On February 23rd, Craft Recordings will release newly remastered editions of three classic albums from soul icon Isaac Hayes: Hot Buttered Soul, Shaft, and Black Moses. Each LP boasts audio remastered by leading engineer Dave Cooley at Elysian Masters from the original analog tapes and comes housed in a faithfully reproduced package, complete with old-school style tip-on jacket, and in the case of Black Moses, a replica of the legendary, iconic four-foot cross-shaped fold-out image of Isaac as Black Moses.
The release comes on the heels of a year-long celebration of the 60th Anniversary of Stax Records, and a historic look at the contributions made by Hayes to the success of the label as embodied in the lauded 2017 deluxe 4CD box set, Isaac Hayes: The Spirit of Memphis (1962-1976), which celebrates the multi-faceted artist’s talents as a producer, writer, and performer.
From his humble beginnings as an orphaned sharecropper to his rise as a session musician, house songwriter, and producer for Stax Records, to his arrival as a star in his own right, Isaac Hayes (1942-2008) became a symbol of what was possible for Black America. Dubbed “Black Moses” during the height of his popularity, Hayes revolutionized soul music, leading it out of the era of the three-minute single and into new territory: that of the fully-orchestrated concept album, complete with extended cuts that, in some cases, spanned nearly the entire side of an LP. The artist also broke barriers in the film industry, scoring the 1971 film Shaft. The soundtrack became Hayes’ fourth consecutive platinum LP, and also earned him an Academy Award for Best Original Song (“Theme From Shaft”). The musician became the first African American to win the Oscar in a non-acting category, and was also the first recipient of the “Best Original Song” category to both write and perform the winning track. Hayes’ success opened the door for other artists and composers, like Curtis Mayfield and Norman Whitfield, to score music for the screen.
In the video below, Dave Cooley discusses remastering the Isaac Hayes catalog for vinyl reissues.
Reaching #1 on the Billboard Soul/R&B chart in the year of its release (1969), Hot Buttered Soul is a transformative genre-bending soul record that changed the shape of popular music forever. Featuring “Walk On By” and Hayes’ expansive, cinematic take on “By The I Get To Phoenix,” this new reissue from Craft Recordings showcases newly remastered audio cut at Elysian Masters under the supervision of Dave Cooley and pressed on 180-gram vinyl at Memphis Record Pressing.
1. Walk On By
1. One Woman
2. By The Time I Get To Phoenix
Both a commercial and critical success, Shaft remains Isaac Hayes’ best-known and best-selling LP released by Stax Records, winning Hayes multiple Grammy Awards in 1972 and an Oscar for “Best Original Song.” The album reached #1 on the Billboard 200 and spent 60 weeks on the chart. In 2014, it was inducted into the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress in 2014 for being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.” The album contains the ubiquitous #1 chart-topping hit “Theme From Shaft” and top-40 smash, “Do Your Thing.” This new 2-LP reissue from Craft Recordings showcases newly remastered audio cut at Elysian Masters under the supervision of Dave Cooley and pressed on 180-gram vinyl at Memphis Record Pressing.
1. Theme From Shaft (Vocal)
2. Bumpy’s Lament
3. Walk From Regio’s
4. Ellie’s Love Theme
5. Shaft’s Cab Ride
1. Café Regio’s
2. Early Sunday Morning
3. Be Yourself
4. A Friend’s Place
1. Soulsville (Vocal)
2. No Name Bar
3. Bumpy’s Blues
4. Shaft Strikes Again
1. Do Your Thing (Vocal)
2. The End Theme
The crucial, ambitiously artistic follow-up to Hayes’ Shaft, Black Moses reached #1 on the Billboard Soul/R&B chart in 1972 and remains relevant today as the result of prominent samples by the likes of Portishead (“Glory Box”) and Alesia Cara (“Here”) who both used elements from “Ike’s Rap II” as the basis of their compositions. Boasting an ambitious package, complete with two 180-gram vinyl LPs, deluxe fold-out packaging, and a replica of the original multi-panel four-foot cruciform image of Hayes as Black Moses, this reissue from Craft Recordings showcases newly remastered audio cut at Elysian Masters under the supervision of Dave Cooley and pressed on 180-gram vinyl at Memphis Record Pressing.
1. Never Can Say Goodbye
2. (They Long To Be) Close To You
3. Nothing Takes The Place Of You
4. Man’s Temptation
1. Never Gonna Give You Up
2. Medley: Ike’s Rap II / Help Me Love
3. Need To Belong To Someone
4. Good Love 6-9-9-6-9
1. Medley: Ike’s Rap III / Your Love Is So Doggone Good
2. For The Good Times
3. I’ll Never Fall In Love Again
1. Part-Time Love
2. Medley: Ike’s Rap IV / A Brand New Me
3. Going In Circles