August 20, 1996 |
Isaac Hayes, jazz singer? "My Funny Valentine" probably isn't one of the songs the near-capacity crowd at the Universal Amphitheatre on Sunday associated with Hayes when they came out for this rare live performance by the Grammy- and Oscar-winning symphonic funk innovator. But Hayes had more than a few tricks up his sleeve as he ran through that torch singer's anthem.
October 8, 1995 |
* * * 1/2 Various artists, "Dead Presidents" soundtrack, Capitol. With the likes of Isaac Hayes, Barry White, Sly Stone, James Brown, Aretha Franklin and Curtis Mayfield culled for one project, can it go wrong? Impossible. Sure they're old, but unedited classics like Hayes' "Walk on By," the Dramatics' "Get Up & Get Down" and Al Green's "Tired of Being Alone" demonstrate that the Dr. Dres and D'Angelos of the world, despite their brilliant accomplishments, have a long way to go.
July 1, 1995 |
The biggest drawback of this two-album effort is that Hayes seems stuck in a time warp. "Raw and Refined," an instrumental collection, contains tracks so sanitized that they evoke the wanna-be-hip background music from "Mod Squad." On "Branded," the old wah-wah pedal rules. Even a guest appearance by rapper Chuck D. doesn't modernize matters. New albums are rated on a scale of one star (poor), two stars (fair), three stars (good) and four stars (excellent).
May 3, 1994 |
With his sex-drenched, foghorn voice, Isaac Hayes--the singer-songwriter-producer best known for the "Theme From Shaft"--was the Barry White of the early '70s. Decked out in chain shirts and shades, he played the supercool stud as he remade sappy hits such as "By the Time I Get to Phoenix" in an achingly slow, smoldering soul style. These days Hayes is trading on the considerable nostalgia value of such oldies as "Don't Let Go" and "Never Can Say Goodbye."
April 5, 1990 |
President Bush doesn't play on the new album featuring Lee Atwater, his former campaign manager and the current Republican Party chairman who is also a noted blues fan and amateur guitarist. But there is a King on "Red Hot & Blue," which is due in record stores on Tuesday: B.B. King, that is.
October 11, 1986 |
Singer Isaac Hayes' first record in five years, "Ike's Rap / Hey Girl," is a pop anti-drug message. Given Hayes' lengthy absence from the recording scene, is it possible that this is yet another story about a performer who fell prey to drugs himself? After all, Hayes' image in the early '70s was that of the ultimate hipster, the personification of cool: the big, muscular guy with the shaved head, wearing shades, gold chains and no shirt, often flanked by gorgeous women.