Hot Buttered Soul – Isaac Hayes (1969)

Album no. 165/1001

This is Isaac’s second album, and the one that really put him on the map.  He co-wrote ‘Soul Man’ and ‘Hold On I’m Comin’ for Sam and Dave! What a guy.

Isaac started out as a session musician, then was a songwriter and producer before having a crack himself. His first album didn’t sell well, and he was set to return to a behind the scenes role. However his record label Stax split with Atlantic records and suddenly lost control of their entire back catalogue.

The guy in charge at Stax, Al Bell, solved this problem by making every Stax artist to go in and make albums. Isaac demanded complete creative control, and Bell let him have it. This album is the result.

 

Have you listened to this album before?

NK: I have not!

CL: No. I know nothing.

Standout track

NK: I tell you what, Isaac’s version of ‘Walk On By’ is pretty different from Dionne Warwick’s! This is an interesting album. There are only four tracks, for starters. They are, as you might expect, very long. There are hints of funk here (how’s that bass), but it’s mostly soul jamming. I didn’t hate this, but in classic Ned tradition I wish they’d tightened it up a bit. I know it’s the point to have these long jammy tracks, and there are parts I really liked, but it just went on for too long. I like the choruses on ‘Hyperbolicsyllablicsequedalmistic’, but the five minute jam at the end is too much. Sorry Isaac.

CL: I think out of all the funk we’ve heard this far, this is my least favourite. TOO LONG. At least The Temptations only had one song that went over the 7 minute mark. I didn’t really get into this at all. Especially on the last song ‘By The Time I Get To Phoenix’ where the first half is just old mate telling a story. I hate spoken word interludes.

When would be the best time to listen to this?

NK: He has a good voice, if nothing else. I’d say you could describe his voice as buttery. If you want some nice slow jams with some soulful, buttery vocals, look no further.

CL: You’re only saying “buttery” because it’s in the album title. You’ve been brainwashed. But you should listen to this if you like “deep tunes”. I don’t know what that means but it gets dropped a lot over the last track.

Why has this album been included on the list?

NK: I don’t have any problem with this being on the list. He’s going in a pretty different direction here. Soul music with the self indulgence of jazz or progressive. It might not necessarily be a good direction, but it’s different.

CL: If you’re a young man who feels like you’ve been let down by your woman I’m sure you’ll enjoy ‘By The Time I Get To Phoenix’ – ONLY A SOLID 18 MINUTES OF OLD MATE ISAAC WHINGING ON ABOUT WOMEN. It’s not my fault this “boy” in the story is stupid enough to go back to his wife after she cheats on him 7 times and, really, I don’t want to hear about it. .

Will you be listening again?  

NK: No, I didn’t get too into this. It certainly wasn’t awful in the way that, say, Chicago were, but it certainly didn’t knock any socks off.

CL: Nah, if I wanted some funky tunes, I’ll chuck on The Temptations.

Rating

NK: This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.

CL: This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.

Listen to Hot Buttered Soul on Spotify or buy it in iTunes.

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