Having just announced a John Lee Hooker box set, Craft Recordings shows no sign of slowdown, yesterday announcing The Sprit Of Memphis (1962-1976) a 4CD box set devoted to the legendary Isaac Hayes.
It's impossible to think about the Stax Records sound--or soul music in the '60s and '70s, really--without considering Isaac Hayes. He helped shape the soul-pop sound of Memphis as a writer and producer, involved with smash hits and immortal cuts like "Hold On! I'm A Comin'," "B-A-B-Y" (a recent focus song in the summer sleeper hit Baby Driver), "When Something is Wrong with My Baby" and "Soul Man." Then, as a Stax/Enterprise artist in the 1970s, he flipped the script entirely, recasting other popular and soul tunes of the day in his own image with extended jams that stretched through an LP side. There was also his forays into film scoring, namely the iconic score to Shaft in 1971. The character-building title theme topped the Billboard Hot 100 and earned Hayes an Oscar for Best Original Song--the first black winner of a non-performance Oscar and the first dual writer-performer to win, as well.
The Spirit Of Memphis, available September 22, covers all those phases in great detail. The first disc includes 26 of those great early Stax classics. Disc 2 moves on to Hayes' singles for the Enterprise label, including many non-LP rarities like a Volt single from 1965, a double-sided holiday platter from 1969, duets with songwriting partner David Porter and even two radio spots.
The final two discs are also smartly themed. One focuses on Hayes' covers, divided between studio tracks (including an unreleased version of the Burt Bacharach/Hal David standard "Windows of the World") and a live set at the Operation PUSH Black Expo in Chicago in 1972. (Two of these six tracks appeared on a greatest-hits package in 2005, while the others are heard here for the first time.) The final disc, "Jam Master," covers Hayes' larger-than-life extended studio experiences, almost all of which are heard here for the first time (plus the CD debut of a 33-minute-long version collaboration with The Bar-Kays on Shaft cut "Do Your Thing," released on a Record Store Day 12" last year.) The box then goes back to the beginning with a bonus 7" single replicating Hayes' very first commercial recording from 1962.
The Spirit Of Memphis is packed in a hardcover book package with 60 pages of rare photos and an essay by author Robert Gordon (Respect Yourself: Stax Records and The Soul Explosion). Longtime Stax employee Deanie Parker and label co-founder Jim Stewart were interviewed for the essay, and recollections from Floyd Newman, Mickey Gregory, Sam Moore (of Sam & Dave) and compilation producer Joe McEwen complete the package. All tracks are remastered by Dave Cooley at Elysian Masters from the original analogue tapes; the press release also indicates that those masters will source new LP reissues of the iconic albums Hot Buttered Soul, Shaft and Black Moses later in the year.
Full track list and Amazon links are available below!
The Spirit Of Memphis (1962-1976) (Craft Recordings, 2017)
Amazon U.S. / Amazon Canada / Amazon U.K.
Disc 1: Soul Songwriter, Soul Producer
- Sassy - Floyd Newman
- Can't See You When I Want To - David Porter
- How Do You Quit (Someone You Love) - Carla Thomas
- Boot-leg - Booker T. and The MG's
- Candy - The Astors
- Can't Do Nothing Without You - Danny White
- I Had a Dream - Johnnie Taylor
- Hold On! I'm A Comin' - Sam & Dave
- I'll Run Your Hurt Away - Ruby Johnson
- Let Me Be Good to You - Carla Thomas
- Your Good Thing (is About to End) - Mable John
- Fighting to Win - Homer Banks
- B-A-B-Y - Carla Thomas
- Never Like This Before - William Bell
- Patch My Heart - The Mad Lads
- Little Bluebird - Johnnie Taylor
- When Something is Wrong with My Baby - Charlie Rich
- Love is After Me - Charlie Rich
- You Can't Run Away From Your Heart - Judy Clay
- Soul Man - Sam & Dave
- As Long As I've Got You - The Charmels
- I Thank You - Sam & Dave
- The Sweeter He Is (Parts I & II) - The Soul Children
- Stormy - Billy Eckstine
- Can't See You When I Want To - David Porter
- Show Me How - The Emotions
Disc 2: Volt & Enterprise Singles
- The Big Dipper - Sir Isaac & The Do-Dads (Volt single 129-A, 1965)
- Blue Groove - Sir Isaac & The Do-Dads (Volt single 129-B, 1965)
- Precious, Precious - Isaac Hayes (Enterprise single 45-002-A, 1968)
- By the Time I Get to Phoenix - Isaac Hayes (Enterprise single ENA-9003-B, 1969)
- The Mistletoe & Me - Isaac Hayes (Enterprise single ENA-9006-A, 1969)
- Winter Snow - Isaac Hayes (Enterprise single ENA-9006-B, 1969)
- I Stand Accused - Isaac Hayes (Enterprise single ENA-9017-A, 1970)
- The Look of Love - Isaac Hayes (Enterprise single ENA-9028-A, 1970)
- Never Can Say Goodbye - Isaac Hayes (Enterprise single ENA-9031-A, 1971)
- Theme from Shaft - Isaac Hayes (Enterprise single ENA-9038-A, 1971)
- Do Your Thing - Isaac Hayes (Enterprise single ENA-9042-A, 1972)
- Let's Stay Together - Isaac Hayes (Enterprise single ENA-9045-A, 1972)
- Ain't That Loving You (For More Reasons Than One) - Isaac Hayes and David Porter (Enterprise single ENA-9049-A, 1972)
- Baby I'm-A Want You - Isaac Hayes and David Porter (Enterprise single ENA-9049-B, 1972)
- Theme from The Men - Isaac Hayes (Enterprise single ENA-9058-A, 1972)
- Rolling Down a Mountainside - Isaac Hayes (Enterprise single ENA-9065-B, 1973)
- Joy (Part 1) - Isaac Hayes (Enterprise single ENA-9085-A, 1973)
- Wonderful - Isaac Hayes (Enterprise single ENA-9095-A, 1974)
- Someone Made You for Me - Isaac Hayes (Enterprise single ENA-9095-B, 1974)
- Title Theme (From Three Tough Guys) - Isaac Hayes (Enterprise single ENA-9104-A, 1974)
- Radio Spot - "You Gotta Have It to Really Be In"
- Radio Spot - "The Rapper Is Back"
Disc 3: Cover Man
- When I Fall In Love
- Walk On By
- I Just Don't Know What to Do With Myself
- Man's Temptation
- Never Gonna Give You Up
- Windows of the World *
- The Ten Commandments of Love (Live @ The International Amphitheatre, Chicago - 10/1/1972) *
- Just Want to Make Love to You/Rock Me Baby (Live @ The International Amphitheatre, Chicago - 10/1/1972) *
- Stormy Monday (Live @ The International Amphitheatre, Chicago - 10/1/1972) *
- I Stand Accused (Live @ The International Amphitheatre, Chicago - 10/1/1972) *
- If Loving You Is Wrong (Live @ The International Amphitheatre, Chicago - 10/1/1972)
- His Eye Is On the Sparrow (Live @ The International Amphitheatre, Chicago - 10/1/1972)
Disc 4: Jam Master
- Ike's Mood I
- You've Made Me So Very Happy *
- Black Militant's Place *
- Ain't No Sunshine *
- Hung Up On My Baby (Extended Jam) *
- Groove-A-Thon (Extended Jam) *
- Do Your Thing (Extended Jam)
7" Single (originally released as Youngstown Records Y-1005, 1962)
- Laura, We're On Our Last Go-Round
- C.C. Rider
Disc 2, Track 1 and Disc 3, Track 1 from Presenting Isaac Hayes (Enterprise S13-100, 1967)
Disc 2, Track 4 and Disc 3, Track 2 from Hot Buttered Soul (Enterprise ENS-1001, 1969)
Disc 2, Track 7, Disc 3, Track 3 and Disc 4, Track 1 from The Isaac Hayes Movement (Enterprise ENS-1010, 1970)
Disc 2, Track 8 and Disc 4, Track 1 from ...To Be Continued (Enterprise ENS-1014, 1970)
Disc 2, Track 9 and Disc 3, Tracks 4-5 from Black Moses (Enterprise ENS-5003, 1971)
Disc 2, Tracks 10-11 from Shaft: Music From the Soundtrack (Enterprise ENS-2-5002, 1971)
Disc 2, Track 16 from The Living Word - Wattstax 2 (Enterprise STS 2-3018, 1973)
Disc 2, Track 17 from Joy (Enterprise ENS-5007, 1973)
Disc 2, Track 20 from Tough Guys: Music From the Soundtrack of the Paramount Picture "Three Tough Guys (Enterprise ENS-7504, 1974)
Disc 3, Tracks 11-12 from Ultimate Isaac Hayes: Can You Dig It? (Stax 3SCD-88043-2, 2005)
Disc 4, Track 7 from Now-Again 12" single NA-5144, 2016
Billy D says
Thanks Mike. When I first saw boxset I thought, oh no, not another 46 disc set for hundreds of dollars. But I was pleasantly surprised. There is a nice balance of well-known to unheard material.
I'm still holding out for his quad lps being reissued on some disc format. I brought this up with the master owners about 10 years ago and they said it was a great idea. Still unreleased.
A short time before Mr Hayes died I wrote him for probably some nonsense. A short time later I received an autographed photo AND a signed Scientology pamphlet.
Anyway, this is now on my xmas list.
This looks terrific. Agree with what Billy D said - a nice balance of catalgoue material with previously unheard material.
Having visited the Stax Museum two years ago (if you've never been, you MUST go), the only thing that could make this set better is Mr. Hayes' cadillac.
Rob Maurer says
I have a video of that I took on my (dating myself) Blackberry back when! Spinning in all its gaudy...er, I mean glory!
There's a couple of later career covers that I would have loved to see here, one is a cover of Sting's "Fragile" that could land on either the cover or the super long mix disc (if my memory is right the long mix is 16 minutes) and the other is a very able take on The Blue Nile's "Let's Go Out Tonight."
Regardless of their inclusion I just may buy this one.
Mark Schlesinger says
Why can,t they put the two 45 tracks on the CDs? Many of us can,t or don't play vinyl any more.
Looks like a good set. Fair priced, well-organized, and a good amount of rarities. Thanks for the news.
All the best!