Louis Prima and Keely Smith - That Old Black Magic (1958)
with Sam Butera and The Witnesses
Harold Arlen / Johnny Mercer
from: “That Old Black Magic” / “You are My Love”
The Isley Brothers “There’s No Love Left” (Tamla 54128-B, 1966)
Considering The Isley Brother’s career at Motown seemed to be filled with a lengthy parade of leftovers and re-assignments, they did manage to bring extra magic to the tunes they did receive. Out of their Holland-Dozier-Holland efforts, only “I Guess I’ll Always Love You” actually came to them without flowing through the possibility or actuality of being someone else’s recording.
But Ronald Isley and his brothers often rose to the occasion and provided the definitive take on certain efforts that saw someone else put their stamp on a song first. This soaring piece of resignation that Ronald and family got to after the Four Tops laid out the original take in August of ‘65 shows what a few quick changes of phrase, an extended note here and there can do to the same material.
Compared to the earlier Four Tops version, Ron Isley gives us all of the gut wrenching tumult of heartache that the lyric truly calls for. In a way perhaps far too intense for singles consumption, it does provide the template of where “What Becomes Of The Broken Hearted” went. Notably, James Dean, co-writer of that later smash hit record, joined in with Holland-Dozier-Holland to write this song.