The Isley Brothers – “Who’s That Lady?”

 

Photo credit: yahoo.com

Music is an essential part of life and the history of music is inseparable from the history of technology. If you could measure the Isley Brothers on a scale from 1 – 10, they would certainly measure a 10 and then some. These brothers not only had singing talent, but could set the stage on fire with their guitar talents.  The Isley Brothers are indeed one of the greatest bands of all time!

In an interview with Ernie Isley on The Isley Brothers: Summer Breeze Greatest Hits Live DVD, he says that this song was originally done as a Cha-Cha/Bossa Nova in 1964 titled “Who’s That Lady.” Ernie originally did not want to re-record it because he felt that it already had been done. Ronald Isley convinced him it would be worthwhile, as they were going to change the melody, tempo, and lyrics and that it would showcase the guitar work of younger brother Ernie, who had become an excellent player. The 1964 recording, which features a horn section, was renamed “That Lady” and is featured on the album 3+3. This version is the more widely known recording of the song.

Ernie Isley learned a lot about the guitar from Jimi Hendrix, who played with The Isleys in 1964. His work on this song is studied and revered by guitar aficionados in much the same way Hendrix is deconstructed. According to Ernie, it was a magical moment when it happened. He said: “When I finished the solo to ‘That Lady,’ Kelly looked at me for 15 minutes straight without blinking. I felt like I had one foot on the ground, one on Mount Olympus. I went from a black-and-white world to Technicolor.”

This crossed over to become a hit on both rock and R&B radio. In the early ’70s, The Isley Brothers were one of the most popular acts in America with widespread appeal.

The younger Isley brothers, Ernie and Marvin, were going to college at CW Post in Long Island when this hit. They became quite popular on campus.

The song was used during the 2004 comedy The Legend of Ron Burgundy. It features as the intro music for the arrival Christina Applegate’s Veronica Corningstone character at Channel 4 News.

The guitar solo at the beginning of the song was sampled by the Beastie Boys for “A Year and a Day,” which was part of their Paul’s Boutique-closing deluxe medley “B-Boy Bouillabaisse.”

This was sampled by Kendrick Lamar for his 2014 single. ” Lamar turned up at Ronald Isley’s house to personally ask permission to borrow from the song.

Credit: songfacts.com

 

Who’s that lady? Who’s that lady?
Beautiful lady, who’s that lady?
Lovely lady, who’s that lady?
Real fine lady, who’s that lady?

Hear me callin’ out to you
‘Cause that’s all that I can do
Your eyes tell me to pursue
But you say, look yeah
But don’t touch, baby,
No, no, no, don’t touch

Who’s that lady? Who’s that lady?
Sexy lady, who’s that lady?
Beautiful lady, who’s that lady?
Real fine lady, who’s that lady?

I would dance upon a string
Any gifts she’d wanna bring
I would give her anything
If she would just do what I say
Come around my way, baby, shine my way

Who’s that lady? Who’s that lady?
Beautiful lady, who’s that lady?
Lovely lady, who’s that lady?
Real, real fine lady, who’s that lady?

I would love to take her home
But her heart is made of stone
I gotta keep on keepin’ on
If I don’t, she’ll do me wrong
Do me wrong, baby

Writer/s: O’KELLY ISLEY, RONALD ISLEY, RUDOLPH ISLEY

 

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