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20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of the Motown Years Isley Brothers

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Album Review

20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of the Isley Brothers isn't as comprehensive as its name suggests, but considering the breadth and depth of the group's catalog, it would be almost impossible to collect all of their finest moments in a slim, 11-song volume. This compilation focuses on their years with Motown, which generated the hit "This Old Heart of Mine (Is Weak for You)," which is included here, along with "I Guess I'll Always Love You" and their version of "I Hear a Symphony." However, aside from "This Old Heart of Mine," the Isleys' stay at Motown wasn't particularly fruitful, and this collection reflects it. Fans looking to get an overview of the group's entire career should stick with collections like The Ultimate Isley Brothers or Rhino's two-volume The Isley Brothers Story. However, as a retrospective of the Isleys' Motown work, The Millennium Collection does the job.

Customer Reviews

Dropped the ball

This collection had potential to be a smash, but how can a collection of Isley Brothers hits not have "Shout" on it? I was sold until I found out. Great songs by an amazing group, but how can "Shout" not be one of the tracks?

This collects their work on Motown 1966–1969

To answer the other reviewer’s question, the reason “Shout ” isn’t here is the same reason “Twist and Shout,” “It’s Your Thing,” “That Lady,” and, for that matter, “Contagious” aren’t on here. This is a Motown album and covers only the group’s short stint as a second-tier Motown group. The only big hit they had during that time was “This Old Heart of Mine (Is Weak for You),” although “I Guess I'll Always Love You” was a smaller hit and that song, “Behind a Painted Smile,” and “Put Yourself in My Place” did well in the UK. A lot of their Motown songs were written by the same Holland-Dozier-Holland team that wrote dozens of hits for the Supremes and others. (“Take Me in Your Arms” and “I Hear a Symphony” had already been hits for Kim Weston and the Supremes, respectively.) Before and after that, though, the Isleys wrote most of their own songs (at least until 2001, when R. Kelly helped them make a comeback).


Formed: 1954 in Cincinnati, OH

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

First formed in the early '50s, the Isley Brothers enjoyed one of the longest, most influential, and most diverse careers in the pantheon of popular music -- over the course of nearly a half century of performing, the group's distinguished history spanned not only two generations of Isley siblings but also massive cultural shifts which heralded their music's transformation from gritty R&B to Motown soul to blistering funk. The first generation of Isley siblings was born and raised in Cincinnati,...
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