Albums Your Parents Should Have Played for You: Isaac Hayes

Welcome to Albums Your Parents Should Have Played You… It’s my attempt rectify this generations profound ignorance of the wonderful music their mom, dad, aunts, uncles, gramps, grammas and cousins enjoyed growing up… Hopefully, you’ll dig it and spread the joy of Soul Music...

If I was alone on an deserted island… and there was only one artist whose discography I had to listen to… who would it be? As you may have gathered from the title of this entry… It would Sir Isaac Hayes. Formally, I may have said “Marvin!” “Miles.” “maybe Dilla… Jay… or Common…” But as the years roll along there’s always one constant in my weekly listening experience… and that is Black Moses.  My affinity for the bald head leader of Soul can be squarely placed on the guy in the white button in the picture above, Pops… Several mornings had “Hyperbolicsyllabicsesquedalymistic” blaring from his sound system… In my early years, I never really understood the song… just knew it was funky as hell…
Hot Buttered Soul, 1969
This album covered stared at me many times growing up… 
It wasn’t until I was in my teens that I realized the album was largely about relationships and different courses of action a man will make in his development… The entire album touches on all things most men have either gone through or experienced second-hand… Aside from sharing stories of love lost… and temptation… Zeke does a wonderful job of converting songs from other artists and making them his own… “Walk On By” & “By The Time I Get To Phoenix” are both standouts… however, my favorite song off the album is “One Woman”… detailing the “struggle” of dealing with two women and making a decision or rather… not making the decision of being with one… a theme that would appear several times in Hayes’ work… Click here to enjoy some Hot Buttered Soul
Black Moses, 1971
We know about the Shaft soundtrack… that sold millions and won an Oscar for Best Original Song with “Theme of Shaft”… however, to me Black Moses is his 2nd best piece of work… an epic double album that immediately followed the release of Shaft… confirmed that Brother Ike had found his groove and was here to stay…

I don’t believe Pops has this in his collection… but I damn sure have the vinyl in mine…
The albums opens with his rendition of “Never Can Say Goodbye”… The same song made popular by Jackson 5… and penned by the guy from “Amen”… yes him… a talented brother, indeed… Hayes lets you know early on that “I will be supplying you with songs you think* you know but have no idea…” Other notable covers on the album are “Close To You”, “Man’s Temptation”, “For The Good Times” and “Going In Circles”… My favorite cut off the record is “Medley: “Ike’s Rap III” / “Your Love is So Doggone Good” a 9-minute plus song that will change your perspective on what music is It may be my favorite Isaac song of all… Check it out and see if it’s yours…
… To Be Continued, 1970
When I came across this album in college it IMMEDIATELY supplanted the Shaft soundtrack as my “Zeke Top 3” albums… I respect Shaft, tremendously… but when I first heard “…To Be Continued” it was like hearing Hot Buttered Soul all over again… but this time he decided to stretch out his cover songs… completely remove the original DNA… and make them his songs…
…he was certainly putting the pieces together on his sound with this release in 1970…

As he had done with on previous albums… Hayes took songs like “Our Day Will Come” and “The Look of Love” (another song which he GOES IN!… and Reasonable Doubt fans would enjoy…) and redefined them… Personal favorite off this album is “Ike’s Mood I”/”You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin… the build up leading to the climax is so… uhh… I really can’t explain it… wonderful… powerful… emotional… I can’t decide… grand? maybe… Click here and you decide… Also, fans of Family Guy… if you recall the episode when Peter goes “Black To The Future”,  a guy calls Isaac Hayes to listen to the guitarist… Check out “Look of Love” around 4:26 mark until about 9 minutes in… and you’ll hear why that joke is funny…
Aside from these Soul influenced albums (see also Isaac Hayes Movement & Joy)… there are albums like “Disco Connection” & “Don’t Let Go” that are more funk & disco styled but what remains the same is Hayes imprint… 
If you’d like to dive deeper into Isaac Haye’s work… look into Sam & Dave… 
Hope you’ve enjoyed this edition of “Albums Your Parents Should Have Played for You: Isaac Hayes
Happy Birthday, Brother Ike! Rest & Thanks…
– dre of onustees.com