04 Sep The Isley Brothers - 1976 – Harvest For The World
I don’t own every Isley Brother’s albums but this one is really my favorite.
It’s great art by all means. This album is just an excellent blend of funk, soul, pop and rock.
Just listen to “Harvest For The World” and you’ll feel like you want all the album. And all the tracks are just as fantastic as this one, that’s to say!
Tracks like “Who Loves You Better” or “So You Wanna Stay Down” are genuine slices of raw funk.
But the band really shines too on the ballads. Their cover of Betty Lavette’s “Let Me Down Easy” is just stunning! Talking about cover, but in inverse order this time, fans of the sorely missed Aaliyah will recognize “(At Your Best) You Are Love“. Here you will find the original version from the Isley’s, which is simply amazing. Moreover, what can you say about Ronald Isley? His voice is just among the best.
This album is just essential. I advise it very highly to any person which is interested in soul, funk, R&B or even rock’n’roll. It’s nothing less than a masterpiece! You have been warned.
The album sold over 500,000 copies in the first three weeks of release, making it one of the fastest-selling records ever. It topped the Billboard R&B Albums chart. The Isleys third straight album to do so.
A1 Harvest For The World (Prelude) 2:11
A2 Harvest For The World 3:51
A3 People Of Today 4:42
A4 Who Loves You Better 5:31
B1 (At Your Best) You Are Love 5:23
B2 Let Me Down Easy 6:30
B3 So You Wanna Stay Down 3:51
B4 You Still Feel The Need 4:50
Review By Shining Star
One of my all time favorite albums from one of my all time favorite bands. The younger part of the 3+3 lineup songwriting and Ronald’s lead vocals were, at this time, the driving force of the band. Ernie, Marvin and Chris were the creative genius’ while Ronald was the master interpreter of their songs with his otherworldy vocals. O’Kelly & Rudolph’s vocals also added to the 3 part vocal harmonies we had become accustomed to.
It is known that their were multitalented musicians, who were able to play a variety of instruments, recording at that time. Stevie Wonder, Paul McCartney and later in that decade Prince where some of the most notably artists who played multiple instruments on an ablum, Stevie and Prince on a regular basis on their albums. However, The Isley Brothers were truly unique as was Earth, Wind and Fire to have more than one person who could play a variety of instruments on an album. Ernie, Marvin & Chris played all the instruments, wrote all of the songs and along with the 3 older brothers, produced each and every album.
This album is one of their most diverse and another #1 R&B chart topper which is a place they found themselves often in the decade of the 1970’s. The album starts off with the Prelude to “Harvest Of The World” this is a showcase for the overall diversity and musical abilities of Isley/Jasper/Isley as they would later become. The lyrical content of that song in particular touches every part of society and is the perfect canvas for their outstanding vocals and musicianship. The album is full of their vocal 3 part harmonies with Ronald Isley’s trademark smooth soul lead vocals which by itself is worth the price of admission.
You have the smooth soul and almost folky feel of “Harvest Of The World“, the hard funk/rock driving “People Of Today” and the classic, silky soul flavor of songs like “(At Your Best) You Are Love” and “Let Me Down Easy“. This album is a wonderful overall display of their talents and shows how the band had truly come to define what “self contained” truly meant. There is a reason that they enjoyed such a long and illustrious career spanning from the late 1950’s up unto this day.
The Isley Brothers were truly one of a kind and their longevity, creativity and flexibility are true testaments to drive, talent and determination. This album is one of the clearest portraits of what made them great as a band, singers, songwriters, arrangers, producers and record executives. They seemed to be at the forefront of every major shift in music from the late 1950’s on.
Their truly will never be another band quite like them.
More albums by Isley Brothers in our back pages here
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