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Isaac Hayes|Branded

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Isaac Hayes

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With about seven years of downtime on the recording front, Isaac Hayes burst to life again in 1995 with not one but two albums, released simultaneously with cover art that merges together when placed side by side. One was a collection of old demos and new instrumental tracks (Raw and Refined), but the other -- the disc at hand -- was a brand-new package hearkening back to Hayes' old extravagant ways. In a major attempt to restart his commercial engines, Hayes goes so far as to record in his original headquarters, Memphis, gathering around him many old cronies -- most notably his old writing partner from the Sam & Dave days, David Porter, and guitarists Michael Toles and Skip Pitts from the Stax period. Once again, Hayes attempts to transform well-known pop hits into wide-screen spectaculars, and he revisits tunes and ideas from his heyday. In a blatant imitation of the fold-out jacket of the original Black Moses LPs, the CD booklet even folds out in the shape of a cross. Yet there is a noticeable change in emphasis right at the start. "Fragile" begins with a rap that deals not with the usual Hayes topic of love gained or lost, but with a message about preserving the planet, and his treatment of Sting's song has a conga-driven momentum that ranks with many of Hayes' better extended rap/songs of the past. John Sebastian's "Summer in the City" is a tense amalgam of '70s funk and '90s digital synthesizers, a really effective update of the Hayes formula. But Hayes gets down to serious lovemaking business soon enough with new material like "Let Me Love You" and "I'll Do Anything (To Turn You On)." The Porter collaboration, "Thanks to the Fool," is a fine, humorous rap/song that picks up where "I Stand Accused" left off (this time, Ike gets the girl, albeit 25 years later!). The two golden oldies are handled in pointedly different ways. "Soulsville" (from the Shaft soundtrack) is almost unchanged from the original -- itself a comment that little has changed in the ghetto since 1971 -- while Chuck D. grafts a contemporary rap onto "Hyperbolicsyllabicsesquedalymistic" -- which doesn't do much for the tune, but doesn't hurt either. Though it came too late for his heyday, and a bit soon for his comeback on the wings of the cable series South Park, this is actually one of Hayes' best albums -- and it holds up under repeated plays.
© Richard S. Ginell /TiVo

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Isaac Hayes

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1
Ike's Plea
00:01:18

Isaac Hayes, Composer, MainArtist

(C) 1995 Virgin Records America, Inc. ℗ 1995 Virgin Records America, Inc.

2
Life's Mood
00:02:53

Brenda Jones Williams, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Michael Toles, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Bernie Grundman, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Isaac Hayes, Composer, Producer, Keyboards, Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Ron Christopher, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Lester Snell, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer - Malcolm Springer, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Myra Walker, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Charles "Skip" Pitts, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - James "Chuckie" Burke, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Jimmy Kinard, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Kevin Harwood, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Milton Comeaux, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer

(C) 1995 Virgin Records America, Inc. ℗ 1995 Virgin Records America, Inc.

3
Fragile
00:06:21

Brenda Jones Williams, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Michael Toles, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Bernie Grundman, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Isaac Hayes, Producer, Keyboards, Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Sting, Composer - Ron Christopher, Mixer, Recording Engineer, Samples, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - Lester Snell, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer - Malcolm Springer, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Myra Walker, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Charles "Skip" Pitts, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Donald O'Conner, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - James "Chuckie" Burke, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Jimmy Kinard, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Kevin Harwood, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Milton Comeaux, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Watoto de Afrika, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer

(C) 1995 Virgin Records America, Inc. ℗ 1995 Virgin Records America, Inc.

4
Life's Mood II
00:03:21

Isaac Hayes, Composer, MainArtist

(C) 1995 Virgin Records America, Inc. ℗ 1995 Virgin Records America, Inc.

5
Summer In The City
00:06:55

Steve Boone, Composer - Isaac Hayes, MainArtist - John Sebastian, Composer - Mark Sebastian, Composer

(C) 1995 Virgin Records America, Inc. ℗ 1995 Virgin Records America, Inc.

6
Let Me Love You
00:04:41

Isaac Hayes, Composer, MainArtist

(C) 1995 Virgin Records America, Inc. ℗ 1995 Virgin Records America, Inc.

7
I'll Do Anything (To Turn You On)
00:07:45

Isaac Hayes, Composer, MainArtist

(C) 1995 Virgin Records America, Inc. ℗ 1995 Virgin Records America, Inc.

8
Thanks To The Fool
00:07:40

Isaac Hayes, Composer, MainArtist - David Porter, Composer

(C) 1995 Virgin Records America, Inc. ℗ 1995 Virgin Records America, Inc.

9
Branded
00:07:02

Brenda Jones Williams, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Michael Toles, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Andrew Love, Tenor Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Bernie Grundman, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Isaac Hayes, Composer, Producer, Keyboards, Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Ron Christopher, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Lester Snell, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer - Malcolm Springer, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Myra Walker, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Charles "Skip" Pitts, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - James "Chuckie" Burke, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Jimmy Kinard, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Kevin Harwood, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Milton Comeaux, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer

(C) 1995 Virgin Records America, Inc. ℗ 1995 Virgin Records America, Inc.

10
Soulsville
00:04:10

Isaac Hayes, Composer, MainArtist

(C) 1995 Virgin Records America, Inc. ℗ 1995 Virgin Records America, Inc.

11
Hyperbolicsyllabicsesquedalymistic
00:12:01

Alvertis Isbell, Composer - Isaac Hayes, Composer, MainArtist

(C) 1995 Virgin Records America, Inc. ℗ 1995 Virgin Records America, Inc.

Album Description

With about seven years of downtime on the recording front, Isaac Hayes burst to life again in 1995 with not one but two albums, released simultaneously with cover art that merges together when placed side by side. One was a collection of old demos and new instrumental tracks (Raw and Refined), but the other -- the disc at hand -- was a brand-new package hearkening back to Hayes' old extravagant ways. In a major attempt to restart his commercial engines, Hayes goes so far as to record in his original headquarters, Memphis, gathering around him many old cronies -- most notably his old writing partner from the Sam & Dave days, David Porter, and guitarists Michael Toles and Skip Pitts from the Stax period. Once again, Hayes attempts to transform well-known pop hits into wide-screen spectaculars, and he revisits tunes and ideas from his heyday. In a blatant imitation of the fold-out jacket of the original Black Moses LPs, the CD booklet even folds out in the shape of a cross. Yet there is a noticeable change in emphasis right at the start. "Fragile" begins with a rap that deals not with the usual Hayes topic of love gained or lost, but with a message about preserving the planet, and his treatment of Sting's song has a conga-driven momentum that ranks with many of Hayes' better extended rap/songs of the past. John Sebastian's "Summer in the City" is a tense amalgam of '70s funk and '90s digital synthesizers, a really effective update of the Hayes formula. But Hayes gets down to serious lovemaking business soon enough with new material like "Let Me Love You" and "I'll Do Anything (To Turn You On)." The Porter collaboration, "Thanks to the Fool," is a fine, humorous rap/song that picks up where "I Stand Accused" left off (this time, Ike gets the girl, albeit 25 years later!). The two golden oldies are handled in pointedly different ways. "Soulsville" (from the Shaft soundtrack) is almost unchanged from the original -- itself a comment that little has changed in the ghetto since 1971 -- while Chuck D. grafts a contemporary rap onto "Hyperbolicsyllabicsesquedalymistic" -- which doesn't do much for the tune, but doesn't hurt either. Though it came too late for his heyday, and a bit soon for his comeback on the wings of the cable series South Park, this is actually one of Hayes' best albums -- and it holds up under repeated plays.
© Richard S. Ginell /TiVo

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