Today we jump back into the world of funk and soul, with master soul vocalist Isaac Hayes, with his classic album, “Hot Buttered Soul”. This album is the 5th rated soul album of all time, as rated by digitaldreamdoor.com, and has one of the more iconic album covers of the late 1960s, featuring Hayes and his bald head, complete with shades and chains.
I have typically associated soul music as a variant of rhythm and blues, with neatly packaged single-friendly tracks. However, on this album, we only have four songs, including the 18 minute “By the Time I Get to Phoenix”, and an unexpected surprise, a 12 minute slow jam of the Burt Bacharach classic, “Walk On By”. I’m not sure where the line blurs between funk and soul, but this album, especially those two numbers, feature the slow reverberation and funk beat, blended with horns, keyboards, and electric guitar. Hayes was very intentional with the mood he was targeting on this album, and he absolutely nailed it. Aside from Mary Poppins, he also might have the single longest one word song title, “Hyperbolicsyllabicesquedalymistic”, which turns up more of a funk bass, followed by the ballad which oddly opens with a piano opening similar to “Desperado” by the Eagles.
At the end of the day, another great mood album added to the mix, and the aperture of my musical viewpoint continues to widen. This is a great album, beginning to end.