Emily: The early '70s were such a good time for soul and funk music, the kind of music that for decades now has made people get up dance the second it comes on. Cover bands fill stages and play these songs for audiences that may not remember the names of the artists but certainly remember the grooves, and many of the originals are still around and kickin' ass too. Surprisingly (at least to me), a version of The Isley Brothers is still out there performing. Potential declines in performance quality notwithstanding, that's definitely a good thing. I'm not familiar with most of The Isley Brothers' expansive discography, but 3 + 3 was an excellent example of classic funk and soul. Some of the songs are immediately recognizable as staples in commercials, movies, and samples. But they're definitely worth listening to on their own, and I'm sure they're even better live (particularly at an outdoor concert on a summer Friday night). And I know these songs will continue to get people out of their chairs to dance for years to come, no matter who is performing them.
Favorite Tracks: That Lady; Sunshine (Go Away Today); Summer Breeze
Zack: The Isley Brothers are a perennial favorite source of samples for the hip-hop community, and that was my main form of exposure to them before today. There was something super entertaining about hearing notes of I by Kendrick in That Lady, or the similarities between The Highways of My Life and Daily Routine by Joey Bada$$, or Summer Breeze and UGK’s Tell Me Something Good. (I’m sure there are a bunch that I’m missing, but those were the ones that jumped out to me.) I can see why they would be such an inspiration. 3 + 3 is an amazing album. I absolutely loved it, and I expect it will be in my top 5 for this batch of 100 when we get there 6 years from now. It was that good. There isn’t anything particularly profound about it as a standalone project, but it is just a collection of 9 absolutely phenomenal songs. What else could you ask for?
Favorite Tracks: That Lady (Part 1 & 2), Highways of My Life; Summer Breeze