The Best Moments From The Isley Brothers and Earth Wind & Fire ‘Verzuz’



Robyn Mowatt

Robyn Mowatt is a staff writer at Okayplayer where she…

Earth Wind and Fire The Isley Brothers Steve Harvey Verzuz

Photo Credit: Instagram

Spanning decades, both The Isley Brothers and Earth, Wind & Fire have hits that stick like grits. There’s no denying that their singles and albums are held in high esteem.

There’s no feeling like being surrounded by your family on Easter Sunday. Verzuz capitalized on those intimate emotions during the funk-filled battle featuring Earth,Wind & Fire and The Isley Brothers on Sunday evening. 

Spanning decades, both groups have hits that stick like grits. There’s no denying that their singles and albums are held in high esteem in households throughout the globe. Funk and soul are distinct genres that were undeniably shaped by the music both of these groups shelled out years ago which started with The Isley Brothers during the ‘50s. The ‘70s were dominated by Earth, Wind & Fire’s distinct sound. 

Steve Harvey was the ideal host for the legendary battle. Almost after every track, Harvey offered up his thoughts on moments in time where he felt moved by the music. At the beginning of the match, he even delved into a few memories when he was first introduced to both group’s music. 

“These groups made me. This music shaped me,” Harvey shared to kick off things. Let’s not forget the talented DJ D-Nice who helped facilitate the vibes of the night.

Now, we’re going to get into the hits and our favorite moments of the Verzuz battle below. Keep scrolling to see our thoughts and the best tweets of the night. 

1. The Isley Brothers’ “This Old Heart of Mine (Is Weak For You)” vs. Earth, Wind & Fire’s “Let’s Groove”

Even when The Isley Brother’s served up “This Old Heart of Mine” with supreme vocals, Earth Wind & Fire’s “Let’s Groove” outdid them. The latter is one of the biggest ‘80s hits of all time as it has a refreshing sound. The bass in this track is also undeniable.

2. The Isley Brothers’ “(At Your Best) You Are Love” vs. Earth, Wind & Fire’s “Reasons” (Live)

“(At Your Best) You Are Love” is one of those songs that evokes feelings that you maybe didn’t know you had. After The Isley Brothers serve up this monumental hit, Ernie shares that he wrote the song. He also adds that the duo wrote their music to compliment women. EWF’s “Reasons” is the perfect follow-up, it’s also a moment that will stand the test of time as this song is another household staple.

3. The Isley Brothers’ “Harvest For the World” vs. Earth, Wind & Fire’s “Got to Get You Into My Life”

The Isleys’ 1976 successful hit “Harvest For the World” offers a beautiful message as Ernie Isley comfortably flexes his guitar skills. Up next, Earth Wind & Fire shares the upbeat “Got to Get You Into My Life,” a cover of The Beatles’ hit.

4. The Isley Brothers’ “Groove With You” vs. Earth, Wind & Fire’s “Would You Mind”

Steve Harvey declares that D-Nice should serve up four sexy ass songs. What happens next is The Isley Brothers’ sensual 1977 cut “Groove With You.” Then EWF’s “Would You Mind” is queued up, Harvey gets in a couple of slow dance moves as this song rings off (lol).

5. The Isley Brothers’ “Summer Breeze” vs. Earth, Wind & Fire’s “Be Ever Wonderful” 

For “Summer Breeze” both Ron and Ernie Isley take their respective places on the stage, Ernie with his guitar and Ron with his mic. It’s a lovely moment for the duo. What’s the best way to follow this? EWF’s “Be Ever Wonderful,” a song that is supreme for many reasons. 

6. The Isley Brothers’ “It’s Your Thing” vs. Earth, Wind & Fire’s “Devotion” (Live)

The Isley Brothers’ “It’s Your Thing” is a feel-good track that never gets old. What makes this song unique is the fact that it’s his highest-charting hit on the Billboard Hot 100 (No. 2). EWF then shares a stunning rendition of “Devotion” off of their live album Gratitude. We love both of these tracks dearly. 

7. The Isley Brothers’ “Make Me Say It Again Girl” vs. Earth, Wind & Fire’s “After the Love Has Gone” 

By the time The Isley Brothers share “Make Me Say It Again,” it becomes clear they’re going to keep serving up their biggest hits and even a few unsung ones like this. But, EWF’s “After the Love Has Gone” swoops in and provides some competition for the duo since it’s one of the greatest love songs of all time.

8. The Isley Brothers’ “Footsteps in the Dark” vs. Earth, Wind & Fire’s “Shining Star”

“Footsteps in the Dark” is another hit that is forever a part of soul music history. It’s the sound, it’s the guitar, it’s the unforgettable vocals, it’s everything. The Isley Brothers saved this for good reason. Once again, EWF unleashes another mega-hit worthy of competing with “Footsteps,” “Shining Star.”

Final Moment

The Isley Brothers’ final song selection was “That Lady,” a mid-‘70s funk hit that’s far superior to some of the R&B music that the industry is prone to release. Earth, Wind & Fire decide to bless the audience with the one hit that hasn’t been heard all night “September.” This song is undeniably one of the most regarded tracks by the group, it’s also a cookout and family reunion essential cut.

We’re calling it a draw for this battle. Yes, Ron and Ernie Isley were distinct in their star power. But, it’s a bit difficult to choose a winner amongst these music titans. The banter between Steve Harvey, EWF, and Earth, Wind & Fire was positive and reflective, it did not ether into negative territory which made for an enjoyable and entertaining evening. 

Before you go, don’t forget that The Isley Brothers released a new single with Snoop Dogg, “Friends & Family.” You can listen to it here.

Watch the entire Verzuz below.





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