Why don't more albums fold out into a cross, on which the star is dressed as, quite literally, Black Moses? I don't know, but it's a damn shame.
I don't like this as much as the excessively funky, reasonably mad, and quite possibly drugs-influenced Hot Buttered Soul, but it is much more like a 'proper album', and less testing of the patience of uncommitted souls. IE: it doesn't have any 37-minute-long versions of contemporary country classics, or Bacharach and David songs.
This is a very appealingly packaged re-issue of Isaac Hayes' majestically arranged "Black Moses". This edition attempts to recreate the format of the original double LP release, which featured a giant fold-out sleeve. This one comes in its own little digipack format.
However, it's rather a shame that the "proper" running order has STILL not been restored. The original vinyl release backed side one with side four and side two with side three. This same sequence has still been used for the two compact discs, meaning it is not being listened to in its "logical" order. Listeners can switch to disc two, after "Man's Temptation", should they wish to experience this utterly magnificent album sequentially. Unimportant? I am not so sure. The "Part Time Love" though "Going In Circles" segment forms the most thrilling of finales to this truly great album.
This album is the best album of soul / funk music history . Ike has surrounded the best musicians in the class of STAX to produce more melodic and heavy album of black music genre . The instrumental part is vibrant , female vocals are superb support as well as that permeates the album ( sometimes shaken and bustling, sometimes romantic and restless) mood . The ballad CLOSE TO YOU is one of the most beautiful love songs in music history . But not only are the ballads that show their superiority on the disk . It also has the "rock" classic GOOD LOVE and NEED TO BELONG TO SOMEONE . In addition to the musical content , the graphical part is incredible . The reproduction of the original cover album was pretty good with Ike dressed as a sort of modern Moses , who tries to show the way the music for his people . And he manages with great success . In the same year he recorded the soundtrack to the movie SHAFT , who also had a resounding success worldwide , because of their theme song . Need not be a fan of black music to buy this album. It transcends music genres .
The title for Isaac Hayes 1971 album ( released the same year as his groundbreaking Shaft: Original Soundtrack album ) came from Stax executive Dino Woodward who saw the singers effect on black audiences as comparable to that of the biblical figure Moses. Hayes, then a committed Christian saw the name as deeply "Sacrilegious " but none the less dressed up and struck a suitably evangelical pose for the L.P.,s fold out cover and later came to see the moniker as a symbol of black pride. A double album Black Moses saw Hayes once again work with the superb Bar Keys and mix original compositions with numerous cover versions, all given his distinctive interpretation . Which the listener can immediately judge for themselves as the first two tracks are covers of Clifton Davis,s "Never Can Say Goodbye " and "(They Long To Be ) Close To You " which of course was made famous by The Carpenters. And as is usual with Hayes the arrangements are stretched out though with a relaxed languid air , never sounding bloated or indulgent. With "Close To You " the re-working is even more radical with a an extended prologue section. "Nothing Takes The Place Of You " ,another cover is arguably a weak point but the two Curtis Mayfield covers, "Mans Temptation " and "Need To Belong To Someone " are great and Clay Hammonds "Part Time Love " is especially fine with some juicy female harmonies and funky guitar work. From Charles "Skipp " Pitts. "Going In Circles" is a bit overdone though the extended hymn like coda is lovely . The cover of "I'll Never Fall In Love Again " is just as awe inspiring as his "Walk On By " and By The Time I Get To Phoenix " off Hot Buttered Soul . Of the fresh songs " Medley :Ikes Rap IV/A Brand New Me " is a highlight with smooth strings, more ardent female backing and one of those marquee Hayes spoken intro's. "Medley : Ike's Rap II/Help Me Love " has the string line sampled by both Portishead and Tricky while the rather succulent funk of "Good Love " is welcome before the magnetic soothing strains of the marathon "Medley : Ike,s Rap/Your Love is So Doggone Good " . An artist as truly seminal as Isaac Hayes should be revered what ever the output but Black Moses continues a run of high quality albums started by ( arguably ) the greatest of them all Hot Buttered Soul and continuing up to 1976,s Groove -a thon . Some will view this sprawling double as his best work ,some will not , but with artistry this elevated it's all rather moot. Black Moses is classic Hayes and as such is worth coming down off any mountain for.
Brilliant album, which take you back to the SHAFF days when the Man himself provided the theme song for the flick and TV series. If this album does not turn you on to real love, then don't know what would! Those days you had real singers and real words to express the emotions intended in the song. Such a relief from the limited experience provided by swear words and how many cane be repeated in one minute in the lyrics of a song! In this album you get Isaac Hayes at his soulful best (never mind the gravel in his throat). Brilliant arrangement as well. I like it very much.
I love the fact that the makers of this cd have kept faithful to the original vinyl version - this cd opens out into a mini version if the original vinyl poster sized album. The album itself is essentially a covers album with some truly awesome versions of some classic tunes, none better than( the nearly 9 min version of) 'Close to you'. Spend a few quid on this cd and you are in for a real 70's treat!!
Had this on vinyl many years ago suddenly remembered it , purchased it from amazon havnt stopped listening to it since. Isnt it funny how after not hearing something for many years you can still remember all the lyrics and the order of play from the album.