These weeks we focussed on an American singer-songwriter, actor, and producer. He was one of the creative influences behind the southern soul music label Stax Records, where he served both as an in-house songwriter and as a record producer, teaming with his partner David Porter during the mid-1960s. Hayes, Porter, Bill Withers, the Sherman Brothers, Steve Cropper, and John Fogerty were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2005 in recognition of writing scores of notable songs for themselves, the duo Sam & Dave, Carla Thomas, and others. He is also a 2002 inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. We'll we've reached the end......N'joy
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Few figures exerted greater influence over the music of the 1960s and 1970s than Isaac Hayes; after laying the groundwork for the Memphis soul sound through his work with Stax-Volt Records, Hayes began a highly successful solo career which predated not only the disco movement but also the evolution of rap.
Hayes was born on August 20, 1942, in Covington, TN; his parents died during his infancy, and he was raised by his grandparents. After making his public debut singing in church at the age of five, he taught himself piano, organ, and saxophone before moving to Memphis to perform on the city's club circuit in a series of short-lived groups like Sir Isaac and the Doo-Dads, the Teen Tones, and Sir Calvin and His Swinging Cats. In 1962, he began his recording career, cutting sides for a variety of local labels.
Two years later, Hayes began playing sax with the Mar-Keys, which resulted in the beginning of his long association with Stax Records. After playing on several sessions for Otis Redding, Hayes was tapped to play keyboards in the Stax house band, and eventually established a partnership with songwriter David Porter. Under the name the Soul Children, the Hayes-Porter duo composed some 200 songs, reeling off a string of hits for Stax luminaries like Sam & Dave (the brilliant "When Something Is Wrong with My Baby," "Soul Man," and "Hold on, I'm Comin'"), Carla Thomas ("B-A-B-Y"), and Johnnie Taylor ("I Got to Love Somebody's Baby," "I Had a Dream").
In 1967, Hayes issued his debut solo LP Presenting Isaac Hayes, a loose, jazz-flavored effort recorded in the early-morning hours following a raucous Stax party. With the release of 1969's landmark Hot Buttered Soul, he made his commercial breakthrough; the record's adventuresome structure (comprising four lengthy songs), ornate arrangements, and sensual grooves -- combined with the imposing figure cut by his shaven head, omnipresent sunglasses, and fondness for gold jewelry -- made Hayes one of the most distinctive figures in music.
After a pair of 1970 releases, The Isaac Hayes Movement and To Be Continued, he reached his commercial zenith in 1971 with the release of Shaft, the score from the Gordon Parks film of the same name. Not only did the album win Hayes an Academy Award for Best Score (the first African-American composer to garner such an honor), but the single "Theme from Shaft," a masterful blend of prime funk and pre-rap monologues, became a number one hit.
After 1971's superb Black Moses and 1973's Joy, Hayes composed two 1974 soundtracks, Tough Guys and Truck Turner (in which he also starred). By 1975, relations with Stax had disintegrated following a battle over royalties, and soon he severed his ties with the label to form his own Hot Buttered Soul imprint. Although both 1975's Chocolate Chip and 1976's Groove-a-Thon went gold, his records of the period attracted considerably less attention than prior efforts; combined with poor management and business associations, Hayes had no choice but to file for bankruptcy in 1976.
After the 1977 double-LP A Man and a Woman, recorded with Dionne Warwick, Hayes began a comeback on the strength of the hit singles "Zeke the Freak," "Don't Let Go." and "Do You Wanna Make Love." Following the success of his 1979 collection of duets with Millie Jackson titled Royal Rappins, he issued a pair of solo records, 1980's And Once Again and 1981's Lifetime Thing before retiring from music for five years. After returning in 1986 with the LP U Turn and the Top Ten R&B hit "Ike's Rap," Hayes surfaced two years later with Love Attack before again dropping out of music to focus on acting.
In 1995, fully enshrined as one of the forefathers of hip-hop and newly converted to Scientology, Hayes emerged with two concurrent releases, the vocal Branded and instrumental Raw and Refined. Under the official name Nene Katey Ocansey I, he also served as a member of the royal family of the African nation of Ghana while continuing simultaneous careers as an actor, composer, and humanitarian. In 1997, Hayes provided the voice of what was slated to be a one-time character on the animated series South Park -- Jerome "Chef" McElroy, the main characters' favorite school cafeteria worker. Hayes was an instant hit, and Chef became a regular character on the show, lending advice and, oftentimes, breaking into songs that gently sent up Hayes' image as one of R&B's ultimate love men.
South Park made Hayes more visible than ever and cemented his status as an icon with a whole new generation. He contributed the infamous "Chocolate Salty Balls" to the South Park tie-in album Chef Aid, and naturally appeared in the film South Park: Bigger, Longer, Uncut. (He left the show only after an episode made fun of Scientology.) In 2000, Hayes revisited his biggest triumph of the past by appearing in the remake of Shaft starring Samuel L. Jackson. The following year, he supported Alicia Keys as a musician and arranger on her acclaimed debut, Songs in A Minor.
On August 5, 2003, Hayes was honored as a BMI Icon at the 2003 BMI Urban Awards for his enduring influence on generations of music makers. Throughout his songwriting career, Hayes received five BMI R&B Awards, two BMI Pop Awards, two BMI Urban Awards and six Million-Air citations. As of 2008, his songs generated more than 12 million performances. Although he recorded little during the 2000s, he appeared in many films, including 2004's Hustle and Flow. Hayes was in ill health on August 10, 2008, when he collapsed at his home in Memphis and was pronounced dead later that day of a stroke due to high blood pressure.
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Isaac Hayes' album recording output during the 1980s after 1981's uneven "Lifetime Thing" was rather minimal and substandard. Apparently personal issues and other professional endeavors took priority over making records, and it shows somewhat on this 1988 Columbia Records release. Hayes made two transitional albums for Columbia in the mid to late 80s (this one and "U-Turn" in 1986), and for longtime fans neither lived up to all the expectation and hype prior to their release. However, Isaac Hayes has never released a bad album, and "Love Attack" is not without its moments. Thankfully there's classic and typical Hayes the balladeer and songster present - such as the sultry and seducing "Eye Of The Storm". Even the early two club/dance oriented tracks "Love Attack" and "Showdown" (a minor hit which received some radio & club play) manage to work for southern `soul man' Hayes trying to get his 'groove back' in the late 80s. Ike's raps on record are legendary and stirring, but the rap infected "Let Me Be Your Everything" is an obvious attempt to be hip and just doesn't hit on all cylinders. The last half of the album consists of more keyboard/drum programming and the 'same ole same ole', with Isaac rapping as an intro to his own low-budget updated remake of "I Stand Accused", putting his Black Moses stamp on Major Harris' classic "Love Won't Let Me Wait" (with another pre-song rap) and tastefully delivering a very personalized, soulful and tender reading of Billy Joel's "She's Got A Way". Although "Love Attack" is not showcasing Isaac Hayes in all his glory, it does play out nicely as a link from the Polydor Records era to the two stellar albums he released on Virgin Records ("Branded"/"Raw & Refined") in the mid nineties .
Isaac Hayes - Love Attack (flac 250mb)
01 Love Attack 5:34
02 Let Me Be Your Everything 6:40
03 Showdown 6:22
04 Eye Of The Storm 4:24
05 Accused Rap 4:44
06 I Stand Accused '88 5:38
07 She's Got The Way 4:28
08 Foreplay Rap 1:57
09 Love Won't Let Me Wait 5:41
Isaac Hayes - Love Attack (ogg 98mb)
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With about seven years of downtime on the recording front, Isaac Hayes burst to life again in 1995 with not one but two albums, released simultaneously with cover art that merges together when placed side by side. One was a collection of old demos and new instrumental tracks (Raw and Refined), but the other -- the disc at hand -- was a brand-new package hearkening back to Hayes' old extravagant ways. In a major attempt to restart his commercial engines, Hayes goes so far as to record in his original headquarters, Memphis, gathering around him many old cronies -- most notably his old writing partner from the Sam & Dave days, David Porter, and guitarists Michael Toles and Skip Pitts from the Stax period. Once again, Hayes attempts to transform well-known pop hits into wide-screen spectaculars, and he revisits tunes and ideas from his heyday. In a blatant imitation of the fold-out jacket of the original Black Moses LPs, the booklet even folds out in the shape of a cross. Yet there is a noticeable change in emphasis right at the start. "Fragile" begins with a rap that deals not with the usual Hayes topic of love gained or lost, but with a message about preserving the planet, and his treatment of Sting's song has a conga-driven momentum that ranks with many of Hayes' better extended rap/songs of the past. John Sebastian's "Summer in the City" is a tense amalgam of '70s funk and '90s digital synthesizers, a really effective update of the Hayes formula. But Hayes gets down to serious lovemaking business soon enough with new material like "Let Me Love You" and "I'll Do Anything (To Turn You On)." The Porter collaboration, "Thanks to the Fool," is a fine, humorous rap/song that picks up where "I Stand Accused" left off (this time, Ike gets the girl, albeit 25 years later!). The two golden oldies are handled in pointedly different ways. "Soulsville" (from the Shaft soundtrack) is almost unchanged from the original -- itself a comment that little has changed in the ghetto since 1971 -- while Chuck D. grafts a contemporary rap onto "Hyperbolicsyllabicsesquedalymistic" -- which doesn't do much for the tune, but doesn't hurt either. Though it came too late for his heyday, and a bit soon for his comeback on the wings of the cable series South Park, this is actually one of Hayes' best albums -- and it holds up under repeated plays.
Isaac Hayes - Branded (flac 389mb)
01 Ike's Plea 1:19
02 Life's Mood 2:52
03 Fragile 6:21
04 Life's Mood II 3:21
05 Summer In The City 6:55
06 Let Me Love You 4:42
07 I'll Do Anything (To Turn You On) 7:45
08 Thanks To The Fool 7:40
09 Branded 7:02
10 Soulsville 4:09
11 Hyperbolicsyllabicsesquedalymistic (feat Chuck D.)12:00
Isaac Hayes - Branded (ogg 147mb)
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After about seven years of inactivity on the recording front, Isaac Hayes suddenly burst forth with two albums, the all-new Branded and this curious compilation of new and old instrumental tracks dating back about a quarter-century, we think. There is no documentation to help the inquisitive listener; all David Ritz's otherwise copious liner notes say is that some of these tunes are demos going back to his days at Stax, while others were newly recorded in Memphis. So all one can do is use one's ears to put approximate dates on the material. More often than not, the usual ingredients from Hayes' early-'70s heyday are in place -- the funky rhythm section in various states of arousal; Hayes noodling at the piano, organ, synthesizer, or even alto sax; a symphony orchestra often at hand. Yet most of the time, what one hears is a soundtrack in search of a movie -- one directionless vamp after another, setting the stage for scenes that never materialize. Some vamps are more interesting than others. "Memphis Trax" sounds like an extrapolation of "Grazing in the Grass," a fairly recent hit at the time this might have been recorded. "Soul Fiddle" generates some interest with its varied structure (is that Hayes on vibes in the center of the piece?). "Southern Breeze" comes the closest to a jazz session, though Hayes never does quite let go and burn. "The Birth of Shaft" is exactly that -- a vamp waiting to happen, waiting for the burst of inspiration (specifically, the signature wah-wah guitar riff) that would make the idea take off ("Funky Junky" actually comes closer to critical mass in that regard). Ah, but there is one vocal by Hayes, a deep, sexy rap over the languorous vamp of "You Make Me Live" -- and a female chorus adds some overtly seductive charm to "Making Love at the Ocean."
Isaac Hayes Movement - Raw & Refined (flac 424mb)
01 Birth Of Shaft 3:30
02 Urban Nights 4:30
03 Funkalicious 5:37
04 Tahoe Spring 4:27
05 The Night Before 4:38
06 Memphis Trax 3:35
07 Soul Fiddle 6:35
08 Funky Junky 7:02
09 You Make Me Live 3:45
10 Making Love At The Ocean 5:42
11 Southern Breeze 5:55
12 Didn't Know Love Was So Good 3:50
13 The 405 6:42
Isaac Hayes Movement - Raw & Refined (ogg 160mb)
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