The last album of new material Isaac Hayes released in his lifetime, 1995's BRANDED moves forward and casts a fond look back at the same time. On one hand, there are remakes of two songs from Hayes's `70s glory days, SHAFT's "Soulsville," and "Hyperbolicsyllabicsesquadalymistic" from HOT BUTTERED SOUL. At the same time, Hayes works his patented slow-jam deconstruction methods on something more contemporary by giving Sting's "Fragile" the kind of treatment he once employed to transform `60s pop hits into soul rhapsodies. Even on the album's new compositions, Hayes harks back to his heyday just a bit, teaming up with old cohort David Porter for "Thanks to the Fool," though the production throughout BRANDED is far from retro-sounding.
Isaac Hayes not only was an innovative composer, songwriter, producer, and performer in the '60s and '70s, he was also an actor and appeared in several "blaxploitation" films during the early '70s. Hayes did double duty on these projects, writing and conducting the soundtracks for several, including the two featured on this twin-CD reissue.
One of the better and more thoughtful Isaac Hayes compilations, Ultimate Isaac Hayes: Can You Dig It? is a three-disc (two CDs and one DVD) set that covers his years on Stax. There's a wide range of material here, from singles to deep album cuts, that provide a very representative look at these years, and Stax is even wise enough to include "I Stand Accused" and "Walk on By" in their full 12-minute versions. Only minor quibbles could be made with the selections. The third disc, a DVD, contains three songs performed by Hayes at Wattstax. And then there's the cherry – er, some other spherical object – on top: Hayes' performance of Chef's "Chocolate Salty Balls."
Stax proudly presents the reissue of Hayes’ 1976 disco album, Juicy Fruit (Disco Freak), originally released on Hayes’ ABC Records-distributed Hot Buttered Soul label and recorded at his own Memphis studio with many of his long-time band members. This is its first time on CD. Music historian Bill Dahl contributed liner notes to the reissue.
Sash does a great 1998 rendering of this early 70's classic taking up the tempo and adding new drum/percussion tracks. Most of the original elements of the song are left intact. There are two versions from Sash, one being a radio edit which has a different intro and the outro with vocals over the ending.