Artist: The Isley Brothers
Title: The Real Deal
Label: Epic Records
The Real Deal is the 21st album released by The Isley Brothers on August 7, 1982. The album is notable for the group’s decision to alter their trademark funk rock sound in the 1970s with the then-current early 1980s electro funk scene dominated by Rick James, Prince, Zapp and The Gap Band.
The Isley Brothers were finding themselves in a rut following a successful nine-year run of gold and platinum albums and a succession of hit singles that had made them one of the top-selling R&B/funk bands of the 1970s. After hearing the sounds of the Gap Band and Rick James, The Isleys (Kelly, Rudy, Ron, Ernie and Marvin) and brother-in-law Chris Jasper, whose role in the Isleys had grown to the point where he was adding background vocals himself alongside longtime lead vocalist Ron Isley and also added in a vocoder co-lead while playing synthesizers, which sometimes was overdubbed atop Marvin Isley’s bass guitar riffs.
For their, 1982’s The Real Deal, the group went for a more minimalist funk sound with the title track, which hit the top 20 of the R&B charts, Ron Isley, Ernie Isley and Chris Jasper showcase “Stone Cold Lover”, the vocoderized “Are You With Me”, the mid-tempo “It’s Alright With Me” (with Chris Jasper being the only other vocalist beside Ron Isley singing on the song) with the smoother pop rock ballad “All in My Lover’s Eyes”, which peaked at number sixty-seven on the R&B chart in 1983, while Ron and Ernie are showcased heavy on the Jimi Hendrix-inspired “Under the Influence”, which showcased a more bluesier approach than the group was used to. Despite hopes that the album will bring the Isleys back to the top of the charts, it stalled at number 87 on the Billboard 200.
1. The Real Deal (Part I And II) (7:03)
2. Are You With Me? (4:48)
3. Stone Cold Lover (5:12)
1. It’s Alright With Me (5:32)
2. All In My Lover’s Eyes (5:13)
3. I’ll Do It All For You (4:20)
4. Under The Influence (5:42)