Between the Sheets (song)

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"Between the Sheets"
Single by Isley Brothers
from the album Between the Sheets
Released March 9, 1983
Format 7"
Recorded Bearsville Studios, New York; February 1983
Genre Quiet storm, soul, R&B
Length 5:38
Label T-Neck
Writer(s) Rudolph Isley, O'Kelly Isley, Jr., Ronald Isley, Ernest Isley, Marvin Isley, Chris Jasper
Producer(s) Ronald Isley, Rudolph Isley
Isley Brothers singles chronology
"All in My Lover's Eyes"
"Between the Sheets"
"Choosey Lover"

"Between the Sheets" is a hit quiet storm funk song released by American R&B/soul/funk band The Isley Brothers in 1983 off their album of the same name on the T-Neck imprint.


By the early 1980s, the fortunes of the Isley Brothers were dwindling due to changing musical styles and the partnership between the family members losing ground. Chris Jasper and fellow members Ernie Isley and Marvin Isley were constantly producing music that they had initially intended to be part of their own splinter group. In the meantime, the elder three Isleys - vocalists Ronald Isley, O'Kelly Isley and Rudolph Isley - were dealing with tax debts and accusations they had evaded paying back taxes to the IRS. The Isley Brothers' musical heyday had peaked in the mid-seventies and while their late-seventies recordings found success, as they entered the eighties, they struggled to compete with a growing list of funk groups such as Cameo and The Gap Band. In 1982, their album, The Real Deal, failed to generate any hits and failed to go gold.

Later that year, the group returned to the studios in Bearsville, New York to work on their follow-up. Influenced by the success of Marvin Gaye's "Sexual Healing", Ernie Isley and Marvin Isley had composed a sensual minimalist light funk groove aimed strictly for the bedroom. The production of what became "Between the Sheets" was different from previous recordings with stripped down synthesizer solos by Chris Jasper (who also sung background vocals), drum machine beats, and assorted percussion, including simple handclaps, by Ernie Isley and Marvin Isley.


Like many of the group's releases, songwriting credit was shared with all six band mates (though only Marvin and Ernie wrote the song), "Between the Sheets" was recorded in November 1982 and was released in early February 1983 hitting the charts two months later. The song made a huge impression on the Isleys' long legion of R&B fans who took the song to number three on the Billboard Top R&B Singles chart while it peaked at number one on Billboard's Bubbling Under chart. The song's R&B success helped their Between the Sheets album go platinum, the brothers' first platinum album since 1978's Showdown.

Despite the success, it was already confirmed even before the album's release that the younger Isleys and Jasper would be leaving the older Isleys for their own group. Within a year after their final tour together, Ernie, Marvin and Chris did leave to form Isley-Jasper-Isley leaving the Isley Brothers back to their original position as a vocal trio. But "Sheets" helped the group earn new credibility in the industry and assured their legendary status.

The song would be heavily sampled in the years to come by hip-hop artists such as Andre Nickatina, A Tribe Called Quest, Common, Da Brat, The Notorious B.I.G., Jim Jones, UGK, Drake, Jay-Z, as well as freestyled over by Lupe Fiasco. The beat for "Ignorant Shit" by Jay-Z, created by Just Blaze, sampled "Between the Sheets". Rapper Notorious B.I.G. used a slightly modified beat for his hugely popular track "Big Poppa". Rappers Drake and Lil Wayne recorded a version of "Ignorant Shit" for Drake's 2009 mixtape So Far Gone with them rapping over the Just Blaze beat. The song, "A Night Off" (Drake featuring Lloyd), produced by Noah "40" Shebib, that directly follows "Ignorant Shit" on the mixtape, also samples "Between the Sheets". LL Cool J mentioned the song and the Isleys on his song "Back Seat".

Artists outside the hip-hop genre have also sampled the song including Gwen Stefani, who sampled the song for her single, "Luxurious", which she also did a remix with Slim Thug and R&B singer Whitney Houston's 2002 single, "One of Those Days" uses lyrical elements and she also mentions the Isley Brothers and in the beginning of the track can be heard humming the intro to the group's cover of Todd Rundgren's "Hello It's Me". Jazz band Fourplay recorded a hit cover version of the song in 1992 with Chaka Khan as the vocalist.

Samples of this song[edit]

Appearances in other media[edit]

The song "Between the Sheets" appears in the Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas video game soundtrack, on the fictitious radio station Bounce FM, and is also appears as one of three tracks played in the game's various strip clubs.

The Japanese funk band Omokage Lucky Hole makes reference to "Between The Sheets" in the lyrics for their song "Wet" on their album titled "On The Border".

Rapper Kendrick Lamar makes references to "Between The Sheets" in the song "M.A.A.D City" on his album Good Kid, M.A.A.D City.[1]



External links[edit]