Isaac Hayes – Greatest Hit Singles

Isaac Hayes
Greatest Hit Singles
(Stax – 1991)
Matthew S. Robinson

Who’s the African prince who hit in the sixties and has been hot ever since? Hayes! Who’s the sassy randy chef who still leaves ladies out of breath? Hayes!

Yes, folks – 30 years on and still going strong, one of the world’s great soul singers and album artists is still going strong. But while many of the new generation may know him best for his less than tasteful cooking roles, those in the know know Isaac hayes for so much more. Now there is a means of teaching the young ones where it all came from. As Paul Mccartney had a career before Wings, so too did Hayes before South Park. And most of the high points of that career are here on this slim sampling.

Framing Jimmy Webb’s “By the Time I Get to Phoenix” and smoking Burt Bacharach’s “The Look of Love,” Hayes also offers originals like the encouraging jam “Do Your Thing” (which would still be hot, if not buttered, even if released today) and “Joy (Part 1)” (which only leaves listeners hungry for Part 2 and more), thereby showing his skills as a coverer and composer. Sepaking of composing, though he may be best known for that blaxploitation film soundtrack, Hayes’ multi-hued “Theme for ŒThe Men'” emphasizes his command of various musical styles and his feel for the orchestra. And when he takes the legendary vocals out of Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together,” Hayes also shows what can be done with a great song to make it great in a dramatically different way.

©2002 M. S. Robinson, ARR

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