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Ultimate Isaac Hayes: Can You Dig It?

4.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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Product details

  • Audio CD (1 Sept. 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: U.M.T.V.
  • ASIN: B000ECXX6W
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 107,396 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Surprised there's no review of this one. Even though i've got vinyl and cd copies of pretty much all Isaac Hayes' key releases, this compilation is an excellent example of the "one-stop shopping" cd era. Presented in a deluxe package, with a bonus dvd, it has a very generous playing time. It features 32 tracks from his 1968-1977 "golden era". Purchasers shouldn't expect too much of the dvd, however. It doesn't really add very much to the overall package, from a personal point of view.

There's pretty much all you would expect, and i can't think of any glaring omissions in the track selection. There are indispensables like "Walk On By", "I Stand Accused" and "By The Time I Get To Phoenix" (edit). Plus a few tracks from the "Shaft" soundtrack, a generous allocation from the "Black Moses" album and just about enough of the key disco stuff. It even features his brilliant "Hyperbolicsyllabicsesquedalymistic" from "Hot Buttered Soul". (In its COMPLETE form, no less.) The one slight negative is that the edited version is used for several of the tracks, but that's almost a necessity. (Otherwise there wouldn't be enough room for 32 tracks.) However, that can be compensated by purchasing the original albums, where really necessary.

This album perfectly serves the function of being either an introduction to this major soul artist. Alternatively, it permits a quick "skate" over some of his career highlights for those people who are already fans of this "shaven-headed" soul icon.
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Format: Audio CD
No-one has rushed out a tribute to Ike, following his death in August 2008. . Given that Ike had come to the attention of a wider audience from his appearances in and contributions to films and TV series, there must be another repackaged retrospective due soon, but this one will have to do for now.

Leave aside the South Park stuff -if you want that then buy the series DVD's - Isaac Hayes contribution to music, specifically Black music, has been immense. From his days as a writer (with David Porter) and producer at Stax, he was a major part of the Southern Soul sound in the '60's. Although you won't find them here, he wrote "Soul Man" and "Hold On I'm Comin'", among many others, for Sam and Dave, which epitomised the raw Soul that made their name. He also produced most of the Stax roster during his time there, which probably explains the breadth of material and styles that he would go on to record.

His second solo album, 1969's "Hot Buttered Soul" was ground breaking. It was released as a part of a 27 album blitz by Stax as they sought to establish the label post '68 (and the death of Otis and the Atlantic deal which took their back catalogue). It was the most succesful and original of those albums, featuring only 4 tracks. Each was stretched out, produced and arranged in a totally different way than had been seen before in Soul, and which paved the way for much that followed. Hayes's Orchestral Soul sound sat beside raw Funk and on this set there are 3 of the 4 tracks (only "One Woman" is missing), with "...Pheonix" in edit form.

He followed that with more of the same on a series of albums, including the equally groundbreaking soundtrack to "Shaft" for which Hayes is best known.
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Format: Audio CD
when I heard of Isaac Hayes' sudden death I decided to get me something that would brilliantly summarize IH's long career and interesting creativity. This compilation will benefit the listener with exactly what I was looking for. And the sound quality is very good.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
A masterpiece
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars 34 reviews
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars You Should Dig It... 21 Nov. 2005
By Thomas D. Ryan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Damn, where's he been? For thirty years, Isaac Hayes has apparently been one of the coolest people on the planet Earth, but he's rarely seen, and only heard as a voice on a crazy cartoon show. This CD lets us hear what we've been missing for the past thirty years. At the start of his career, Hayes wrote hit songs for the Stax/Volt label. That by itself is enough to label him as one of the planet's coolest people, but this collection doesn't even bother with his career as a songwriter for others. Instead, it picks up at the point that Hayes decided to become a solo performer on his own, and the diversity of his career is nothing less than mind-boggling. With no sign of strain, he seamlessly incorporated stone cold experimental jams, psychedelia, orchestral soul and funk, inspirational music, jazz reminiscent of the Ramsey Lewis school, and `love-man' R&B.

"Hot Buttered Soul" was the kick-off for a career that eventually came to define mid-seventies soul music, and it still stands as an all-time classic. It is amply represented here by standout extended jams like "By the Time I Get to Phoenix" and "Walk On By". It also moves through eleven subsequent albums, with mixed results that are nonetheless continually fascinating. At times, he sounds like a spitting image for Barry White, but with an unconventional flair for going further than any other funk soul brother would risk. Photos show Hayes wearing clothing that would make the king of the pimps jealous (head to toe in fur, or head to toe in leopard skin...you get the idea), while being referred to as `Black Moses'. It was a singular, unforgettable image that suits every track on this disk.

As a visual aid, Disk One represents the sound of mink pants and an open-chested shirt while cruising in a gold-tinged Cadillac with pink naugahyde interior. "The Theme from Shaft," "By the Time I Get to Phoenix", "Hyperbolicsyllabic-Sesquedalymistic" and "Never Can Say Goodbye" all capture Hayes at his glorious, over-the-top peak. Disk two, meanwhile, is the aural equivalent of carelessly discarded chain mail, crushed velvet sofas, red light bulbs, and a bottle of Mateus Rose. "Walk On By," "If Loving You Is Wrong", "Baby I'm-A Want You" and "Let's Stay Together" all stress the love-man vibe like burning incense. Far from consistent, though, there are a few mis-steps. Like everything else here, though, even the clunkers are spectacular in their badness. "Three Tough Guys" and "Come Live with Me" are both trite, incredibly overwrought, and poorly written - clunkers of astounding proportions, and all the more fascinating for it. The videos on the DVD disk are fabulous, though, both musically and historically, featuring three great songs/visuals from the often out-of-print film "Wattstax", plus the incredibly funny and ridiculous "Chocolate Salty Balls" video, from the `South Park' cartoon. Inconsistent but always fascinating, this is one CD collection that should not be missed.

B+ Tom Ryan
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Album 16 Dec. 2005
By Robert J. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This compilation distills the clever genius of Isaac Hayes into two audio discs, covering the whole range of his early career. It contains pure unadulterated emotion, clever humor and incredible smoothness all at once in a very unique style. Isaac is one of the few artists who can make you feel his genuine emotions right with him. The remastered tracks sound better than ever. Packaging is good and there is a bonus DVD with some rather inspiring concert footage from the 70s. I'm pretty sure this is the best compilation set ever from "the Sinatra of soul."
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic greatness overlooked by the success of "Shaft" 31 May 2008
By R. C. Fleet - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Look, we all know Isaac Hayes from his "Shaft" theme and the voice of Cook on "South Park." And we've heard that he was influential with the Stax recordings of the 1960s. This album reminds/refreshes/reteaches that this man was GREAT! I'm a white guy not particularly into soul and R&B, but this is great music! Isaac Hayes has a solid voice, far more versatile than "Shaft" ever indicates -- and he is a fantastic arranger. Hell, Burt Bacharach and a dozen other songwriters from the '60s & 70s should bow to Isaac Hayes for the way he took their sugar-coated pop and gave it heart. This album doesn't cover everything Isaac Hayes did - and some of the takes are shortened versions of longer songs - but for me it's a good, broad-based starting point for a future of some fun music exploration. (P.S. Make sure you listen with good bass speakers or earphones - 'sounds a lot richer.)
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ultimate Isaac Hayes; Can You Dig It 2 Nov. 2012
By J. A. Smith - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
All of my favorite Isaac Hayes tunes were included in the CD. I loved it. A must-have for fans of 70s sounds.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars CD-Good, DVD-Blah 3 April 2008
By E. Drake - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I have been a huge fan of Isaac Hayes ever since I heard the soundtrack to the film "Dead Presidents" at the age of 11 (now 13 years ago). For big fans , this CD has some nice gems. Four in particular come to mind. First is Hayes rendition of the great Al Green's "Let's Stay Together" which fuses Hayes' and Green's styles so well. There is also a song, "His Eye is on the Sparrow", which gives us a glimpse into Hayes' gospel/church influences. And I can't forget, "Brand New Me", Hayes' beautifully sung rendition of a Jerry Butler song. Two great Burt Bacharach songs are on this disc as well. As a huge fan of Bacharach and his own style, I think Hayes did an incredible job at fusing his style with Bacharachs'.

All in all this is a good CD for anyone new to Isaac Hayes, as it has many songs from a number of his hit albums. However, I do suggest another complication first.Greatest Love Songs. While this CD has less songs, I believe the choice in songs for the complication, will have a greater impact on you and hopefully guide you into becoming a loyal fan.

As for the DVD, this was actually my first time to ever see Hayes on stage and for the fact that this complication gave me that, I am happy. However, there are only 3 very short songs and the picture is grainy. "Chocolate Salty Balls", the third song (which is from South Park) is still as disgusting and yet hysterical as I saw it the first time it aired on Comedy Central.
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