Isaac Hayes – ‘Hot Buttered Soul’

Isaac Hayes is one of a number of Soul musicians who have been sampled numerous times, especially by Hip Hop artists, and it becomes a difficult task to find an Isaac Hayes track which hasn’t been sampled. He was a prominent member of the Memphis based Stax record label and in 1969 released his second album for Stax, ‘Hot Buttered Soul‘. It came at a point where Stax was in turmoil having parted company with Atlantic Records and was desperate for new releases. It was a success and became widely regarded as one of Soul music’s essential albums, which goes some way to explaining why it has been a popular source for sampling.

There haven’t been many examples of it being sampled in Jungle and Drum & Bass but one exception does stand out, the drum solo/breakdown section of ‘Walk On By‘ (a cover of the Burt Bacharach and Hal David song) which was sampled by DJ Die on his 1998 track ‘Reminisce‘. It is a classic roller, a strong example of the Full Cycle sound and from the very start of the track the drum sound stands out. The sample was taken, chopped up and re-arranged creating a completely different drum pattern but the snare sound in particular is obviously that of ‘Walk On By‘. It is a great example of sampling done well, where the original part is re-imagined rather than just used ‘as is’. It is then interspersed later in the track with a chopped up and re-arranged Amen break sampled from The WinstonsAmen Brother‘.

Isaac Hayes’ 1969 album ‘Hot Buttered Soul’

Hot Buttered Soul‘ was recorded at Ardent Studios in Memphis by Terry Manning, produced by Al Bell, Allen Jones and Marvell Thomas and mixed by Ed Wolfrum and Russ Terrana. The line-up of musicians was Isaac Hayes (vocals/keys), Willie Hall (drums), James Alexander (bass), Michael Toles (guitar), Marvell Thomas (keys) and Harold Beane provided the guitar solo for ‘Walk On By‘. Hall, Alexander and Toles were better known by their group name The Bar-Kays and released a number of albums under their own name.

The history surrounding Stax Records and the album ‘Hot Buttered Soul‘ is covered excellently in Stuart Cosgrove‘s book ‘Memphis 68 The Tragedy of Southern Soul‘.

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