The Soul Children – Genesis & Friction (1972 & 1974)

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The Soul Children
Friction (1971) / Genesis (1974)
Reissue 1999 Stax SCD-88038-2

are J. Blackfoot, Norman West, Anita Louis, Shelbra Bennett

GENESIS, 1972 Stax (STS 3003)

01 – I Want To Be Loved     (Sam D. Bell)     8:24    
02 – Don’t Take My Sunshine     (Bobby Newsome)     3:59    
03 – Hearsay     (John Colbert, Norman West)     3:38    
04 – All That Shines Ain’t Gold     (John Gary Williams, Tommy Tate)     3:55    
05 – It Hurts Me To My Heart     (Bettye Crutcher)     3:00    
06 – I’m Loving You More Everyday     (James Mitchell)     4:52    
07 – Just The One (I’ve Been Looking For)     (A. Isbell, E. Floyd, S. Cropper)     3:20    
08 – Never Get Enough Of Your Love     (Eddie Floyd)     4:22    
09 – All Day Preachin’     (Bettye Crutcher, Bobby Manuel)    3:55    
10 – Get Up About Yourself     (Carl Hampton, Homer Banks, Raymond Jackson)    4:12  

Produced by Jim Stewart and Al Jackson, Jr.

 Track 1:
James Alexander – bass
Michael Toles – guitar
Allen Jones – organ
Howard Grimes -drums

Tracks 2 through 9:

Piano and organ – John Keister, Marvell Thomas
Guitars – Raymond Jackson, Bobby Manuel
Donald “Duck” Dunn – bass
Al Jackson, Jr. – drums

Track 10: 
Carl Hampton – piano
Raymond Jackson, Michael Toles – guitars
James Alexander – bass
Al Jackson, Jr. – drums

Produced by Carl Hampton, Homer Banks, and Raymond Jackson
————————————————————
String arrangements – Dale Warren
Engineered by William Brown, Bobby Manuel, Eddie Marion, Daryl Williams, Dave Purple

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FRICTION, 1974 Stax (STS 5507)

11 – I’ll Be The Other Woman (Banks-Hampton)    3:36    
12 – What’s Happening Baby (Banks-Hampton)    6:42    
13 – Can’t Let You Go (Banks-Hampton)    4:47    
14 – It’s Out Of My Hands (Banks-Hampton-Jackson)    3:24    
15 – Just One Moment (Banks-Hampton)    4:58    
16 – We’re Gettin’ Too Close (Banks-Hampton)    3:52    
17 – Love Makes It Right (Banks-Hampton)    5:52

Lester Snell – Piano
Carl Hampton – electric piano
Charles Pitts, Michael Toles – guitars
James Alexander – bass
Willie Hall – drums

Tracks 11 & 15: Bobby Manuel, guitar / Donald “Duck” Dunn – bass / Al Jackson, Jr. – drums / The Memphis Horns / Memphis Symphony Orchestra

Produced by Homer Banks and Carl Hampton (Al Jackson, Jr. also co-produced “I’ll Be The Other Woman”)

Arrangements by John Allen, Carl Hampton, Homer Banks.  Engineered by Pete Bishop

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1999 remastering at Fantasy by Kirk Felton and it SOUNDS REALLY GOOD
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With over a dozen soul and R&B hits to their credit, it is a shame The Soul Children aren’t more better remembered for their contributions.  These last two records for the original Stax label are quality, top-notch soul ,but at this point the Stax label wasn’t too far away from bankruptcy and a lot of records were criminally under-promoted.  I think “Genesis” is particularly stellar and it’s my favorite of the two, perhaps because it has more of a gospel deep-groove swing to it, and a lot of people feel that “Friction” was their peak.

1972’s “Genesis” has a great set of songs contributed from the likes of Eddie Floyd, Chicago’s Bobby Newsome, and Bettye Crutcher.  The backing musicians included members of the reconstituted M.G.’s and The Bar-kays and also feature Howard Grimes (of Hi Records) on the drums for what may be my favorite song here – the very first.  It should probably surprise nobody that a vocal group put together by Dave Porter and Isaac Hayes (who played on their early records) would be adept at the type of long slow-burner that opens up the album, “I Want To Be Loved.”  They dig into this tune with an impassioned flare that sets it apart from Hayes’ epic cool delivery, however.  After a suspenseful minute’s worth of subdued build-up, the rhythm section drops out as Anita and Shelbra launch into some intense gospel harmonies and eventually a brief sermon crowning love over the material things in life, and then Blackfoot comes tearing in with his gritty response and ups the ante.  The group on “Genesis” reminds me a little of the early records by label-mates The Emotions, but with the added bonus of a male-female dynamic.   The bigger of the hits on this record was “Hearsy”, penned by Blackfoot and West, and it has a very M.G.-ish vibe to it, which is fine, but it also may be the least interesting song on the record.  “It Hurts Me To My Soul” is a favorite of mine here, and in fact I played it on one of my podcasts.

“Friction” was apparently a concept album based around the idea of cheating  and being cheated on.  The record is admirable in the way it traces a narrative from start to finish without any kind of heavy-handed high drama.  But in some ways I kind of think the idea could have benefited from trying it as a ‘soul opera.’ They could have brought in special guests with assigned roles, Johnnie Taylor as “Jody,” Isaac Hayes as whoever he wanted to be (except Truck Turner)… As it stands, the record is almost too downbeat for me (all the songs are slow to mid tempo except for “We’re Getting To Close”), but then again it has been a long time since I have had any nasty breakups involving cheating partners, so maybe that’s what it takes to bring out the best in this album.  The bookends of the album are undeniable classics, “I’ll Be The Other Woman,” and “Love Makes It Right” are powerful and honest explorations of themes that get glossed over with cliches in even some of the best music.  In fact, let me extend that statement to all the tracks here – “Friction” really is a sophisticated treatment of an eternal and complex subject, and deserves a lot of credit as a unique artist achievement in the Stax canon.  It’s just that I don’t dig listening to it as much as “Genesis.”  Maybe it is the fact that all the songs were written by the production team of Hampton/Banks leaves the songs with less melodic and dynamic variety than the previous record with its overflow of writing talent.  Or maybe it’s that I prefer the MGs and Bar-kay’s (reconstituted though they may have been) to the instrumentalists on “Friction.”  With a group as good as The Soul Children, this is kind of like trying to decide which of your luxury cars you are going to drive today – in the end, it’s a quibbling born of privilege.

In putting together this post I discovered that Shelbra Bennett passed away at the end of May of this year.  She was the first of the four members to go her own way (I think) career-wise but not the first to pass away:  J.Blackfoot died in 2011. 

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Isaac Hayes – At Wattstax (1972)

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Isaac Hayes
At Wattstax
Recorded August 20, 1972 in Los Angeles
Released 2003 on STAX (SCD-88042-2)

1. Theme From “Shaft” 4:38
2. Soulsville 4:37
3. Never Can Say Goodbye 5:16
4. Part-Time Love 5:55
5. Your Love Is So Doggone Good 8:18
6. Ain’t No Sunshine/Lonely Avenue 17:06
7. I Stand Accused 6:24
8. If I Had A Hammer 9:23

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Today is two years to the day that Isaac Hayes was killed by Scientologists and left us on earth without his benign presence. Even though he had not recorded much music for quite some time, the world just felt like a warmer, groovier place by having him in it, and the news of his death shook me up more than I would have expected. In the world of musical celebrities I have never actually met, there are musicians who when they pass away we can say “their time had come” with some acceptance. Isaac Hayes was not one of these, at 66 years old it seemed too young.

I had planned to post this last night in the hopes of having a 2-part tribute to Mr. Hayes, but my car was totaled by an asshole truck driver in the wrong lane who didn’t feel like slowing down for a stop light. This was an unexpected interruption in my blogging habits… We will see, I just might post the second half today as I have resolved to celebrate the fact that I walked away without a scratch by doing as little serious work as possible today. It is quite likely Part 2 will be up before midnight.

Let`s move on to talking about this album

isaac hayes

I was really excited to find out that this album had even been released — issued a few years back by the resuscitated Fantasy/Stax franchise, it documents Isaac Hayes at the landmark festival that he headlined, Wattstax, which spawned the famous and award-winning documentary. Promoted as “the black Woodstock”, the iconic Hayes stalked the stage draped in gold chains and thrilled the expectant crowd that had waited all day for him. I had always thought that the film contained precious little of Hayes’ performance, as did the soundtrack, and wondered if a live album had been planned by Hayes and his management. Well, now that the previously-unreleased material from the rest of the set (or most of it, I am not entirely sure) has been issued, I rather suspect that it was kept “in the can” for other reasons. I won’t call it a mediocre performance, because it is still quite good, but it pales in comparison to his live album to be released the following year, Live at the Sahara Tahoe. But this is still an essential document for any fan of Isaac Hayes.

As the album booklet and tray state, the track “Part Time Love” is missing the lead vocal during to the master tapes being damaged, which make the tune sound like a weird demo. The backing vocals come in at the end, making the whole thing kind of odd. The extended take on Bill Wither’s “Ain’t No Sunshine” is amazing, but still once again just not as good as the version on the Sahara Tahoe album. The CD closes with Jesse Jackson’s famous speech, a high point of the film, and a rendering of “If I Had A Hammer.” This release may not be the place to start for new Isaac Hayes fans, but for those already converted it is pretty essential listening.

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Isaac Hayes – At Wattstax (1972) in 320kbs em pee tree

Isaac Hayes – At Wattstax (1972) in FLAC LOSSLESS AUDIO

password / senha in the comments section

Isaac Hayes – Groove-a-thon (1976) 320 kbs

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ISAAC HAYES – GROOV-A-THON – 320 kbs
Released 1976 on HBS Records

An unjustly neglected item in Mr. Hayes catalog, at least by me. The second release on his own HBS (Hot Buttered Soul) imprint, I like this better than Chocolate Chip (the first on HBS, which I should have posted anyway but will now wait until 2010). Or at least, that’s what I am saying now. This was actually the first album of his I ever bought, and maybe it didn’t do much for me at the time or I was just too blown away with his earlier Enterprise recordings once I discovered them to pay this title too much attention. But this is high-quality Isaac Hayes.
The title track has disco aspirations but without neglecting the funky soulfulness that you would come to expect from an ten-minute Ike track. It even ends with a low-key guitar solo. The second tune is just gorgeous, an earnest and articulate ballad about two people in a love affair who are committed to someone else. It’s the kind of confessional story that fills many an Isaac Hayes tune, but he never fails to make me believe that, in the moment I am listening, this is the first time he has ever told it to anyone. Rock Me Easy Baby is just a warm slab of funk, with some flute riffs that I am pretty sure have been sampled a million times. Hayes was famous for his innovative covers of other peoples songs and for making them entirely his own (That Loving Feeling; Something; Ain’t No Sunshine and others) — and his interpretation of Led Zeppelin’s ‘Whole Lotta Love’ is no exception, opening up the album’s second side in triumphant fashion. The album does not quite end with the same momentum it begins with, but by this time I’ve enjoyed myself so much I am not keen on complaining. A very strong effort from the second half of the 1970s for Isaac Hayes (may he rest in peace always!).

A1 Groove-A-Thon (9:48) Guitar [Solo] – Anthony Shinault
A2 Your Loving Is Much Too Strong (5:39)
A3 Rock Me Easy Baby (8:17)
B1 We’ve Got A Whole Lot Of Love (5:42)
B2 Wish You Were Here (You Ought To Be Here) (5:53) Guitar – Charles Pitts*
B3 Make A Little Love To Me (6:24) Guitar [Solo] – Anthony Shinault

Credits: Arranged By – Isaac Hayes , Lester Snell Artwork By [Album Design] – Martin Donald Artwork By [Art Direction] – Tom Wilkes Artwork By [Lettering] – Joe Garnett , Ron Criss Backing

Vocals – Hot Buttered Soul Unlimited* , Isaac Hayes
Bass – Erroll Thomas*
Congas – Jimmy Thompson*
Drums, Tambourine – Willie Cole , Willie Hall
Engineer – Henry Bush , Roosevelt Green Engineer [Re-mix] – Isaac Hayes , Roosevelt Green French Horn – Bryant Munch , Richard Dolph
Guitar – Michael Toles , William Vaughn
Keyboards – Isaac Hayes , Lester Snell , Sidney Kirk
Mastered By – Lanky Linstrot
Photography – Jeff Dunas
Producer – Isaac Hayes
Saxophone [Alto] – Bill Easley , Emerson Able
Saxophone [Baritone] – Floyd Newman
Saxophone [Tenor] – Darnell Smith , Lewis Collins (2) , Tommy Williams (4)
Trombone – Jackie Thomas , Bill Flores*
Trombone [Bass] – Gary Russell
Trumpet, Flugelhorn – Ben Cauley , Edgar Matthews , Johnny Davis , William Taylor (2)
Written-By – Isaac Hayes

All selections recorded at Hot Buttered Soul Recording Studios 247 Chelsea Avenue Memphis, Tennessee 38107 Mastered at ABC Recording Studios, Inc.

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Music Hall MMF.5 Turntable with Goldring 1012GX cartridge, Gyger II diamond stylus, and MK II XLR Ringmat –> Projekt Speedbox II -> Parasound Z Phono Preamp -> Marantz PMD 661 digital recorder at 24/96khz

Declicked on very light settings with Click Repair -> DC Offset and track splitting in Adobe Audition 2.0
Dithering using Mbit via iZotope RX Advanced
Converted to FLAC and mp3 with DbPoweramp

Ripped by Flabbergast

Isaac Hayes – The Isaac Hayes Movement (1970) VBR

Get “Hot Buttered Soul” first (below), then check this out.

A lot of folks are going to remember Isaac Hayes for the themes song and soundtrack album to blaxploitation flick “Shaft.” A whole other generation will remember him more as the adorable Chef from South Park. He deserves to be remembered for both of those accomplishments, but he was also a lot more to a lot of people. His music has pulled me through some tough times, the warmth of his deep-hued voice made my winter easier to bare this year, and his raps on love and loss are unequaled, striking true chords whether they bring a smile to your lips or make you shake your head and shout an ‘Amen!’ And his music meant enough to black America in the early seventies that he was made the headliner of the 1972 Wattstax festival. The documentary film of the same name, released in 1973, was such a powerful celebration of black identity that it even became central to the nascent soul music scene, the Black Rio movement, and the Movimento Negro in Brazil during the 70s, with the film being screened at parties in the favelas and audience members chanting along phonetically with some of its notable scenes. The significance of this cross-pollination was not limited to the appropriations of American soul, funk, and jazz music by artists like Jorge Ben, Tim Maia, Cassiano, or Banda Black Rio. It was also eminently political — In a country where the “racial democracy” of mestiçagem or race-mixing had been celebrated for decades as ‘evidence’ that race prejudice did not exist, the sounds and images of black people in North America celebrating difference and claiming a space of dignity for Afrocentric cultural roots struck like a clarion call. Whether or not those mobilizations around racial identity were ‘successful’ is not the point here. The point is that the ways that the united states deals with (or fails to deal with) the politics of race has consequences outside its borders. I regularly meet people in Brazil who know more about contemporary American politics than I do, and the knowledge of and interest in Barack Obama there has certainly been no exception. Isaac Hayes was not just a soul singer who belonged in the ranks of Marvin Gaye, James Brown, or Stevie Wonder — he was also an icon of blackness, a “Black Moses.” Isaac Hayes is remembered in Brazil today among music fans of my own generation (too young to be there for Wattstax’s initial breakthrough) as a towering figure alongside those peers, just as he towered over his fellow musicians on the stage.

Isaac, I already miss you. To honor your memory, I’d like to share this wonderful music you left us and maybe turn a few others on.

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Isaac Hayes
The Isaac Hayes Movements
Released 1970

Enterprise Records/Stax Records
Original Catalogue #: ENS-1010

Track List:
1. I Stand Accused (11:37)
(Butler-Butler) Warner-Tamerlane Publ. Corp.-BMI

2. One Big Unhappy Family (5:49)
(Chalmers-Rhodes) Times Square Music Publ. Co./Rhomers Music Inc.-BMI

3. I Just Don’t Know What to Do With Myself (7:00)
(Bacharach-David) U.S. Songs, Inc./Blue Seas music Inc./Jac Music Co., Inc./Anne-Rachel Music Corp.-ASCAP

4. Something (11:52)
(George Harrison) Harrisongs Ltd.-BMI

Liner Notes:
Producer: Isaac Hayes
Arrangers: Isaac Hayes, Dale Warren
Voice Arrangements: Pat Lewis
Engineers: Ron Capone, Henry Bush, Ed Wolfrum
Remix Engineer: Ron Capone
Photography: Joel Brodsky
Art Direction: The Graffiteria/David Krieger
Art Supervision: Herb Kole

Mastering by Joe Tarantino (Fantasy Studios, Berkeley, CA)

Following the simmering grooves of “Hot Buttered Soul,” this record is more of a laid-back affair. The long spoken intro to Chicago soul genius Jerry Butler’s “I Stand Accused” brings that song into a whole new plane. Another Burt Bacharach tune opens up the second side of the LP with “I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself.” A few minutes into George Harrison’s “Something,” you might find yourself thinking what I did and often still do when hearing it, “I’m not….quite…sure if this is working or not..”, as the chord changes punctuated by an orchestra give way to a screechy violin solo played (I’m guessing) through an amplifier. It definitely ranks as one of the more ‘out there’ of Beatles covers in existence, and by the time it reaches past the ten-minute mark, I don’t really *care* if it’s “working” or not, I’m just enjoying being along for the ride. It takes brass balls to cover a song by the Fab Four this way (or, should I say “chocolate salty balls”?). The song gets an A for effort even if it leaves you scratching your head.

Isaac Hayes RIP !! Hot Buttered Soul (1969) VBR

Isaac Lee Hayes, Jr. (August 20, 1942 – August 10, 2008)

Rest in peace, brother Isaac….

There will be more Isaac to come. This is my favorite record of his. I have an MFSL version hanging around somewhere too that I may share as well, but this original pressing will do fine.

I’m too devastated to say anything else right now. His music meant a lot to me, to a whole lot of people. He will be dearly missed.

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Isaac Hayes
Hot Buttered Soul

Enterprise Records/Stax Records

Original Release Date: 1969
Original Catalogue #: ENS-1001

Track List:
1. Walk On By (12:00)
(Bacharach-David) Blue Seas Music/Jac Music-ASCAP

2. Hyperbolicsyllabicsesquedalymistic (9:36)
(Isbell-Hayes) Irving Music-BMI

3. One Woman (5:08)
(Chalmers-Rhodes) Times Square/Rhomers Music-BMI

4. By the Time I Get to Phoenix (18:40)
(Jim Webb) The EMP Co.-BMI

Liner Notes:
Rhythm section on all the above tunes features The Bar-Kays

Producers: Al Bell, Marvell Thomas, Allen Jones (Under supervision by Al Bell)
Engineers: Terry Manning, Ed Wolfrum
Re-Mix Engineer: Russ Terrana, Jr. (Tera-Shirma Sound Studio, Detroit, MI)
Art Direction: Honeya Thompson
Cover Design: Christopher Whorf
Photography: Bob Smith

Special thanks to Terry Manning (Ardent Recording Studio, Memphis TN);
Special thanks to Ed Wolfrum (United Sound Studio, Detroit, MI)

Mastering by Joe Tarantino (Fantasy Studios, Berkeley, CA)

Isaac Haye’s work has been sampled countless times in hip-hop and rap music. For a long (but probably not complete) list, click here.

NEW — HOT BUTTERED SOUL, FLAC FILESET 1
HOT BUTTERED SOUL, FLAC FILESET 2