Twist and Shout

Isley Brothers

Twist and Shout” is a 1961 song written by Phil Medley and Bert Berns (credited as “Bert Russell”). The song was originally titled “Shake It Up, Baby” and recorded by the Top Notes. It first became a chart hit as a cover single by The Isley Brothers. This was written by songwriter Bert Berns along with Bill Medley from the Righteous Brothers. It was first recorded by the Atlantic Records vocal group The Top Notes on February 23, 1961. It wasn’t released until that September as Atlantic single 2115, and then as the B-Side of “Always Late (Why Lead Me On).”

This original version was produced by Phil Spector, who within the next 3 years became the most famous producer in the record business, but his work on this didn’t go over well. Berns took the song to the Isley Brothers and convinced them to record it with the energy they were famous for, this time producing it himself. The result was a #1 R&B hit and a #17 pop hit for Wand Records in the summer of 1962. This song combined the twist craze with the energy of The Isleys 1959 hit “Shout,” and it was a winning combination. The Isley’s version used the same lyrics as the original, but with a completely different sound.