R&B, Blues, Soul & Stax
VOICES Notes and news on R&B, Blues, Soul & Stax releases
14 JUL 08 DAVID NATHAN
Isaac Hayes' 1969 album Hot Buttered Soul, which was recently reissued by Stax in glorious 120 gram vinyl due to the increased interest and demand among collectors, not only established Hayes as a contemporary musical icon, it gave the label a massive best-seller, at the same time initiating a whole new approach to albums by artists of the day.
With just four tracks, The Bar-Kays playing brilliantly, an unnamed female coterie of background vocalists and the Memphis Symphony Orchestra providing a sumptuous backdrop, Hayes embellished two classic songs of the day -- Dionne Warwick's 1964 hit "Walk On By" and Glen Campbell's "By The Time I Get To Phoenix." Hayes added vocal nuances, a soulful emphasis (particularly on the latter, a country-flavored pop ode, for which he created an unforgettable opening monologue) and his own distinctive baritone.
For good measure, there were two original tunes, "One Woman" and Hayes' own unpronounceable but compellingly funky "Hyperbolicsyllabicsequedalymistic" but undoubtedly, the two cover tunes (covering a total of 30 minutes of music between them) served as masterful bookends, making Hot Buttered Soul unlike any other piece of work geared towards an R&B/soul audience at the time. And it's no surprise that it sounds as good now as it did in '69.
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