Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this middle-aged man as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. CDs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no downloads. And just as CD technology (and the album format itself) becomes obsolete. I'm no music critic, just a music junkie with too much time on my hands.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Isaac Hayes - Hot Buttered Soul (1969)


In which Isaac Hayes creates a new kind of soul music through innovative orchestration and production.  We're treated to 4 ostensibly pop songs with strings floating over The Bar-Kays throwing down psychedelic R&B grooves, and then there's Hayes' bass voice which adds the hot butter to this soul. Most songs are extended and build mightily to perceived climaxes but then just keep on building. Repetition has rarely been this good.  This ain't no Motown - this changed the game.  And why?  Because Hayes demanded and received full creative control. From book Soulsville, U.S.A., Hayes is quoted as saying:
I didn't give a damn if it didn't sell because I was going for the true artistic side, rather that looking at it for monetary value. I had an opportunity to express myself no holds barred, no restrictions, and that's why I did it. I took artistic and creative liberties. I felt what I had to say couldn't be said in two minutes and thirty seconds. So I just stretched [the songs] out and milked them for everything they were worth.
A seminal landmark album by a soul icon.

Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart:  #8
Peak on Billboard's Top Contemporary Jazz Albums chart: #1
Peak on Billboard's R&B albums chart: #1 (10 weeks)

Tracks:  My favorite tunes are the deconstructions of Walk On By and By The Time I Get To Phoenix (and deconstruction isn't even the right word to use there, but I can't come up with a better term for what Hayes does with those songs).  Hyberbolicsyllabicsesquedalymistic sounds like a groove laid down by the Meters and that's meant as a high compliment.

Personal Memory Associated with this CD:  None


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