Hello music lovers and welcome to this week’s edition of Something Old & Something New. Bruce from Some Velvet Blog here; this week taking some inspiration from Mayer Hawthorne who just dropped a new free EP of six cover songs called Impressions. It features covers of songs by Chromeo, Electric Light Orchestra, Jon Brian, a couple of lesser known tunes and a classic from The Isley Brothers. Before we go any further though, make sure you download the EP here.
The song “Work To Do,” written by The Isley Bros was released in 1972 on their Brother, Brother, Brother. It almost reached Top 10 on the Billboard R&B charts and just missed the Top 50 Pop charts. While I was a fan of some of the early Isley’s singles, I came to the song when the Average White Band cut it for their incredible debut album – the record with their massive #1 hit song “Pick Up The Pieces” on it. Hawthorne came to the song, not through AWB, but The Isley Brothers. He says:
The song is originally by The Isley Brothers, and that’s the only version I was familiar with until we started playing it in our live shows and people would come up to us and say “hey, loved your cover of Average White Band!”.
Below, Hawthorne’s and The Isley Brothers versions of it, as well as a video of AWB from back in the day.