Isaac Hayes was taking soul music to crazy new heights in 1969, and this is only his second album! Ike came in and took what Stevie, Marvin, Al and The Isleys were doing, but did it better, longer and with a country-fried twist. In contrast with his debut, Presenting, Hayes’ background as a producer is on full display here... there's no 3 minute pop single in sight. Hayes didn’t even want to record a second album (Presenting was a commercial flop), but struck a deal with a desperate Stax, who were under threat of bankruptcy, in exchange for complete creative control over the album. There’s only four tracks, all of which have been sampled to death at this point, but the arrangement and instrumentation is so lush (courtesy of The Bar-Kays) that savvy beat flippers still continue to find hidden fruit between the cracks. It’s a real desert island disc for soul lovers. “Walk On By” is the obvious banger here, but don’t sleep on “One Woman” or Ike’s sprawling, 18 minute version of Jimmy Webb’s “By The Time I Get To Phoenix.” Deluxe 180g pressing with remastered audio, housed in old-school style tip-on jacket, limited to 1000 copies. Recommended.
- 180g vinyl pressing
- deluxe old-school style tip-on jacket
- remastered from original analog tapes by Dave Cooley at Elysian Masters
- limited to 1000 copies
- music label: Stax 2018
reviewed by hannibal chew 03/2018