An R&B Masterpiece
Erik North | San Gabriel, CA USA | 09/21/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Though he had been part of the famed Stax sound for a number of years, having also co-written the Sam & Dave hits "Hold On (I'm Comin') and "Soul Man", Isaac Hayes really broke into his own with an album that, right out of the chute in 1969, was identified as an R&B masterpiece, and one that showed at least one direction of where the genre would go into the 1970s--HOT BUTTERED SOUL.
The original release of this album contained only four songs on it, two of them being extremely extended takes of Jimmy Webb's "By The Time I Get To Phoenix" (a career-establishing hit for Webb in Glen Campbell's 1967 version) and the Burt Bacharach/Hal David classic "Walk On By" (a huge hit for Dionne Warwick in 1964). But unlike a lot of the extended psychedelic "jams" that had infected much of rock and roll during the last few years of the 1960s and had drifted into mind-numbing repetition, Hayes' approach, utilizing recitations, lush string arrangements, and his own great keyboard work, made those songs into something completely different. This re-mastered version, interestingly, contains the singles' versions of "Phoenix" and "Walk On By", which were mild hits on the Billboard Hot 100 in late 1969 (though still unusually long at, respectively, 6:57 and 4:33).
Along with his later soundtrack score to SHAFT in 1971, HOT BUTTERED SOUL defined Isaac Hayes' smooth but straightforward approach to his genre, one that would be emulated (particularly by Barry White), copied, and arguably stolen by many over the ensuing decades, right up until his shockingly untimely demise in August 2008. For anyone with a taste for R&B, HOT BUTTERED SOUL is unquestionably a masterwork of the highest order."
Excellent Remastering Of A Soul & Funk Game-Changing Classic
MUZIK4THAPEOPLE!! | Orlando, FL | 07/12/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
The memories for me associated with this classic album! (-:
It brings back my childhood watching my parents and older cousins
"do their thing" at the house parties, card parties, BBQ's/Fish-Fries, etc.
that they would throw in my family back then when they were all young
and many who are gone now were still around.
Issac Hayes served notice to the musical world of 1969
that HIS MOMENT had indeed ARRIVED and he was so much more
than just being part of the great Stax Records songwriting/producing
team of Hayes & Porter, who had given the label it's core sound
during the mid 60's with classics performed by Sam & Dave, Otis Redding
and others. This was a MAJOR DEPARTURE from the standard STAX sound
and a glimpse into the bright & funky future of the 1970's and beyond!
I always say that Curtis Mayfield, Sly Stone, Issac Hayes, Stevie Wonder
and Marvin Gaye did more to establish that black music was so much more
sophisticated than it's simple gut-bucket beginnings than any other artists
of their generation. They were the forerunners for Barry White, P-Funk,
The Isley Brothers 70's T-Neck Years, and many others that came after them.
From the opening notes of Issac Hayes' classic sleek, seductive and
infinitely funky re-working of the Burt Bachrach/Hal David via Dionne Warwick
1964 pop classic "WALK ON BY", you just know that this is something very special!
The sweeping orchestration is epic!---The funky-as-a-pot-of-chittlins rhythm section,
replete with fuzztone & wah-wah guitars, percolating bass line, echoplex &
other trippy psychedelic effects, and drums that sounded like the drummer
reached way back and came down on the snare with such force that the drum kit had
to be riveted to the floor! This is an 11 minute soul-funk opus that is just
timeless and still BAD 2 DEATH 40 years later!!
So many hip-hop careers have been made sampling from the riffs
and licks off of Issac Hayes's 1969-1973 work that it's ridiculous!
But not just hip-hop and R&B, but pop, rock and alternative too! (Oh yeah!)
He has to be right up there with James Brown, Sly Stone, P-Funk, Curtis Mayfield
and others for number of songs dissected, sampled, and in some cases, downright
plagiarized by hip-hop and modern R&B producers who have the nerve to label themselves
as modern musical geniuses! HA!!--Yeah, right! (-:
Track 2 is another one of those almighty funk-rock bomb jamz which influenced
so many generations since then and has been sampled to death....
The stank-funky 9-plus minutes long "HYPERBOLICSYLLABISTICSESQUEDALYMYSTIC",
with it's heavy wah-wah, rolling way-out piano, sick bassline, more of
that hellacious drumming...
MAN!!---It's just southern-pimp-a-delic-groovalistic-funk at it's best! (-:
Track 3 is a relatively short (5-plus minute) exercise in soulful romance
advice called "ONE WOMAN", where brother Ike basically sermonizes the virtues
of finding, loving and sticking with THAT ONE good woman or man in your life!
Track 4, and amazingly the final track on the album is Issac's classic
re-working of Jimmy Webb's country classic "By The Time I Get To Phoenix",
which introduced the world to one of Ike's trademark "raps"
over a sustained organ chord, with sparse bass line and rimshot/high-hat
timekeeping underneath as Issac spins an 8-plus minute tale, building & building,
finally climaxing into the actual song, replete with horns and strings,
which lasts a full 18 minutes and 42 minutes! WOW!!
Let me tell those who don't know already....this was a very innovative
album for it's time and changed the game on so many levels:
The length of what a song could be, arranging & orchestration,
production techniques which were cutting edge for black music at that time,
everything was all about BIG RICH SOUND!!
Issac Hayes voice was also innovative for that time and his baritone crooning
filled with longing and sensitivity while still maintaining his masculinity
and that low bass rumble which drove the women crazy of that time!
No disrespect to the late great Maestro Barry White, but Issac Hayes had
planted that flag in the "soul dirt" 5 yrs before him! (-:
This album was also perfect for the then new & emerging FM RADIO,
where emphasis was being placed on whole albums instead of just 2 minute singles like before.
This album was a HUGE SELLER in it's time and literally saved STAX records,
who had foolishly signed away the rights to their previous publishing catalogue
and all the great artists and songs therein to Atlantic Records in May of 1968.
Damn!!--Talk about bone-head moves!
After an unsuccessful attempt before this album for Issac Hayes to go solo
and break free of the whole behind-the-scenes staff songwriter-producer
thing, "HOT BUTTERED SOUL" was his second attempt, and boy did it work!
Again, I can't emphasized enough how important and influential this record
was in it's time, and it's influence extends way into the future!
If you haven't listened to it before, PLEASE CHECK IT OUT!!
A BONNIFIED SOUL/FUNK CLASSIC that has been remastered to perfection!
REST IN PEACE ISSAC HAYES aka BLACK MOSES!! (1942-2008)"
Seminal late-60s soul
hyperbolium | Earth, USA | 06/26/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"After several years as a staff arranger, producer, writer and instrumentalist for Stax Records, Hayes cut his 1967 solo debut, Presenting Isaac Hayes, sketching an album template that was rendered in ink on this 1969 follow-up. Where the debut riffed on tunes by Willie Dixon and Count Basie, this sophomore effort offers full-length dissertations. With only four tracks, but a running time of over 45-minutes, Hayes stretched covers of Bacharach and David's "Walk On By" and Jimmy Webb's "By the Time I Get to Phoenix" to epic length. The single versions, added here as bonus tracks, still clock in at 4:33 and 6:57, respectively, even when edited to their radio essentials.
Hayes didn't just lengthen these songs by adding musical jams and verbal recitations; he refashioned them completely into soul music, with thumping drum beats, deep bass, and wailing psychedelic guitars. His deeply pained vocal on "Walk On By" is as much sung as it is begged, and an 8-minute rap blossoms brilliantly into an emotional reading of "By the Time I Get to Phoenix." These covers didn't just separate themselves from earlier versions, they separated themselves from everything else then being recorded in soul music.
The album's new pieces include the heavy soul "Hyperbolicsyllablecseseuedalymistic," featuring a terrifically funky piano solo, and a standard ballad arrangement of Charles Chalmers' "One Woman." Interestingly, Hot Buttered Soul, wasn't recorded in the famed Stax studio, but at the nearby Ardent complex that regularly hosted overflow Stax work and was the home turf of Big Star. Clearly there was magic in those rooms. This latest reissue includes 24-bit remastering by Bob Fisher and a 12-panel booklet with introductory notes by Jim James, liners by Bill Dahl and a couple of great photos. [©2009 hyperbolium dot com]"