Isaac Hayes – 1969 – Hot Buttered Soul

isaac hayes - 1969 - hot buttered soul front

This is the one that made Isaac a name in the history of soul music. “The Black Moses of Soul” ‘cuz he changed and invented soul (R&B) the way it will be in the future. Then Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder followed with their masterpieces in the early 70’s.

A true masterclass in musicianship, innovation, and slow burners. This will always be a great time capsule of true soul.


A1 Walk On By 12:00
A2 Hyperbolicsyllabicsesquedalmystic 9:55
B1 One Woman 5:00
B2 By The Time I Get To Phoenix 18:40

isaac hayes - 1969 - hot buttered soul back

The Review

Isaac Hayes went into the recording studio back in 1969 with his the Bar-Kays as his backing band and created something magical and timeless that is beyond comparison from anything else I’ve ever heard. With only four numbers present here, it’d be easy to second-guess picking this up, but if you do you are a sucker, because you just don’t understand how strong and potent this album is. It’s almost ridiculous how many rappers have sampled this material, and how many times they’ve done it at that, but none of ’em, NONE OF ‘EM could amass the emotion and skill that Brother Ike amassed into these four incredible numbers. The opener ‘Walk on By’ is not to be messed with for nothin’. The intro is hypnotic and intoxicating, stretching on for over two minutes before Brother Ike’s mournful and dour voice comes in to sing his frustration and sadness away. What follows is jus’ somethin’ funky, fa’real, an’ I’m’a try an’ spell it all out fa’ you.

isaac hayes - 1969 - hot buttered soul label 1

Hyperbolicsyllabicsesquedalymistic is down-and-dirty gut-bucket funktified soul. Rhodes electric piano, classic guitar riffs, and that repetitive piano that Public Enemy jus’ loves to sample. Oh, what a classic piece ‘a work. I’m surprised lotsa these reviews don’t seem to think too highly of ‘One Woman’ ’cause I can’t get enough of that number. It’s sweeter and more easy-going than the other three, but it’s no less strong. It’s just a nice poetic song, irreplaceable if you ask me. Alright, but the truth is that the next number is the real tear-jerker. For the first eight or nine minutes of ‘By the Time I Get to Phoenix’ there is nothing in the back ground but a hypnotic thumping bassline and Brother Ike telling a truly heartbreaking story of a man and a woman wo were in love, well, at least the man was in love, you know? (“But, y’see, girls, I don’t mean to come down on you, but this man LOVED this woman so, but, they say love is blind…”) If you’re feelin’ it, then when the song finally kicks in, you should already be reduced to a puddle of tears. Then all you can do is moan an’ wail along with Isaac about bein’ a prisoner of love who will never be free.
Fellas, if you’ve ever had your heartbroken, an’ you intend to get anything outta reading this review, it should be to not go another day without this masterpiece. If your lovelorn, sad, an’ need somethin’ to feed your sadness, or somethin’ to keep you in touch with your spirit and soul, then this is the album to pick up. It’s by all means one’a the best soul albums of ALL TIME, flawlessly performed from start to finish. Like I said, it’s a long and lonely road, but it’s a lovely one to travel. Again and again.

Buy the AlbumIsaac Hayes – 1969 – Hot Buttered Soul


Conversation for album: Isaac Hayes – 1969 – Hot Buttered Soul

  • robert
    Posted at 20:13h, 13 May 2008 Reply


  • iant
    Posted at 10:18h, 08 June 2008 Reply

    love this album. by the time i get to phoenix is all-time, 18 minutes of self-indulgence and worth every minute of it, like the review says when it finally kicks in with those soaring strings and vocal it’s really something.

  • simon
    Posted at 22:32h, 10 July 2008 Reply

    Thanks again, this site is so cool

  • Brain Damage
    Posted at 17:39h, 18 November 2008 Reply

    Perfect album. Everyone should listen to it at least once in his life. But if you listen to it once, you’ll come back to it many more times. You don’t even have to be a soul music lover, “Hot Buttered Soul” sounds like nothing else, it’s like a beautiful, heartbreaking, sensual world apart.

  • brotherpete
    Posted at 15:36h, 29 September 2009 Reply

    thanks a lot !!!

  • Dave
    Posted at 00:12h, 31 July 2011 Reply

    Thanks for this classic.

  • Jez Collins
    Posted at 14:14h, 26 December 2013 Reply

    Such an all time great album, never converted my vinyl to digital so thanks!

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