Monday, August 20, 2007

Black Moses' 65th

The most difficult part in celebrating Isaac Hayes' 65th birthday is having to pick just 2 or 3 tunes from his vast catalog to share. Isaac's influence on music in the 60's and 70's is unparalleled. The self taught musician started his career at Stax Records as a saxophone player for The Mar-Kays and a piano player for the Stax house band, but Isaac would truly shine as a songwriter. Along with his writing partner David Porter, Isaac Hayes penned over 200 songs for Stax including When Something's Wrong With My Baby, B-A-B-Y, Hold On I'm Coming, and Soul Man. With his 1967 release Presenting Isaac Hayes, he stepped out from the shadows launching his solo career that truly ignited with 1969's Hot Buttered Soul. With his clean shaven head (an oddity in 1967), omnipresent shades and gold chains Isaac became one of the most unique figures in all music. 1971 found Isaac Hayes at his peak winning the Oscar for his theme from Shaft which was a number one hit that year. Hayes never stopped making music and although he's probably more well known to many as Chef on South Park, the music he created is what makes him a legend.

·Isaac Hayes: Do Your Thing (edited version)
This is undeniably one of Isaac's baddest grooves from 1971's Shaft soundtrack. I'm presenting the radio edit but I advise you all to check the album version that clocks in at over 19 minutes long. Right on!

·Isaac Hayes: The Look of Love

I had to try to cram at least one epic love track in here so here's Isaac's rendition of Burt Bacharach's classic from 1970's ...To Be Continued. Sorry about the low bit rate, but at over 11 minutes and limited server space I had few options. I love the jam from 4:30 on.

·Isaac Hayes: Never Can Say Goodbye

It's a cliche to say "when someone sings a song they truly make it their own", but I think that expression was made just for Isaac Hayes. There's never a doubt who's performing this cover of my favorite Jackson 5 hit. Find it on 1971's Black Moses.


tgrundy said...

BWM: very nice post on Isaac, I didn't realize it was his birthday this month.

Know what you mean when you say it's hard to pick out just a few IH songs to highlight as so much his stuff is just so good. I'll give it to you on the "Look Of Love", it's one of my favs. Too bad you only had room for the short version of "Do Your Thing" as it doesn't hold a candle to the full 19 minute cut. And I agree, his version of "Never Can Say Goodbye" did for that song what Ike & Tina's version of "Proud Mary" did, almost made you forget about the original version.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention to other IH cover songs that he remade in his own unique style: "By The Time I Get To Phoenix" and "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling". Hmmmm... after all of this I think I need to put together an all Isaac mix soon!

Anonymous said...

i will go with "red rooster" from his "tough guys" soundtrack album. what a great guy, he's on another level now.