"Theme from Shaft" aside, Isaac Hayes' greatest successes have been in his ability to recast popular love songs into sensual epics of sexual tension and release, painting sonic masterpieces by skillfully mixing slow, funky rhythms with lush string and horn arrangements, all integrated with the sound of his ever-present Hammond B-3 organ. His versions of Burt Bacharach and Hal David's twin classics "Walk On By" and "The Look of Love" are perfect examples of Hayes' approach, as he breathes and half-talks his way through the slow-burning, atmospheric arrangements, totally redefining both songs into epic tales of lust and longing. Unfortunately, the version of "Walk On By" included on this collection is the single edit, which severely undercuts its effectiveness, but the version of "The Look of Love" included here is the 11-minute album track, and it shows how Hayes' vision completely recasts the idea of a torch song. Another good example of this epic revisionism is Hayes' take on Jerry Butler's "'I Stand Accused," which appears here in its extended album mix. "By the Time I Get to Phoenix," the nearly 20-minute re-imagining of Jimmy Webb's simultaneously helpless and hopeful love song, is unfortunately not on this compilation, probably because its long spoken word introduction makes it a difficult song to pare down for a single-disc release like this one, but it remains Hayes' most innovative arrangement, single-handedly paving the way for Barry White's career. White appears on the final track here, by the way, an extended duet with Hayes called "Dark and Lovely (You Over There)" from the 1991 album Put Me in Your Mix. Lacking "Theme from Shaft" and "By the Time I Get to Phoenix," this collection can't be considered a comprehensive introduction to the music of Isaac Hayes, but it stands as a remarkably cohesive collection of the most atmospheric and sensual music for a romantic evening you'll ever hear.
Performance CreditsIsaac Hayes Primary Artist
Technical CreditsClifton Davis Composer
James Taylor Composer
Barry White Composer,Producer,String Arrangements,rhythm arrangement
Burt Bacharach Composer
Gene Page String Arrangements
Johnny Allen Arranger,Horn Arrangements,String Arrangements
Hal David Composer
Isaac Hayes Arranger,Composer,Producer,Vocal Arrangements,Horn Arrangements,String Arrangements,rhythm arrangement
Pat Lewis Vocal Arrangements
Jack Perry Producer,rhythm arrangement
Marvell Thomas Producer
Dale Warren Arranger
Billy Butler Composer
Bill Purse Horn Arrangements,String Arrangements
Steven Ivory Liner Notes
Pat Lawrence Executive Producer
Robin Schwartz Licensing
John Roberts String Arrangements
Allen Jones Producer
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Greatest Love Songs based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
i enjoy his music he is a legend in his own time.