Friday, 12 April 2019

The Isley Brothers - Go For Your Guns (1977)


Released April 1977

This is probably The Isley Brothers' funkiest album from the post-1973 reinvention. It is considered by many to be their best album from that period, even above "3 + 3" and "Harvest For The World". Despite its cover, which features on stage photos, it is not a live album.


1. The Pride
2. Footsteps In The Dark
3. Tell Me When You Need It Again
4. Climbin' Up The Ladder
5. Voyage To Atlantis
6. Livin' In The Life
7. Go For Your Guns                                  

"The Pride" is 100% copper-bottomed upbeat, funky groove. It has a huge rubber-band bass line, particularly in the bit near the end. "Footsteps In The Dark" slows down the pack on a bassy, but laid-back harmonious ballad. It has some delicious percussion. The sound quality on this album is better than on some of the other Isley Brothers ones from the same period, which can, in my opinion, be a little muffled in places.

"Tell Me When You Need It Again" has some Sly Stone "Family Affair"-style wah-wah funky guitar and keyboards, some buzzy Ernie Isley rock guitar and a strong, gruff vocal. It is a good, solid slow funk/soul grinder. "Climbin' Up The Ladder" is a vibrant, punchy piece of hard rocking funk. "Voyage To Atlantis" is a lovely, sweet soul number that echoes the beauty of 1973's "Summer Breeze". It has a bit of that Earth, Wind & Fire mysticism about it too.

"Livin' In The Life" is a superb slice of catchy funk/pop. You can't keep still to this one. It seamlessly merges into the instrumental, buzzy guitar-driven "Go For Your Guns". Large parts of this album are extended instrumental passages and this is part of its appeal. Yes, it lacks a "That Lady", "Summer Breeze" or "Harvest For The World" but it has far more of an ambience that sticks in your mind than, say, 1975's "The Heat Is On". This was The Isley Brothers giving their best funk.


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