15 August 2008

Something 4 The Weekend # 80

I must admit, Isaac Hayes never meant much to me personally. I understand and respect what he brought to popular music, but his music was never quite my taste, as far as Soul or Funk goes...Stevie Wonder was, and will always be, the gold standard in my own mind...
But Isaac Hayes contributions cannot be underestimated. He was a huge creative force behind the scenes at Stax Records, truly one of the greatest labels and rosters in the annals of popular music. As songwriter, arranger, and session player, Hayes seemingly had a hand in all of Stax's output throughout the 1960's, most notably as songwriter of such classics as "Soul Man", "Hold On, I'm Coming", "I Thank You" (Sam & Dave), and "Your Good Thing Is About To End" (Lou Rawls). Personally, I think his greatest contribution to pop music (Soul-Funk in particular), was the innovations he made in terms of composition and arrangement. For example, his Hot Buttered Soul LP featured a 12 minute version of "Walk On By", and a 19 minute version of "By The Time I Get To Phoenix", two formerly radio-friendly pop songs that ran the typical 3 minutes, but in Hayes hands, became epic in scope and interpretation, becoming outright gospel in their fervor and focus...
Now, it may sound crass, but my favorite Isaac Hayes tune is "Chocolate Salty Balls" from South Park. If nothing else, it brings back memories of the early years of the Sonic Foundry warehouse, when we would blast the Chef Aid soundtrack, and whenever that song came on, we all would stop what we were doing, and start dancing and singing along...Those days are long gone now, as everything else in this life, we all keep moving along, until we don't.
Rest In Peace, Isaac Hayes.
Hotcha! Hank

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