The Heat Is On (album)
|The Heat Is On|
|Studio album by The Isley Brothers|
|Released||June 7, 1975|
|Genre||Funk, soul, quiet storm, funk rock|
|Producer||The Isley Brothers|
|The Isley Brothers chronology|
|Singles from The Heat Is On|
The Heat Is On is the thirteenth studio album by American soul and funk group The Isley Brothers, released June 7, 1975 on T-Neck Records and Epic Records. Written and produced entirely by the group, the album was recorded in 1975 at Kendum Recorders in Burbank, California. The group implemented many acoustic and electric instruments during its recording, including guitar, piano, and synthesizer. Primarily a funk and soul outing, The Heat Is On features musical elements of quiet storm and rock music, and it is divided between uptempo funk songs and subdued smooth soul-ballads.
The Heat Is On sold 500,000 copies in its first month of release and spent 40 weeks on the U.S. Billboard Pop Albums chart. It became the Isley Brothers' first number-one album in the United States. The album initially received generally favorable reviews from publications, including The Village Voice, Melody Maker, and Rolling Stone. Music critics have since cited the album as among the Isley Brothers' best work. In 1999, The Heat Is On was certified double platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), with shipments of two million copies. It was reissued on compact disc in 2001 by Epic Records.
The album was remastered and expanded for inclusion in the 2015 released CD box set "The RCA Victor & T-Neck Album Masters, 1959-1983".
Background and recording
Recording sessions for the album took place in 1975 at Kendun Recorders in Burbank, California. It was mixed at Westlake Audio in Los Angeles, California and mastered by engineer Kent Duncan. The album was entirely written and produced by the Isley Brothers. The group implemented many acoustic and electric instruments during its recording, including guitar, piano, and the ARP synthesizer, which was programmed by engineers Malcolm Cecil and Robert Margouleff. The Heat Is On is the third album recorded by the Isley Brothers with keyboardist Chris Jasper, bassist Marvin Isley, and guitarist Ernie Isley.
Primarily a funk and soul outing, The Heat Is On features elements of quiet storm and rock. The latter musical style is mostly provided by the Jimi Hendrix-influenced guitar of Ernie Isley. The album is part of a succession of slickly-produced, successful soul records issued by the Isley Brothers during the 1970s that were divided between startlingly tough funk songs and subdued romantic ballads. This musical formula for the album serves as a development of the group's transitional sound last featured on their landmark tenth album, 3 + 3 (1973).
The Heat Is On is notable for its two radio singles, the album's angry funk opener "Fight the Power (Part 1 & 2)" and the melodic soul ballad "For the Love of You (Part 1 & 2)". One critic cited the former song as the Isley Brothers' "most overtly political tune to date". According to writer Colin Larkin, the album's contrasting sides, with one side comprising uptempo funk and the other comprising a suite of smooth soul, represent "the pinnacle of both genres". Side one's closer, "Hope You Feel Better Love (Part 1 & 2)", contrasts both of the styles, as it contains melodic verses and a forceful chorus. Songs from The Heat Is On, including "Fight the Power" and "For the Love of You", were sampled extensively by the following generation of hip hop artists, including Slick Rick, Common, and Masta Ace.
Upon its release, The Heat Is On received positive reviews from music publications such as The Village Voice, Melody Maker, and Rolling Stone. In his consumer guide for The Village Voice, critic Robert Christgau gave the album a B rating, indicating "an admirable effort that aficionados of the style or artist will probably find quite listenable". Christgau described the music as "well-nigh flawless" and stated "Ronnie Isley isn't getting any less unctuous". Rolling Stone's Bob Palmer wrote favorably of the Isley Brothers' dance music sensibilities and cited The Heat Is On as "some of the best body music around". Palmer also praised guitarist Ernie Isley and his contributions to the album.
Since its initial reception, music critics have cited the album as among the Isley Brothers' best work. Mark Anthony Neal of PopMatters praised Ronald Isley's interpretive skills and balladry, stating "Whereas the up-tempo workouts helped the Isley’s reach new audiences, it was their balladry, courtesy of lead vocalist Ronald, that distinguished them among other soul/R&B/funk bands of the era." In 2001, the album was reissued on compact disc by Epic Records with a live bonus cut of "Fight the Power".
The album was released June 1975 on the Epic imprint-label T-Neck Records in the United States. It was also made available that same year in 8-track cartridge and cassette formats, while Epic issued an LP release for distribution in the Netherlands. The Heat Is On charted on June 14, 1975 and spent 40 weeks on the Billboard Pop Albums chart. It became the Isley Brothers' first album to hit number one on the chart, which had been considered a rare feat for a black band at the time (the only other black bands who scored a number-one album on the pop charts were their funk contemporaries The Ohio Players and Earth, Wind & Fire). The Heat Is On also peaked at number one on the Billboard Black Albums chart.
The album's first single, "Fight the Power (Part 1 & 2)" was certified gold for sales of over one million copies. The single peaked at number one on the Billboard R&B chart for 3 weeks, longer than any other single of the year. "Fight the Power" was named the Top R&B single of 1975 in Billboard's year end issue. It also reached number 4 on the pop chart and number two on the Club Play Singles chart. The second single, "For the Love of You (Part 1 & 2)", reached number 10 on the R&B chart, and peaked at number 22 on the Billboard Pop Singles. In its first month of release, it sold over 500,000 copies, and by 1992, it had shipped in excess of one million copies. On August 17, 1999, The Heat Is On was certified double platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), following shipments in excess of two million copies in the United States.
All tracks written by Ernie Isley, Marvin Isley, Rudolph Isley, O'Kelly Isley, Ronald Isley and Chris Jasper.
|1.||"Fight the Power (Part 1 & 2)"||5:19|
|2.||"The Heat Is On (Part 1 & 2)"||5:37|
|3.||"Hope You Feel Better Love (Part 1 & 2)"||6:06|
|4.||"For the Love of You (Part 1 & 2)"||5:38|
|5.||"Sensuality (Part 1 & 2)"||6:52|
|6.||"Make Me Say It Again Girl (Part 1 & 2)"||7:43|
|2001 reissue bonus track|
|7.||"Fight The Power" (Live at Bearsville Studios)||3:57|
- Ernie Isley – background vocals (2-4, 6), electric guitar (1-3), six-string acoustic guitar (4, 6), twelve-string acoustic guitar (4, 6), congas (1), drums (1-6), maracas, timbales, other percussion
- Marvin Isley – bass played by (1-6), background vocals (2-4, 6)
- O'Kelly Isley, Jr. – lead vocals (1, 5), background vocals (1-6)
- Ronald Isley – lead vocals (1-4, 6), background vocals (1-6)
- Rudolph Isley – lead vocals (1), background vocals (1-6)
- Chris Jasper – background vocals (2-4, 6), clavinet keyboard (1-2), tambourine percussion (1), Moog synthesizer (6), ARP synthesizer (1-6), electric piano (1-6), acoustic piano
- Malcolm Cecil – associate production, engineering, electronic music programming, synthesizer programming
- Kent Duncan – mastering
- The Isley Brothers – arrangements, compositions, producer
- Robert Margouleff – associate production, engineering, electronic music programming, synthesizer programming
|U.S. Billboard Pop Albums||1|
|U.S. Billboard Black Albums||1|
|"Fight the Power (Part 1 & 2)"||U.S. Billboard Club Play Singles||2|
|"For the Love of You (Part 1 & 2)"||U.S. Billboard Pop Singles||22|
|United States||1975||T-Neck Records||vinyl LP||PZ 33536|
|United States||1975||T-Neck||8-track cartridge, quadrophonic||ZAQ 33536|
|United States||1975||T-Neck||cassette, stereo||PZT 33536|
|Netherlands||1975||Epic Records||vinyl LP||EPC 69139|
|United States||1975||T-Neck||vinyl LP, quadraphonic, 33 ⅓ RPM||PZQ 33536|
|Japan||1995||Sony Records||remastered CD||SRCS 6464|
|United States||2001||Epic||remastered CD||EK 85315|
|United States||2001||CBS||remastered CD||ZK 33536|
- Track listing and credits as per liner notes for The Heat Is On CD reissue
- Henderson, Alex. Review: The Heat Is On. AllMusic. Retrieved on 2009-08-03.
- Kubernik, Harvey. "Review: The Heat Is On. Melody Maker: October 11, 1975.
- Larkin, Colin. "Biography: The Isley Brothers". The Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music: 1238. 1992.
- Jones, Alan. "Review: The Heat Is On". Music Week: October 13, 2001.
- Winning, Brolin. Review: The Heat Is On. Rhapsody. Retrieved on 2009-08-03.
- Neal, Mark Anthony. Review: The Heat Is On. PopMatters. Retrieved on 2009-08-03.
- Rap Sample Search: The Heat Is On. TheBreaks. Retrieved on 2008-09-25.
- Christgau, Robert. Review: The Heat Is On. The Village Voice. Retrieved on 2009-08-03.
- Erlewine, Stephen Thomas (September 11, 2015). "The Isley Brothers: The RCA Victor and T-Neck Album Masters". Pitchfork. Retrieved December 23, 2015.
- Larkin, Colin. "Review: The Heat Is On". Virgin Encyclopedia of Popular Music: March 1, 2002.
- Palmer, Bob. Review: The Heat Is On. Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 2010-07-21.
- Consumer Guide: Grades 1969-89. Robert Christgau. Retrieved on 2010-07-21.
- The Heat Is On (Album). Discogs. Retrieved on 2009-07-31.
- Billboard Albums: The Heat Is On. Allmusic. Retrieved on 2009-08-03.
- Billboard Singles: The Heat Is On. Allmusic. Retrieved on 2009-08-03.
- Gold & Platinum Search: The Heat Is On. Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Retrieved on 2009-08-03.
- The Isley Brothers. "Fight the Power (Part 1)". YouTube: The Isley Brothers - Topic. 6 November 2014. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Cx9jTHZSato
- Isley Brothers. "The Heat is On (2015)". Music Every Week. 1 December 2015. http://musiceveryweek.com/index.php?topic=15.0
- National R&B Music Society, Inc. "Sensuality...". Facebook. 31 December 2012. https://m.facebook.com/honoringlegends/posts/405878509488547
- Colin Larkin (1992). The Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music. v. 2. Guinness. ISBN 1-882267-02-8.
- Colin Larkin (2002). Virgin Encyclopedia of Popular Music. Edition 4. Virgin Books. ISBN 1-85227-923-0.
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