Isaac Hayes 4-CD Box Set Out in September

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The Spirit of Memphis (1962-1976), a four-CD collection chronicling the career of songwriter//producer/performer Isaac Hayes—who would have turned 75 this year—will be released by Craft Recordings on Sept. 22. The set, according to a press release, “examines the various avenues of Hayes’ prolific career, each disc offering an in-depth look at his distinct musical contributions to both Memphis-based Stax Records and to the world at large: from his foundational presence as a songwriter and producer at Stax, to his artistic metamorphosis and subsequent rise to stardom.”

The set also includes a wide range of previously unreleased material, as well as a replica 7-inch vinyl single of the artist’s first commercially released recordings. Housed in a 60-page hardcover book, the retrospective incorporates archival photos and ephemera, as well as an essay by author Robert Gordon, which includes new interviews with Stax luminaries Deanie Parker and Jim Stewart. Contributions from Floyd Newman, Mickey Gregory, Sam Moore (Sam and Dave) and compilation producer Joe McEwen round out the package. The track listing is below.

Disc one covers Hayes’ early work as a songwriter and producer at Stax, including many of his collaborations with David Porter, such as Carla Thomas’ “B-A-B-Y,” recently featured in the hit film Baby Driver, and Sam and Dave’s “Soul Man,” which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.

Disc two spotlights Hayes as a solo artist, featuring his singles recorded for the Volt and Enterprise imprints, from his breakthrough track “By The Time I Get to Phoenix,” off his Hot Buttered Soul album, to his subsequent chartbusters, including “Never Can Say Goodbye,” “Do Your Thing” and the chart-topping hit, “Theme from Shaft.”

The third disc, “Cover Man,” examines Hayes’ ability “to transform tunes by songwriting greats such as Burt Bacharach and Hal David and make them entirely his own,” says the press release. This disc also includes previously unreleased material, including a studio version of “Windows of the World” and live covers of “Stormy Monday,” “I Stand Accused” and “The Ten Commandments of Love,” all recorded at a 1972 concert in Chicago.

The final disc, “Jam Master,” showcases extended jams from Hayes’ classic LPs, including a full, 33-minute freeform psychedelic Bar-Kays jam on “Do Your Thing.” This disc also includes unreleased work-in-progress versions of “You’ve Made Me So Very Happy,” the Bill Withers-penned classic “Ain’t No Sunshine,” and a never-before-heard composition from the Shaft soundtrack titled “Black Militant’s Place.”

Related: A tribute to Hayes’ label-mate, Otis Redding

This collection comes on the heels of a recent digital release of Hayes’ Enterprise albums remastered from the original analog tapes by engineer Dave Cooley at Elysian Masters earlier this year. LP reissues cut from these new masters, including Hot Buttered Soul, Black Moses and Shaft will be available later this year.

Pre-order The Spirit of Memphis (1962-1976) here.

Isaac Hayes meets his fans (Photo courtesy of Stax Archives)

Track Listing

*Denotes previously unreleased material


Soul Songwriter, Soul Producer

  1. Floyd Newman – Sassy
  2. David Porter – Can’t See You When I Want To
  3. Carla Thomas – How Do You Quit (Someone You Love)
  4. Booker T and the MGs – Boot-leg
  5. The Astors – Candy
  6. Danny White – Can’t Do Nothing Without You
  7. Johnnie Taylor – I Had A Dream
  8. Sam & Dave – Hold On! I’m A Comin’
  9. Ruby Johnson – I’ll Run Your Hurt Away
  10. Carla Thomas – Let Me Be Good To You
  11. Mable John – Your Good Thing (Is About To End)
  12. Homer Banks – Fighting To Win
  13. Carla Thomas – B-A-B-Y
  14. William Bell – Never Like This Before
  15. The Mad Lads – Patch My Heart
  16. Johnnie Taylor – Little Bluebird
  17. Charlie Rich – When Something Is Wrong With My Baby
  18. Charlie Rich – Love Is After Me
  19. Judy Clay – You Can’t Run Away From Your Heart
  20. Sam & Dave – Soul Man
  21. The Charmels – As Long As I’ve Got You
  22. Sam & Dave – I Thank You
  23. The Soul Children – The Sweeter He Is (Parts I & II)
  24. Billy Eckstine – Stormy
  25. David Porter – Can’t See You When I Want To
  26. The Emotions – Show Me How


Volt & Enterprise Singles

  1. Sir Isaac and The Do-Dads – The Big Dipper
  2. Sir Isaac and The Do-Dads – Blue Groove
  3. Isaac Hayes – Precious, Precious
  4. Isaac Hayes – By The Time I Get To Phoenix
  5. Isaac Hayes – The Mistletoe & Me
  6. Isaac Hayes – Winter Snow
  7. Isaac Hayes – I Stand Accused
  8. Isaac Hayes – The Look Of Love
  9. Isaac Hayes – Never Can Say Goodbye
  10. Isaac Hayes – Theme From “Shaft”
  11. Isaac Hayes – Do Your Thing
  12. Isaac Hayes – Let’s Stay Together
  13. Isaac Hayes and David Porter – Ain’t That Loving You (For More Reasons Than One)
  14. Isaac Hayes and David Porter – Baby I’m-A Want You
  15. Isaac Hayes – Theme From “The Men”
  16. Isaac Hayes – Rolling Down A Mountainside
  17. Isaac Hayes – Joy (Part 1)
  18. Isaac Hayes – Wonderful
  19. Isaac Hayes – Someone Made You For Me
  20. Isaac Hayes – Title Theme (From “Three Tough Guys”)
  21. Radio Spot – “You Gotta Have It To Really Be In”
  22. Radio Spot – “The Rapper Is Back”


Cover Man

  1. Isaac Hayes – When I Fall In Love
  2. Isaac Hayes – Walk On By
  3. Isaac Hayes – I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself
  4. Isaac Hayes – Man’s Temptation
  5. Isaac Hayes – Never Gonna Give You Up
  6. Isaac Hayes – Windows Of The World*

Recorded Live at Operation PUSH Black Expo, International Amphitheatre, Chicago, IL – October 1, 1972:

  1. Isaac Hayes – The Ten Commandments of Love*
  2. Isaac Hayes – Just Want To Make Love To You / Rock Me Baby*
  3. Isaac Hayes – Stormy Monday*
  4. Isaac Hayes – I Stand Accused*
  5. Isaac Hayes – If Loving You Is Wrong
  6. Isaac Hayes – His Eye Is On The Sparrow


Jam Master

  1. Isaac Hayes – Ike’s Mood I
  2. Isaac Hayes – You’ve Made Me So Very Happy*
  3. Isaac Hayes – Black Militant’s Place*
  4. Isaac Hayes – Ain’t No Sunshine*
  5. Isaac Hayes – Hung Up On My Baby* (Extended Jam)
  6. Isaac Hayes – Groove-A-Thon* (Extended Jam)
  7. Isaac Hayes – Do Your Thing (Extended Jam)

7” Single


Laura, We’re On Our Last Go-Round


C.C. Rider

Watch Isaac Hayes perform “Theme From Shaft” from the film Wattstax from 1973 (with Richard Pryor)


Best Classic Bands Staff

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