Personnel includes: Isaac Hayes (vocals, acoustic & electric pianos, vibraphone, bongos, timpani); Ed Freudberg, Joan Gilbert, Noel Gilbert, Gloria Hendricks, Hal Saunders, Ann Spurbeck, Robert Snyder, John Wehlan (violin); Nino Ravarino, Mary Snyder (viola); Vincent De Frank, Barbara Thompson (cello); Ed Hubbard, Jim Terry (flute); Nick Vergos (oboe, English horn); Ernie Bernhardt, John Davis (trumpet); Bill Bell, Jackie Thomas (trombone); Richard Dolph, Joe D'Gerolamo (French horn); Cliff Acred (bass); Hot Buttered Soul (background vocals); The Bar-Kays, The Memphis Horns, The Memphis Symphony Orchestra.
Engineers: William Brown, Henry Bush, Ron Capone.
Digitally remastered by Joe Tarantino (Fantasy Studios, Berkeley, California).
Originally released on Enterprise (ENS-1014).
Personnel: Isaac Hayes (vocals, piano, electric piano, keyboards, vibraphone, bongos, timpani); Gloria Hendricks, Ed Freudberg, Joan Gilbert, Robert Snyder, John Wehlan, Noel Gilbert, Hal Saunders, Ann Spurbeck (violin); Nino Ravarino (viola); Vincent de Frank, Barbara Thompson (cello); Jack Fonville, Edwin Hubbard, James Terry (flute); Nick Vergos (oboe, English horn); Ernie Bernhardt, John Davis , Johnny Scat Davis (trumpet); Joe De'Gerolamo, D'Gerolamo, Richard Dolph (French horn); Jackie Thomas, Bill Bell (trombone); Hot Buttered Soul Unlimited, Pat Lewis (background vocals).
Photographer: Joel Brodsky.
Unknown Contributor Roles: The Memphis Symphony Orchestra; The Bar-Kays; The Memphis Horns.
Arrangers: Dale Warren; Isaac Hayes; Pat Lewis.
Released in late 1970 on the heels of two chart-topping albums, Hot Buttered Soul (1969) and The Isaac Hayes Movement (also 1970), Isaac Hayes and the Bar-Kays retain their successful approach on those landmark albums for To Be Continued, another number one album. Again, the album features four songs that span far beyond traditional radio-friendly length, featuring important mood-establishing instrumental segments just as emotive and striking as Hayes' crooning. Nothing here is quite as perfect as "Walk on By," and the album feels a bit churned out, but To Be Continued no doubt has its share of highlights, the most notable being "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'." The album's most epic moment opens with light strings and horns, vamping poetically for several minutes before Hayes even utters a breath; then, once the singer delivers the song's orchestral chorus, the album hits its sentimental peak -- Hayes elevating a common standard to heavenly heights once again. Elsewhere, "Our Day Will Come" features a nice concluding instrumental segment driven by a proto-hip-hop beat that proves just how ahead of his time Hayes was during his early-'70s cycle of Enterprise albums. It's tempting to slight this album when holding it up against Hayes' best albums from this same era, but a comparison such as this is unfair. Even if Ike isn't doing anything here that he didn't do on his two preceding albums -- Hot Buttered Soul, The Isaac Hayes Movement -- and isn't quite as daring as he is on his two successive albums -- Black Moses, Shaft -- To Be Continued still topples any Hayes album that came after 1971. It didn't top the R&B album chart for 11 weeks on accident -- this is quintessential early-'70s Isaac Hayes, and that alone makes it a classic soul album. ~ Jason Birchmeier