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"Fight the Power (Part 1 & 2)"
Single by The Isley Brothers
from the album The Heat Is On
Released May 31, 1975
Format 7" Single
Recorded Kendun Recorders, Los Angeles, California
Genre Funk
Length 5:18
Label T-Neck
2256
Writer(s) Rudolph Isley
O'Kelly Isley, Jr.
Ronald Isley
Ernie Isley
Marvin Isley
Chris Jasper
Producer Rudolph Isley
Ronald Isley
The Isley Brothers singles chronology
"Midnight Sky (Part 1)"
(1974)
"Fight the Power
(Part 1)
"
(1975)
"For the Love of You
(Part 1 & 2)
"
(1975)

"Fight the Power (Part 1 & 2)" is a 1975 protest funk song by The Isley Brothers, released on their T-Neck imprint. The anti-establishment song was originally thought of by Ernie Isley while the group was recording for another socially-conscious song, "Harvest for the World".

Co-written with music by Ernie, baby brother Marvin and in-law Chris Jasper, when brought to the older Isleys, including lead singer Ronald, the frontman decided to change up the lyric in the bridge of the song where Ernie wrote And I roll with the punches/got knocked down on the ground by all this bullshit going down. It was actually Ronald who injected "bullshit" to the lyric while Ernie had originally wrote nonsense.

When asked why he changed it, Ronald said "because that's what everyone needed to hear". Sung alongside his older brothers O'Kelly and Rudolph, the latter brother often singing in unison with Ronald, each of the older Isleys added in lead ad-libs in the group's final "fight the power" chant before all six Isley members furiously chanted "fight it!"

Released in May of that year, the song became a monumental record for the group, partly based on the interesting censoring of "bullshit" on radio stations, reaching number four on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart and number one on the Hot Soul Singles chart, becoming the Isleys' second number-one hit on that chart.[1]. The success of the single helped to send their album, The Heat Is On, to number one on the Billboard 200 albums chart. The Isleys inspired a rap version of its "fight the powers that be" battle cry by Public Enemy in their even more militant version fourteen years later.

Credits

References

  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 278.  
Preceded by
"The Hustle by Van McCoy & the Soul City Symphony
Billboard Hot Soul Singles number-one single
July 19 - August 2, 1975
Succeeded by
"Hope That We Can Be Together Soon" by Sharon Paige & Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes
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