Hot Buttered Soul (Remastered) Isaac Hayes

Cover Hot Buttered Soul (Remastered)

Album info

Album-Release:
1969

HRA-Release:
18.11.2016

Label: Concord Records

Genre: R&B

Subgenre: Soul

Album including Album cover Booklet (PDF)

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  • 1Walk On By12:00
  • 2Hyperbolicsyllabicsesquedalymistic09:37
  • 3One Woman05:09
  • 4By The Time I Get To Phoenix18:44
  • Total Runtime45:30

Info for Hot Buttered Soul (Remastered)



Until Isaac Hayes released Hot Buttered Soul in 1969, soul music had been a singles-oriented genre. Best known as the partner of David Porter in writing such Stax hits as "Hold On! I'm Coming," "Soul Man" and "B-A-B-Y" among others, Hayes, along with Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder and Curtis Mayfield gave the soul album a higher purpose, superseding the standard practice of assembling LPs around recent hits and filler. Even so, a four-song album whose two "singles" clocked in at 12: 03 and 18: 42 was unprecedented.

Hayes had recorded one previous album, Presenting Isaac Hayes in 1968, which failed to impact the charts the way his Porter-collaborated song compositions had for other Stax artists. Nonetheless, label president Al Bell green-lighted Hayes' encore long-player. Hayes went to cross-town Ardent Studios to lay down the tracks.

"There was absolutely no attempt to be commercial," Marvell Thomas, the album's co-producer, told annotator Dahl. "It was just, ‘Let's do these songs. Let's do 'em like we like to do 'em. Play whatever you want to play and have a good time doing it.' To the company, it wasn't, ‘We're going to make one of the all-time great albums and it's going to sell huge.' It was, ‘Okay, let Isaac do his thing.'"

Opening with Hayes’ sexy, intimate delivery of Jimmy Webb’s “By the Time I Get to Phoenix,” clocking in at 18 and a half minutes, the album also included an extended remake of Burt Bacharach and Hal David’s “Walk On By,” given definition by the spacey lead guitar of Harold Beane. “The guitar solo was not something that was planned on front end,” recalled Thomas. “It was like, ‘Well why not?’ We just stretched out and let it go. When you get in the middle of it, you just kind of ride with it until it stops.” Which it did after 12 minutes.

Beane joined Thomas on piano and Hayes himself on organ, backed by the surviving members of the Bar-Kays, a band ravaged by the airplane accident that also claimed Otis Redding. Guitarist Michael Toles and drummer Willie Hall filled out the band. Interestingly, the overdubbing of strings, horns and backing vocals was done in Detroit instead Memphis, thanks largely to the influence of producer Don Davis, who introduced Al Bell to veteran Motown arranger Johnny Allen. Another Detroiter, Dale Warren — the nephew of Berry Gordy’s ex-wife — orchestrated “Walk On By,” with a violin section populated with members of the Detroit Symphony.

The original album contained two other songs as well as the hits. “One Woman,” penned by Wilson Pickett accompanist Charlie Chalmers and his future wife, Sandra Rhodes, was more of a traditional Memphis soul ballad, and was recorded also by Al Green for his Green Is Blues album. The only number on Hot Buttered Soul bearing Hayes’ writing imprimatur (a co-write by Bell) sported one of the longest song titles ever conceived: “Hyperbolicsyllabiccsesquedalymistic.” According to Thomas, “(The title) means the propensity to make a whole big deal of using words to show off your vocabulary.”

The reissue contains single mixes for both “By the Time I Get to Phoenix” and “Walk On By,” extending the four-song album to six. The new edition also contains a second set of liner notes by Jim James, lead vocalist, songwriter and producer for the Kentucky-based American rock band My Morning Jacket.

Quoting James, “Everything is revealed when you open your mind to its secrets . . . [The album makes] your mind bleed . . . blurring the lines of what you thought you knew before was possible with music. It is one of those start to finish classics. And yes, damn near everything is here: Soul. Rock. Sweeping strings. Blasting horns. Full orchestral arrangements. Bare stripped down moments. Humor. Sadness. Funk . . . The recording is so God-damned 3D. It’s black. It’s white. It is universal. It is timeless. It is LOVE.”

„Released at the tail end of the '60s, Hot Buttered Soul set the precedent for how soul would evolve in the early '70s, simultaneously establishing Isaac Hayes and the Bar-Kays as major forces within black music. Though not quite as definitive as Black Moses or as well-known as Shaft, Hot Buttered Soul remains an undeniably seminal record; it stretched its songs far beyond the traditional three-to-four-minute industry norm, featured long instrumental stretches where the Bar-Kays stole the spotlight, and it introduced a new, iconic persona for soul with Hayes' tough yet sensual image. With the release of this album, Motown suddenly seemed manufactured and James Brown a bit too theatrical. Surprising many, the album features only four songs. The first, "Walk on By," is an epic 12-minute moment of true perfection, its trademark string-laden intro just dripping with syrupy sentiment, and the thumping mid-tempo drum beat and accompanying bassline instilling a complementary sense of nasty funk to the song; if that isn't enough to make it an amazing song, Hayes' almost painful performance brings yet more feeling to the song, with the guitar's heavy vibrato and the female background singers taking the song to even further heights. The following three songs aren't quite as stunning but are still no doubt impressive: "Hyperbolicsyllabicsequedalymistic" trades in sappy sentiment for straight-ahead funk, highlighted by a stomping piano halfway through the song; "One Woman" is the least epic moment, clocking in at only five minutes, but stands as a straightforward, well-executed love ballad; and finally, there's the infamous 18-minute "By the Time I Get to Phoenix" and its lengthy monologue which slowly eases you toward the climactic, almost-orchestral finale, a beautiful way to end one of soul's timeless, landmark albums, the album that transformed Hayes into a lifelong icon.“ (Jason Birchmeier, AMG)

Isaac Hayes, vocals, keyboards
Marvell Thomas, keyboards
Michael Toles, guitar
James Alexander, bass
Willie Hall, drums

Engineered by Ed Wolfrum, Terry Manning
Produced by Al Bell, Marvell Thomas, Allen Jones

Digitally remastered


Isaac Hayes
Born in Covington, Tennessee august 20, 1942, died august 10, 2008 in Memphis.

He made his first session at Stax in 1963 as a saxophonist on Floyd Newman's 'Frog Stomp' then stayed as a keyboardist, even replacing Booker T. Jones on MG's recordings. He was also a great composer and producer, along with David Porter. He was a longtime songwriter and arranger for Stax Records in Memphis, playing in the studio's backup band and crafting tunes for artists such as Otis Redding, Sam and Dave, Carla Thomas and Johnnie Taylor in the 1960s.

Among the songs he wrote for Stax artists, often with his partner David Porter, were 'Hold On, I'm Comin',' 'Soul Man,' 'When Something Is Wrong with My Baby' and 'B-A-B-Y.'

'Isaac Hayes embodies everything that's soul music,' Collin Stanback, an A&R executive at Stax, told The Associated Press on Sunday. '

Hayes released his first solo album in 1967, and his 1969 follow-up, 'Hot Buttered Soul,' became a platinum hit. 'Hot Buttered Soul' was notable for its lengthy, richly orchestrated covers of 'Walk On By' and 'By the Time I Get to Phoenix,' and became a hit.

In 1971, the theme from 'Shaft' topped the Billboard Hot 100 for two weeks and won an Academy Award for best original theme song. The song and the movie score also won Grammy awards for best original score and movie theme.

Hayes won a third Grammy for pop instrumental performance with the title track to his 1972 'Black Moses' album.

From the late 1990s through 2006, Hayes provided the voice of 'Chef' for Comedy Central's raunchy animated series 'South Park,' as well as numerous songs.

The role introduced him to a new generation of fans, but he left after the show lampooned his own religion, the Church of Scientology.

Hayes' other acting roles included 'Tough Guys,' 'I'm Gonna Get You Sucka' and 'Hustle & Flow.' He played himself in the forthcoming 'Soul Men,' with Samuel L. Jackson. 'Soul Men' also stars Bernie Mac, who died Saturday.

Hayes was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002.

Booklet for Hot Buttered Soul (Remastered)

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