Wednesday, September 22, 2004:

That Loving Feeling

Isaac Hayes -- That Loving Feeling
Isaac Hayes taught himself piano and sax and worked for awhile as part of Stax's house band, guesting with Otis Redding and Johnnie Taylor, among others. His released his first solo album in 1967; Hot Buttered Soul got a lot of attention in '69 and sold well, and in 1971 Hayes won the Oscar for best song for the theme from Shaft (he was nominated for the score but didn't win). And then, just a few years later, he broke with Stax in a dispute over royalties. From there things took a turn for the worse. He went off to form his own label, Hot Buttered Soul, undoubtedly with high hopes (like The Beatles with Apple, Led Zeppelin with Swan Song), but released only two albums on it before declaring bankruptcy.

From then until the late 80s he released the occasional album and had some bit parts in various films (nothing like his lead in Truck Turner, though, just something to keep food on the table). And then he had his big break with South Park, and things have been looking up since. I read an article a couple of years ago about how his debt collectors were after him again--they knew before South Park that he didn't have the money and wasn't worth the bother.

Here's something that is worth the bother--"That Loving Feeling" off Chocolate Chip, his first album on the Hot Buttered Soul label. This is vintage Hayes: horns, piano, spare guitar, and that deep voice claiming what he's feeling is "more than sexual attraction." He talks it up anyway, just to be safe--this is exactly the kind of approach that Hayes is famous for and that Chef lampoons on South Park. But damn is it slick.

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