Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Isley Brothers - Winner Takes All (1979) (320)

This double LP from 1979 finds the Isleys with a slightly more polished sound than in the earlier releases I've posted here. The opening track "I Wanna Be With You" sets the tone for an album of fairly simple, but infectious crisp funk and midtempo jams. Some criticize this album for its forays into disco-y dance grooves, but, well, it was 1979. Unlike many double albums, which can be overly self-indulgent and even rambling, I actually think this record has a largely unrecognized cohesiveness. The seamless change from the ultra-romantic slow jam "You're The Key To My Heart" to a slightly more uplifting "You're Beside Me" is compelling. Ernie steps back from the guitar wizardry on this album to play with percussion, giving the album a fresh, clipped sound with maracas and timbales. Other gems which might go unnoticed include the stellar "Let Me In Your Life" and of course the infinitely funky "Mind Over Matter". Enjoy!


1. I Wanna Be With You, Parts 1 & 2
2. Liquid Love, Parts 1 & 2
3. Winner Takes All
4. Life in the City, Parts 1 & 2
5. It's a Disco Night (Rock Don't Stop), Parts 1 & 2
6. (Can't You See) What You Do to Me
7. Let's Fall in Love, Parts 1 & 2
8. How Lucky I Am, Parts 1 & 2
9. You're the Key to My Heart
10. You're Beside Me, Parts 1 & 2
11. Let Me In Your Life, Parts 1 & 2
12. Love Comes and Goes, Parts 1 & 2
13. Go for What You Know
14. Mind over Matter, Parts 1 & 2


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