Isaac Hayes – Hot Buttered Soul


There’s a whole generation out there that only know Isaac Hayes as ‘Chef,’  which I find totally unacceptable. Isaac Hayes is the man.  Not only did he make the the “Shaft” soundtrack, but he performed it wearing a shirt made of actual gold chains! ( I have no recollection which award show that was…but DAMN.  GOLD CHAIN SHIRT!)

Isaac had been a staple of the Stax family back in the sixties, mostly helping with production and backing duties when he helped them start their sub-lable Enterprise with his first album “Introducing.”  It was okay, but he really didn’t open up the throttle till his 1969 masterpiece, “Hot Buttered Soul.”  See, all those years in production had given Hayes time to hone his skills…and his sound, and here they are unleashed in all their glory.

With the help of his backing band, a little outfit known as The Bar-Kays(Soulfinger!), he put together four tracks of unparalleled funky brilliance that must have made James Brown do a double take.  A precursor to the disco  sound that would permeate the seventies, the album took common instruments like strings and piano and stretched them out into something completely new.

This was not music for the radio though, with covers of pop hits like ‘By the Time I Get to Phoenix’ going a full 18 minutes long.  But the real stand out here is his cover of the Burt Bacharach hit ‘Walk on By,’  which turns into a slow funky burner that many will recognize as being the key sample in Hooverphonic’s 1996 hit ‘2Wicky.’

I got the jump on some poor dude at the record store who saw me pull this out and muttered “shit!” under his breath when he realised that he missed the album on his last pass through the crates.  Gotta be quick, my man.  Gotta be quick! Cheap on Amazon!

Also good to note:  This is a great album to “do it” to.  Just letting you know.


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