Isaac Hayes is being recognized with a new four-CD collection called The Spirit Of Memphis (1962-1976). The set covers his career at Stax as a songwriter and producer and his rise as a solo superstar. A 60-page hardcover book holds the music, archival photos and liner notes written by Robert Gordon, who is the author of Respect Yourself: Stax Records And The Soul Explosion. There are unreleased recordings and a replica 7″ vinyl single of Hayes’ first commercially-released recordings.
Hayes was a pioneer of the concept album in soul music and led the way for Black artists to make music for films with his Academy-Award winning soundtrack to Shaft which was his fourth platinum album.
The first disc is focused on his days as a songwriter for Stax and his legendary collaborations with David Porter including Sam & Dave’s “Soul Man.” The second one chronicles his breakthrough as a solo artist with the song “By The Time I Get To Phoenix” and hits like “Never Can Say Goodbye.” The third disc highlights his ability to own certain cover songs including his versions of “I Stand Accused” and “Stormy Monday.” The last disc has the never heard “Black Militant’s Place” from Shaft and unfinished versions of Bill Withers’ “Ain’t No Sunshine” and “You’ve Made Me So Very Happy.”
This album is a cornerstone in the year-long initiative to celebrate Stax’s 60th Anniversary. Hayes’ contribution to Stax Records and his solo career continues to inspire and shape Black pop. The Spirit Of Memphis (1962-1976) can be pre-ordered from Amazon.