Personnel includes: Isaac Hayes (arrangements); Memphis Strings (strings); Movement Horns (horns); Hot Buttered Soul Unlimited (background vocals).
Recorded in April and May, 1973.
Digital remastering by Joe Tarantino (1991, Fantasy Studios, Berkeley).
Personnel: Isaac Hayes (vocals, keyboards); Hot Buttered Soul Unlimited (background vocals).
Audio Remixers: Joe Tarantino; Henry Bush.
Recording information: 04/1973/05/1973.
Photographer: Ken Marcus.
Arrangers: Isaac Hayes; Johnny Allen; Willie Hall.
With seven massive number one records trailing in his wake, Isaac Hayes donned his stylin', funky gold-chain link vest once again and capped 1973 with Joy, a set which might have proven the lucky-streak breaker -- it missed the top spot by one place -- but still waded into gold-record waters with ease. "Joy" itself, of course, was the album's crowning glory, a gargantuan 15-minute piece which essentially devoured side one of the album (the accompanying "I Love You That's All" is merely an afterthought). Heady, smoky, ubiquitous -- an instrumental and vocal foray into the land of good grooves -- it was sexy and sassy, with strings and innuendo stripped bare and smoothly built to lead anyone within earshot toward a classic climax. The song continued to impact via sampled revitalization from as far afield as TLC, Massive Attack, Eric B. & Rakim, and Big Daddy Kane. But don't forget that Joy is an entire album, with Hayes continuing his silky vocal assault across a further three slow, simmering songs. The best, and perhaps most interesting, is the closing "I'm Gonna Make It (Without You)." Markedly un-steamy, the song finds Hayes trading in his come-ons, choosing instead to open up and lay himself down in the wake of a broken romance. It's Joy's most touching moment, equally on par with the opener. Indeed, with those two glorious bookends, this album becomes a must-have for any '70s soul aficionado. ~ Amy Hanson