“For The Love Of You” by The Isley Brothers (1975)

Drifting on a memory/Ain’t no place I’d rather be/Than with you.

I can visualize Ronald Isley closing his eyes and allowing himself to sink into a reverie as he sings “For The Love of You”. His voice practically floats over his brothers’ mellow groove.  If ever a song existed that was capable of bringing down your blood pressure, this would be it. Everything is laid back. But saying something is “laid back” should not suggest the absence of passion. “For The Love Of You” manages to generate coolness and heat simultaneously. It’s a testament to the Isley Brothers’ ability to lock into a mellow groove and an additional nod of the head to Ronald Isley at peak vocal ability (has Ronald Isley ever sounded bad on a song? Ever?) Weirdly-or embarrassingly- it took a while for me to realize that “For The Love Of You” was an Isley Brothers song. My first remembered experience with it was as a teenager, taping it off of the “Quiet Storm” on New York’s WBLS. I distinctly remember thinking it was Al Green and discovering otherwise a couple of years later. Don’t know how I got Al Green and Ronald Isley confused, as their voices aren’t incredibly similar. Anyway…

Bonus points for Whitney’s excellent 1987 version. Shout out to Kenny G on the sax.

…and wait. What’s this about a George Michael cover?

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