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Soul - Released September 25, 2020 | Isaac Hayes

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Soul - Released November 10, 2017 | Stax

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Soul - Released May 19, 2017 | Stax

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Soul - Released August 1, 1971 | Stax

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Soul - Released July 1, 1969 | Stax

Hi-Res Booklet
In May 1968 the label Stax lost the rights to its entire back catalog after splitting with the distributor Atlantic Records — bought by Warner — and only a few months before its famous artist Otis Redding and four of the six members of the Bar-Kays disappeared in a plane crash… In a desperate act to save the activity, its director, Al Bell, bet on Isaac Hayes giving him a second chance after the commercial flop of his first studio album. A successful gamble which restored some colour to Stax as Hot Buttered Soul sold more than a million copies. Recorded at the Ardent Studios in Memphis (Tennessee) and Tera Shirma Studios in Detroit (Michigan), Hot Buttered Soul is mainly an album of covers. Only the title Hyperbolicsyllabicsesquedalymistic is co-credited to Isaac Hayes (and Alvertis Isbell). Isaac Hayes played Hammond organ and sang the vocals live while conducting the tracking band The Bar-Kays (reconstituted since the drama). The public discovered a modern music, very different from the standards of the time, which gave a new impulse to the soul. A major album of the genre remaining over time an indisputable reference of black American music. © Qobuz
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Soul - Released January 1, 1971 | Stax

Hi-Res Booklet
The sheer tenacity -- albeit undeniably fitting -- of this double-disc set has made Black Moses (1971) one of Isaac Hayes' most revered and best-known works. The multi-instrumental singer/songwriter and producer had been a central figure in the Memphis soul music revolution of the mid-'60s. Along with Booker T. & the MG's, Hayes wrote and performed on more Stax sides than any other single artist. By the time of this release -- his fifth overall, and first two-record set -- Hayes had firmly established himself as a progressive soul artist. His stretched-out and well-developed R&B jams, as well as his husky-voiced sexy spoken "raps," became key components in his signature sound. Black Moses not only incorporates those leitmotifs, but also reaffirms Hayes abilities as an unmistakably original arranger. Although a majority of the album consists of cover material, all the scores have been reconfigured and adapted in such a fundamental way that, for some listeners, these renditions serve as definitive. This is certainly true of the extended reworkings of Jerry Butler's "Brand New Me" and Esther Phillips' "You're Love Is So Doggone Good" -- both of which are prefaced by the spoken prelude to coitus found in each respective installment of "Ike's Rap." The pair of Curtis Mayfield tunes -- "Man's Temptation" and "Need to Belong to Someone" -- are also worth noting for the layers of tastefully scored orchestration -- from both Hayes and his longtime associate Johnny Allen. The pair's efforts remain fresh and discerning, rather than the dated ersatz strings and horn sections that imitators were glutting the soul and pop charts and airwaves with in the mid-'70s. Hayes' own composition, "Good Love," recalls the upbeat and jive talkin' "Hyperbolicsyllabicsesquedalymistic" from Hot Buttered Soul (1969), adding some spicy and sexy double-entendre in the chorus. © Lindsay Planer /TiVo
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Soul - Released July 1, 1974 | Stax

Hi-Res Booklet
This soundtrack was considerably lengthier and more varied than the one Hayes had released earlier in 1974 (Tough Guys), including Holiday Inn funk, a lugubrious vocal ("You're in My Arms Again"), and some jazz and blues riffs peppering the instrumental grooves. While the length ensured more variety, though, it also makes it a challenge to sit through the hour-plus program when you don't have images to fit the music. © Richie Unterberger /TiVo
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Soul - Released January 1, 1970 | Stax

Hi-Res Booklet
Although this is Isaac Hayes' third long-player, he had long been a staple of the Memphis R&B scene -- primarily within the Stax coterie -- where his multiple talents included instrumentalist, arranger, and composer of some of the most beloved soul music of the '60s. Along with his primary collaborator, David Porter, Hayes was responsible for well over 200 sides -- including the genre-defining "When Something Is Wrong With My Baby," "Soul Man," "B-A-B-Y," "Hold On, I'm Comin'," and "I Had a Dream." As a solo artist however, Hayes redefined the role of the long-player with his inimitably smooth narrative style of covering classic pop and R&B tracks, many of which would spiral well over ten minutes. The Isaac Hayes Movement (1970) includes four extended cuts from several seemingly disparate sources, stylistically ranging from George Harrison's "Something" to Jerry Butler's "I Stand Accused" and even Burt Bacharach and Hal David's "I Just Don't Know What to Do With Myself." These early Hayes recordings brilliantly showcase his indomitable skills as an arranger -- as he places familiar themes into fresh contexts and perspectives. For example, his lengthy one-sided dialogue that prefaces "I Stand Accused" is halting in its candor as Hayes depicts an aching soul who longs for his best friend's fiancée. Even the most hard-hearted can't help but have sympathy pains as he unravels his sordid emotional agony and anguish. Hayes' lyrical orchestration totally reinvents the structure of "Something" -- which includes several extended instrumental sections -- incorporating equally expressive contributions from John Blair (violin). Both "I Just Don't Know What to Do With Myself" and the comparatively short (at under six minutes) "One Big Unhappy Family" are more traditionally arranged ballads. Hayes again tastefully incorporates both string and horn sections to augment the languid rhythm, providing contrasting textures rather than gaudy adornment. These sides offer a difference between the proverbial "Black Moses of Soul" persona that would be responsible for the aggressive no-nonsense funk of Shaft (1971) and Truck Turner (1974). © Lindsay Planer /TiVo
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Soul - Released January 1, 1970 | Stax

Hi-Res Booklet
Released in late 1970 on the heels of two chart-topping albums, Hot Buttered Soul (1969) and The Isaac Hayes Movement (also 1970), Isaac Hayes and the Bar-Kays retain their successful approach on those landmark albums for To Be Continued, another number one album. Again, the album features four songs that span far beyond traditional radio-friendly length, featuring important mood-establishing instrumental segments just as emotive and striking as Hayes' crooning. Nothing here is quite as perfect as "Walk on By," and the album feels a bit churned out, but To Be Continued no doubt has its share of highlights, the most notable being "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'." The album's most epic moment opens with light strings and horns, vamping poetically for several minutes before Hayes even utters a breath; then, once the singer delivers the song's orchestral chorus, the album hits its sentimental peak -- Hayes elevating a common standard to heavenly heights once again. Elsewhere, "Our Day Will Come" features a nice concluding instrumental segment driven by a proto-hip-hop beat that proves just how ahead of his time Hayes was during his early-'70s cycle of Enterprise albums. It's tempting to slight this album when holding it up against Hayes' best albums from this same era, but a comparison such as this is unfair. Even if Ike isn't doing anything here that he didn't do on his two preceding albums -- Hot Buttered Soul, The Isaac Hayes Movement -- and isn't quite as daring as he is on his two successive albums -- Black Moses, Shaft -- To Be Continued still topples any Hayes album that came after 1971. It didn't top the R&B album chart for 11 weeks on accident -- this is quintessential early-'70s Isaac Hayes, and that alone makes it a classic soul album. © Jason Birchmeier /TiVo
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Soul - Released January 1, 1973 | Stax

Hi-Res Booklet
You could expect Isaac Hayes to be in his element at a resort venue -- lounge soul was his forte, and this double album offers almost two hours of it. Hayes demonstrates his versatility by getting "Shaft" out of the way right off the bat and alternating between originals and covers of a wide range of tunes, including "Light My Fire," "Never Can Say Goodbye," "Rock Me Baby," "Stormy Monday Blues," "Feelin' Alright," and "It's Too Late" (yes, the Carole King song). Often these are linked together, of course, by Hayes' brotherly raps; for Bill Withers' "Ain't No Sunshine," he tests the limits, stretching the tune just past the ten-minute mark. © Richie Unterberger /TiVo
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Joy

Soul - Released December 1, 1973 | Stax

Hi-Res Booklet
With seven massive number one records trailing in his wake, Isaac Hayes donned his stylin', funky gold-chain link vest once again and capped 1973 with Joy, a set which might have proven the lucky-streak breaker -- it missed the top spot by one place -- but still waded into gold-record waters with ease. "Joy" itself, of course, was the album's crowning glory, a gargantuan 15-minute piece which essentially devoured side one of the album (the accompanying "I Love You That's All" is merely an afterthought). Heady, smoky, ubiquitous -- an instrumental and vocal foray into the land of good grooves -- it was sexy and sassy, with strings and innuendo stripped bare and smoothly built to lead anyone within earshot toward a classic climax. The song continued to impact via sampled revitalization from as far afield as TLC, Massive Attack, Eric B. & Rakim, and Big Daddy Kane. But don't forget that Joy is an entire album, with Hayes continuing his silky vocal assault across a further three slow, simmering songs. The best, and perhaps most interesting, is the closing "I'm Gonna Make It (Without You)." Markedly un-steamy, the song finds Hayes trading in his come-ons, choosing instead to open up and lay himself down in the wake of a broken romance. It's Joy's most touching moment, equally on par with the opener. Indeed, with those two glorious bookends, this album becomes a must-have for any '70s soul aficionado. © Amy Hanson /TiVo
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Soul - Released January 1, 1975 | Stax

Hi-Res Booklet
A fine mid-'70s album on which Isaac Hayes adapted to the disco era. His productions were already ideal for dance floors, and he now updated his charts to include some stomping segments with horns and layered beats, while maintaining his soulful vocals on both up-tempo tunes and ballads. This album got two Top 20 hits for Hayes and was his last really big hit album in the '70s. © Ron Wynn /TiVo
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Soul - Released August 1, 1971 | Stax

Hi-Res Booklet
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Soul - Released February 1, 1976 | Stax

Hi-Res Booklet
The title track employs "Shaft"-like guitar licks, but the similarity ends there: It's a lame attempt at disco done in by Ike's lazy singing and irritatingly banal lyrics. But it's the LP's only sore point. Ike returns to his roots on "Your Loving Is Much Too Strong," a slow, romantic ballad that he and his girls, Hot Buttered Soul Unlimited, make you feel. "Rock Me Easy Baby," a slinky, syncopated shuffle, has more groove appeal than the vaunted "Groove-A-Thon," mainly because Ike constructs it for maximum soul appeal by running it for more than eight exquisite minutes. The uptempo happy-in-love ditty "We've Got a Whole Lot of Love" showcases HBS' sterling voices. Ike shows a different side on the soft, longing "Wish You Were Here," whose horn arrangements and backing vocals are simultaneously enticing and titillating. After a weak opening, the album settles into a comfortable groove, ending splendidly with "Make a Little Love to Me." © Andrew Hamilton /TiVo
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Soul - Released March 1, 1974 | Stax

Hi-Res Booklet
This 1974 soundtrack sounds pretty much like what you would expect -- period funk, mostly instrumental. It's much more effective as background to screen action than home listening, where it sounds like backing tracks in search of vocals, or incidental grooves that need much more flesh on their bones. © Richie Unterberger /TiVo
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Soul - Released March 1, 1974 | Stax

This 1974 soundtrack sounds pretty much like what you would expect -- period funk, mostly instrumental. It's much more effective as background to screen action than home listening, where it sounds like backing tracks in search of vocals, or incidental grooves that need much more flesh on their bones. © Richie Unterberger /TiVo
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Soul - Released January 1, 1971 | Stax

The sheer tenacity -- albeit undeniably fitting -- of this double-disc set has made Black Moses (1971) one of Isaac Hayes' most revered and best-known works. The multi-instrumental singer/songwriter and producer had been a central figure in the Memphis soul music revolution of the mid-'60s. Along with Booker T. & the MG's, Hayes wrote and performed on more Stax sides than any other single artist. By the time of this release -- his fifth overall, and first two-record set -- Hayes had firmly established himself as a progressive soul artist. His stretched-out and well-developed R&B jams, as well as his husky-voiced sexy spoken "raps," became key components in his signature sound. Black Moses not only incorporates those leitmotifs, but also reaffirms Hayes abilities as an unmistakably original arranger. Although a majority of the album consists of cover material, all the scores have been reconfigured and adapted in such a fundamental way that, for some listeners, these renditions serve as definitive. This is certainly true of the extended reworkings of Jerry Butler's "Brand New Me" and Esther Phillips' "You're Love Is So Doggone Good" -- both of which are prefaced by the spoken prelude to coitus found in each respective installment of "Ike's Rap." The pair of Curtis Mayfield tunes -- "Man's Temptation" and "Need to Belong to Someone" -- are also worth noting for the layers of tastefully scored orchestration -- from both Hayes and his longtime associate Johnny Allen. The pair's efforts remain fresh and discerning, rather than the dated ersatz strings and horn sections that imitators were glutting the soul and pop charts and airwaves with in the mid-'70s. Hayes' own composition, "Good Love," recalls the upbeat and jive talkin' "Hyperbolicsyllabicsesquedalymistic" from Hot Buttered Soul (1969), adding some spicy and sexy double-entendre in the chorus. © Lindsay Planer /TiVo
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Soul - Released January 1, 1973 | Stax

You could expect Isaac Hayes to be in his element at a resort venue -- lounge soul was his forte, and this double album offers almost two hours of it. Hayes demonstrates his versatility by getting "Shaft" out of the way right off the bat and alternating between originals and covers of a wide range of tunes, including "Light My Fire," "Never Can Say Goodbye," "Rock Me Baby," "Stormy Monday Blues," "Feelin' Alright," and "It's Too Late" (yes, the Carole King song). Often these are linked together, of course, by Hayes' brotherly raps; for Bill Withers' "Ain't No Sunshine," he tests the limits, stretching the tune just past the ten-minute mark. © Richie Unterberger /TiVo
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Soul - Released January 1, 2016 | Stax

This is the follow-up to his successful 1975 album Chocolate Chip. But what was so enduring and skilled on that effort doesn't show up here. By 1973, Hayes' hitmaking skill became streaky. On this effort, he seems to be in a holding pattern. Hayes doesn't make any significant strides forward and fails to expound on the melodic richness of Chocolate Chip. This starts off with the title track. "Juicy Fruit (Disco Freak) is just one of those songs that had to happen. The song has no shame and features a two-minute intro of Hayes and his bandmembers at a "disco," whooping it up with some loud woman. Although this is the unquestionable nadir, with lyrics like "They say disco music is here to stay/And it will never go away," Hayes' trademark arranging skills bailed him out. By this time, Hayes' fans could tell one of his lackluster efforts from miles away. This is one. The ballad "Let's Don't Ever Blow Our Thing" clocking in at 6:08 is probably too long-winded for even his biggest fans. Being one of the more talented and underrated artists, Hayes was going to get one or two prime moments. The album's best track is the haunting "Lady of the Night." The song has Hayes perplexed and falling in love with a prostitute as he sings, "How many Johns have come and gone/I wonder but I really don't want to know." That track is about as interesting as Hayes is going to get here. This album was oddly reminiscent of his mid-'70s disappointments Tough Guys and Truck Turner. Hayes sounds a little distracted throughout, and without any big hits, this album quickly came and went. [Stax issued a remastered edition of the album in 2009.] © Jason Elias /TiVo
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Soul - Released July 1, 1969 | Stax

In May 1968 the label Stax lost the rights to its entire back catalog after splitting with the distributor Atlantic Records — bought by Warner — and only a few months before its famous artist Otis Redding and four of the six members of the Bar-Kays disappeared in a plane crash… In a desperate act to save the activity, its director, Al Bell, bet on Isaac Hayes giving him a second chance after the commercial flop of his first studio album. A successful gamble which restored some colour to Stax as Hot Buttered Soul sold more than a million copies. Recorded at the Ardent Studios in Memphis (Tennessee) and Tera Shirma Studios in Detroit (Michigan), Hot Buttered Soul is mainly an album of covers. Only the title Hyperbolicsyllabicsesquedalymistic is co-credited to Isaac Hayes (and Alvertis Isbell). Isaac Hayes played Hammond organ and sang the vocals live while conducting the tracking band The Bar-Kays (reconstituted since the drama). The public discovered a modern music, very different from the standards of the time, which gave a new impulse to the soul. A major album of the genre remaining over time an indisputable reference of black American music. © Qobuz

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Isaac Hayes in the magazine