“Don’t Say Goodnight (It’s Time For Love)” by The Isley Brothers (1980)

Ronald Isley and his brothers (and brother-in-law Chris Jasper) have a lengthy list of bedroom bangers, but none of them bangs as hard as 1980’s “Don’t Say Goodnight (It’s Time For Love)”, a song that spent a month as the #1 R&B record in the nation (and peaked in the lower reaches of the pop top 40 because racism.) Conceived as a response to Teddy Pendergrass’s steamy “Turn Off The Lights”,  “Don’t Say Goodnight”, it’s a must-have of any playlist created to set a romantic mood.

“Don’t Say Goodnight” finds Ron sorting through a grab bag of emotions in order to keep his lover awake and interested. He’s coy (“I want to see…see what you’re like in bed”), gruff (that “OOH!” after he sings “I want to caress you” will make the hair on your arms stand on end), and sensitive all at the same time. His versatile vocals are supported by a rock solid group that’s worked equally well as a quiet storm standard and a hip-hop sample (see: J Dilla’s masterful “So Far To Go”). Romantic, sensual perfection.

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