Isley Jasper Isley’s first of three albums, Broadway’s Closer to Sunset Blvd. marked the departure of three members of the Isley Brothers in 1984 to embark upon a journey of liberation, identification and exploration. Bookended by 1983’s #1 Between the Sheets (with The Isley Brothers) and 1985’s chart-topping Caravan of Love (their second release as the breakout trio, Isley Jasper Isley), Broadway’s Closer to Sunset Blvd., cut over three inspired weeks in the summer of 1984, finds Ernie Isley, Chris Jasper and Marvin Isley at the peak of their artistic prowess.
The richly varied Broadway’s Closer To Sunset Blvd., the younger trio’s first release under their Isley Jasper Isley moniker, consolidates their strengths while taking off in exciting new directions. Chris Jasper proves himself a master of heavy-breathing R&B (“Serve You Right”) and sensual soul balladry (“I Can’t Get Over Losin’ You,” “Love Is Gonna Last Forever”). Ernie Isley’s rock roots are on display on the hard driving, guitar-powered title track, while his cool energy courses through “Look the Other Way,” a top 15 R&B hit. Marvin Isley’s bass, vocal and writing contributions tie it all together on danceable group collaborations “Break This Chain,” “Sex Drive” and “Kiss and Tell” (the latter included in both its original version and as a bonus 12” remix). All sound fresher than ever thanks to the brilliant remastering by Grammy®-winning engineer Vic Anesini.
Within a year of Broadway’s… release, Isley Jasper Isley would be atop the charts—and ahead of the elder Isleys—with their inspirational #1 hit “Caravan of Love” (from the 1985 album of the same title). But Isley Jasper Isley’s brilliant debut LP, lacking the built-in hook of the Isley Brothers name, has been slept on for far too long. It took fans a while to realize that Isley Jasper Isley were the prime movers behind the Isleys’ most beloved hits. 35 years after its original release, now is the perfect time to (re)discover one of the most inspired projects ever to bear the Isley stamp.