The Music of the Isley Brothers

The Isley Brothers, featuring Ronnie, Rudy, and Marvin Isley, with support from Ernie Isley and Chris Jasper, recorded Brother, Brother, Brother, an album in which three of the eight songs were written by Carole King, whose record-breaking Tapestry album had man an impression on many performers of the time.   Brother was released in 1972 by T-Neck, and re-released in 1997 by Sony.  The collection, with notes by poet Nikki Giovanni about Cincinnati and Lincoln Heights (which she shared with the Isleys), contains “Work to Do,” a song written by the Isleys about the sacrifices (and understanding) required to accomplish a task, a song radio still plays.  The Isleys give Carole King’s “It’s Too Late” a ten-minute workout: slowed-down, anguished, with mournful piano and screaming guitar.