Mon. Sep. 20, 2021

Isaac Hayes – The Look Of Love

This Beat Is Mine! Isaac Hayes – The Look Of Love (Enterprise)

With thanks to my dad who was a Jazz musician, I got my ears open to countless artists and vibes from different horizons. Eventually keepin’ on discovering blasts from the past from a day to another. He most likely didn’t care about the genres. Music to him was simply good or not. Be it Jazz, Soul, Blues or whatever. With this applying to whichever version of a song. Be it an original or a cover version.

To that extend, hard for me to say which version of ‘The Look Of Love’ is the best, between Dusty Springfield‘s original and Isaac Hayes‘ rendition. As both have indeed their moment. This makin’ it even higher, I suppose, when comin’ to appropriate for yourself someone else’s song. But Hayes definitely made it his own way. Bringin’ it to another level his way with his stellar flamboyant arrangements along with his unique singing style. Therefore turning it into a timeless masterpiece.

Ike‘s version of ‘The Look Of Love’ saw the light as a 3 minute something 7 inch. At a time – 1970 – when the maxi-single version wasn’t available. This being why I kindly suggest you to go for the album 11 minute version. Should you like to fully enjoy it…

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With warm thanks to Portland, NH-based correspondent, Gina Hines, for this week’s suggestion…

One of the most brilliant talents of his generation, Covington, TN native Isaac Hayes heavily contributed shaping the sound of Memphis Stax Records. Hard of course not to think of ‘Shaft’ when evoking his memory. Even though the man has done so much more than this…

Ike was undoubtedly found of flamboyant orchestral arrangements such as he demonstrated it on his debut-album – ‘Hot Buttered Soul’ – back in 1969. An album where he literally appropriated for himself the 1964 classic ‘Walk On By’ written by Bacharach & David for Dionne Warwick. Eventually doing the same soon after with gems such as ‘Never Can Say Goodbye’ and ‘The Look Of Love’. Not to mention ‘(If Loving You Is Wrong) I Don’t Want To Be Right’.

Hayes eventually embraced the Disco sound in 1975. As Isaac Hayes Movement on ABC Records. But also on his own with the highly memorable ‘I Can’t Turn Around’ from his ‘Chocolate Chip’ album. A song which Steve Silk ‘Hurley’ and Farley Jackmaster Funk turned into an early Chicago House classic.

Countless financial problems sadly got him in the obligation to sell his copyrights out of everything he’d done so far. This leaving him almost homeless by the mid-70’s. He never lost the faith though, eventually signing with Polydor. The first release from this new deal being his 1977 ‘New Horizon’ album featuring ‘Moonlight Lovin’. The funktified ‘Don’t Let Go’ standing as another essential track of his later on.

Ike only released 2 albums for Columbia in the 80’s, and would get briefly back to the grips in the mid 90’s after a 7 year hiatus. ‘Branded’, his before last studio album, giving us the opportunity to meet back then…

Ike got found unresponsive in his East of Memphis home, TN on Aug. 10, 2008. He was pronounced dead a few hours later at the Baptist Memorial Hospital. With the cause of his passing being a recurrence of a stroke which he suffered from two years before.

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