LISTEN: The Isley Brothers Take “Footsteps in the Dark”

#FunkyFriday

According to WhoSampled.com, elements of The Isley Brothers‘ “Footsteps in the Dark” have been lifted for at least seven other songs, two of them stone-cold classics in their own right: the opening click-bap drumbeat gives Thundercat‘s ineffable single “Them Changes” its shuffle, while the wrinkled guitar line—courtesy of Ernie Isley himself, who we profiled today—is the timeline upon which Ice Cube’s “Good Day” unfolds.

But you don’t need any of those latter-day cats to feel what the Isleys are laying down on “Footsteps in the Dark.” Ron Isley reaches to the top of Ernie’s guitar runs and sets his falsetto right into the nooks, ad-libbing his way around the song’s perpetual groove like a snowboarder carving a gentle slope, while Chris Jasper’s synth wanders in and out of sync with that single guitar line.

Maybe Ice Cube misread the lights on the Goodyear Blimp.

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