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Isaac Hayes
Hot Buttered Soul

Review by Karl Lozier
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Isaac Hayes Hot Buttered Soul

SACD Number: MoFi Hybrid SACD UDSACD 2005  


  Isaac Hayes started off as a songwriter and producer at Stax/Volt Records in Memphis. When he had an opportunity to do a recording of his own and his way it became a very influential and popular soul album. It was very radical because of the long or extended arrangements and only four songs would fit on the recording. This certainly superseded the usual practice of building an album around a core of hit single recordings. His recording, Hot Buttered Soul did become a million seller hit album. It became very popular with pop, soul, easy listening and even jazz lovers. A couple of the songs were pared down to fit on the old 45 records which then also did quite well on the charts.

Hot Buttered Soul is a hybrid SACD playable on any regular CD player also, is the first of a group given to me by Coleman Brice of the newly resurrected Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab. It was licensed from Fantasy, Inc. and re-mastered by Mobile Fidelity in August 2002. As with their previous reputation for high quality audio reproduction Coleman says that is again the company's goal. I believe this album could be listed as being either soul or rhythm and blues. Liner notes indicated some problems taping the original sessions due to the excessive length of some selections, particularly "By The Time I Get to Phoenix". This may have affected the ability to get the last degree of the highest possible fidelity pressed into the pits of this fine disc. 

Isaac Hayes' fans should not be disappointed. There was a section on "Walk on By" where the sound was a bit on the lean side for a while, but nothing serious - it was undoubtedly on the original tape. Hayes baritone voice seems to usually emanate from just a bit right of center. My favorite selection was his unusual arrangement of and prelude to the famous "By The Time I Get To Phoenix" which all together lasted almost nineteen minutes. Obviously highly recommend to Isaac Hayes' many fans and lovers of soul and rhythm and blues as performed a bit more than thirty years ago. Welcome back Mobile Fidelity.












































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