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"Between the Sheets"
Single by Isley Brothers
from the album Between the Sheets
Released April 9, 1983
Format 7" single
Recorded Bearsville Studios, New York; 1983
Genre Funk/soul
Length 5:38
Label T-Neck
03797
Writer(s) Rudolph Isley
O'Kelly Isley, Jr.
Ronald Isley
Ernest Isley
Marvin Isley
Chris Jasper
Producer Ronald Isley, Rudolph Isley
Isley Brothers singles chronology
"All in My Lover's Eyes"
(1983)
"Between the Sheets"
(1983)
"Choosey Lover"
(1983)

"Between the Sheets" is a quiet storm funk song released by American R&B/soul/funk band The Isley Brothers in 1983 off their album of the same name on the T-Neck imprint.

Contents

History

By 1983, the Isley Brothers had been on a somewhat downward slide down the charts during the early eighties. Facing decline wasn't new for the brothers, who had bounced back from declines throughout their career to find success.

Around this time, the band had been going through a difficult phase with its 3 + 3 lineup: older brothers O'Kelly, Rudolph and lead singer Ronald argued with younger brothers Ernie and Marvin and brother-in-law Chris Jasper over the group's direction. The rift wasn't made any easier by Jasper's desire to record his own lead vocals for the group's songs, which longtime lead Ronald refused to allow.

Finally, after the release of Marvin Gaye's "Sexual Healing", the Isleys found their next hint of inspiration. Recorded at Bearsville studios, "Between the Sheets" was drastically different from other Isley records for its stripped down synthesizer solos and simple handclaps.

Reception

Sharing credit with all six band mates, "Between the Sheets" was recorded in February 1983 and charted that April. The song made a huge impression on the Isleys' long legion of R&B fans who took the song to number three on the Billboard Top R&B Singles chart while it peaked at number one on Billboard's Bubbling Under chart. The song's R&B success helped their Between the Sheets album go platinum, the brothers' first platinum album since 1978's Showdown.

Despite the success, it was already confirmed even before the album's release that the younger Isleys and Jasper would be leaving the older Isleys for their own group and within a year after their final tour together, Ernie, Marvin and Chris did leave to form Isley-Jasper-Isley leaving the Isley Brothers back to their original position as a vocal trio. But "Sheets" helped the group earn new credibility in the industry and assured their legendary status.

The song would be heavily sampled in the years to come by hip-hop artists such as Andre Nickatina, Common, Da Brat, The Notorious B.I.G., Jim Jones, as well as freestyled over by Lupe Fiasco. Most recently, it was used by Jay Z, who sampled the song for a track, "Ignorant Shit", on his recent album American Gangster (though the original was a track that didn't make the final cut for The Black Album). Rapper LL Cool J mentioned the song and the Isleys on his song "Back Seat".

Artists outside the hip-hop genre have also sampled the song including Gwen Stefani, who sampled the song for her single, "Luxurious", which she also did a remix with Slim Thug and R & B singer Whitney Houston's 2002 single, "One of Those Days" uses lyrical elements and she also mentions the Isley Brothers and in the beginning of the track can be heard humming the intro to the group's cover of Todd Rundgren's "Hello It's Me". Jazz band Fourplay recorded a hit cover version of the song in 1992 with Chaka Khan as the vocalist.

Samples of this song

Credits








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