disposable income have to stack up.

Top of pageBottom of page   By JoB ( on Wednesday, August 20, 2003 - 04:21 am:

BD...point well taken. I agree that the market for older music is more stable, growing more steadily, and is more consistent with more staying power than the music of today. I just thought that we were talking about which of the two brings in more dollar bills and has the larger general market, of which unfortunately I still believe to be the latter. New R&B and hip-hop music has a worldwide fan base as well, and it grows day by day as well. Again I don't have any hardcore facts to give you, but I have read many statistics from different sources that prove my point. Don't shoot the messenger---if it were up to me, all of the music stores' shelves would be full of the Ojays, Four Tops, EWF, etc., and on a little shelf waaaay in the back you MAY be able to locate 50 cent, Ashanti, and co....but I guess that goes back to my "dreamworld" post, where all the Classic 5 are still alive and kickin', and Diana Ross and (the real) Supremes are in concert next Friday... :o)

Top of pageBottom of page   By Allen ( on Friday, August 22, 2003 - 04:18 am:

I did some shows with Teena Marie last year. On a few dates, we opened for the Isleys. I got the opportunity to meet Ronald and Ernie. I thanked them both for the inspiration they'd provided to me and the musicians I'd grown up with.

Their show these days leaves a lot to be desired. The pacing seems to be a big problem. They have so many hits, it seems they haven't thought out the proper order. Too many ballads in succession.

After we'd played a show in Concorde CA., I met some people who'd attended that eveningļæ½s show. They said they were disappointed in the Isley's show. But they'd enjoyed Teena's set more than they expected they would. Maybe they were blowing smoke up my ass.


Top of pageBottom of page   By BankHouseDave ( on Friday, August 22, 2003 - 04:37 am:

All that you say is true, JoB. See you at that Supremes gig in Dreamtown.

Top of pageBottom of page   By KevGo ( on Saturday, August 23, 2003 - 07:18 pm:

The folks who commented on Teena's show weren't pulling the rug over you. I heard the same comments from others as well regarding the Isleys/Teena show.

I've seen Teena live many times over the years and last saw her in 1994 at Tramps in NYC. She was phenomenal and in great voice.

When will we see anything new from Lady T?

Kevin Goins - KevGo

Top of pageBottom of page   By Wonder B ( on Sunday, August 24, 2003 - 02:46 am:

Yes KevGo I agree with you... I'd also like to know if she's still touring these days???

Wonder B

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