The Isley Brothers left Motown in 1968 and re-launched their T-Neck label through Buddah Records early the following year. This album was the first release for their revived imprint and it celebrated the group’s newfound artistic freedom in the album’s title. The album became a smash as the single “It’s Your Thing” rose all the way to #1 on the R&B charts. “It’s Your Thing” was one of the fastest rising singles in Buddah’s history, and was only kept out of the Top Pop slot by the 5th Dimension’s unstoppable “The Age of Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In.” The RIAA logged it as a gold-seller, Buddah claimed it as selling two million, but CBS (which Buddah sub-contracted for manufacturing to keep up with the heavy demand) confessed to the Isleys years later that they’d pressed up something south of six million!
The success of that single catapulted the It’s Our Thing album all the way to #22 on the pop album charts. The band’s instincts to move towards a funkier feel and a more prominent horn section appeared to intersect perfectly with popular tastes at the end of the sixties. The album kicks off with two similar sounding sequels to “It’s Your Thing”: “I Know Who You Been Socking It To” and “Somebody’s Been Messin’ (With My Thing).” Of course, they included “It’s Your Thing”‘s super slick James Brown-influenced B-side “Don’t Give It Away” and another JBs-esque crowd pleaser titled “Give the Women What They Want.” A lighter shade of soul was represented in “I Must Be Losing My Touch” and “He’s Got Your Love.” And there were a couple of heavy slow jams that gave Ronald a sho-nuff shot to sing the blues. First was the lonesome moan “Save Me,” followed by the gentle romance primer “Love Is What You Make It.” Deepest of all is the song that closed Side 1 of the LP: “Feels Like The World.” Seeming to channel the spirit of the great Bobby Blue Bland, Ronald ruthlessly builds the lowdown vamp to an ever-escalating boil.