Nobody but Me (The Isley Brothers song)

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"Nobody but Me"
Nobody But Me isleys.jpg
Single by The Isley Brothers
B-side "I'm Laughing to Keep from Crying"
Released January 1963
Format 7-inch single
Recorded 1962
Length 2:01
Label Wand
Songwriter(s) Ronald Isley, Rudolph Isley, O'Kelly Isley, Jr.
Producer(s) Bert Berns
The Isley Brothers singles chronology
"Twistin' with Linda"
"Nobody but Me"
"I Say Love"
"Twistin' with Linda"
"Nobody but Me"
"I Say Love"
"Nobody but Me"
Nobody but Me.png
Single by The Human Beinz
from the album Nobody but Me
B-side "Sueno"
Released September 1967 (1967-09)[1]
Format 7-inch single
Genre Garage rock[2]
Length 2:17
Label Capitol
  • Ronald Isley
  • Rudolph Isley
  • O'Kelly Isley, Jr.
Producer(s) Alexis de Azevedo

"Nobody but Me" is a song written by O'Kelly, Rudolph, and Ronald Isley of The Isley Brothers and first recorded by The Isley Brothers in 1962.

The most commercially successful and widely known version to date is the 1968 US Top 10 garage rock hit by The Human Beinz which was their only chart success. The Human Beinz version, whose lyrics feature names of dances popular in the late 1960s (shing-a-ling, skate, boogaloo, Philly), uses only the closing refrain of the original song and is noted for repeating the word "no" 31 times in a row (the 31st time starting the word "nobody"), twice. The Isley Brothers version, whose lyrics feature names of dances popular in the early 1960s (twist, shout, mash, popeye), repeated "no" even more, 34 times in a row.

The Isley Brothers[edit]

The Isley Brothers' original version, released as a single on Wand 131,[3] failed to make the pop or R&B charts.

The Human Beinz[edit]

The song was covered by Youngstown, Ohio's The Human Beinz and made them one-hit wonders after the song reached number eight on the Billboard pop singles chart in 1968.[4] The Human Beinz' recording was a reworking and extension of the last part of the Isley Brothers' original song. It was included on some versions of Lenny Kaye's Nuggets compilation, and is now recognised as a prime example of soul-influenced garage rock.

Dave Marsh, in his Book of Rock Lists[5] named the version by the Human Beinz "The most negative song to hit the Top 40," noting that the word "no" is sung over 100 times in a mere 2:16. Marsh also counts the word "nobody" 46 times more. A segment of "Nobody But Me" was also featured during the "House of Blue Leaves" fight scene in Quentin Tarantino's 2004 film Kill Bill: Volume 1. It was also used in The Departed in the scene where Billy brutally beats the two gangsters from Providence. This version was also featured on the soundtrack to Recess: School's Out. This song was also used in the cold open of the American TV series The Office season 7 first episode Nepotism, famously in a lip dub featuring all the characters of the show.

Other versions[edit]

The song was featured in at least three television commercials. In the mid to late 1980s for Mita Photocopiers and Idaho Potatoes (both with significantly altered lyrics),[6][7] in the early 2010s for Nike, Inc.,[8] and the mid-2010s for the Dish Network.[9]

Liverpool group The Mojos released an early version in 1964 (The Mojos EP, Decca Records).

George Thorogood and the Destroyers would later record a version more faithful to the Human Beinz cover than to the Isleys' original, and released it on 1982's Bad to the Bone.

The L.A. punk band the Dickies also recorded a lightning-fast version of the song.

The French group The Dogs recorded a version in 1979 included in the album Different.

Canadian band Doug and the Slugs released their own cover of the single in 1983.

Garage/punk musician Nobunny reworked the song for his track "Nobunny Loves You".

Experimental group The Residents sampled this song in the track "N-Er-Gee (Crisis Blues)" from their 1974 album Meet the Residents.

A version of the song by Norwegian garage rock band "The Laundrettes" appeared on their 2007 greatest hits album.

A lip-dub of the song opened the seventh season of The Office.

Mike Sarne sings this in the film "Seaside Swingers" (1965) under the title ""Indubitably Me".


  1. ^ Stuart Rosenberg (October 10, 2008). Rock and Roll and the American Landscape: The Birth of an Industry and the Expansion of the Popular Culture, 1955-1969. iUniverse. p. 113. ISBN 978-1-4401-6458-3. 
  2. ^ Fontenot, Robert. "Garage Rock's 10 Biggest Hits of All Time". Retrieved February 26, 2017. 
  3. ^ "Wand Records discography". Retrieved 2016-09-27. 
  4. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits: Eighth Edition. Record Research. p. 296. 
  5. ^ Dell, October 1981, ISBN 0-440-57580-X
  6. ^ "Mita Copiers (1987)". YouTube. 2012-10-26. Retrieved 2016-09-27. 
  7. ^ "Idaho Potatoes Spuddy Buddy sings Nobody but me". YouTube. 2016-12-22. Retrieved 2017-01-11. 
  8. ^ "nike 20 20throwdown 20DC". YouTube. 2011-03-02. Retrieved 2016-09-27. 
  9. ^ "Introducing The New Flex Pack". YouTube. 2004-10-10. Retrieved 2016-09-27.