Uncut - 01/03, p.1313 stars out of 5
- "...[An] overlooked '76 opus...His so-so funk shudders are mightier than the meatiest of most..."
Personnel includes: Isaac Hayes (keyboards, background vocals); Michael Toles, William Vaughn, Charles Pitts, Anthony Shinault (guitar); Emerson Able, Bill Easley (alto saxophone); Tommy Williams, Darnell Smith, Lewis Collins (tenor saxophone); Floyd Newman (baritone saxophone); William Taylor, Ben Cauley (trumpet, flugelhorn); Lester Snell, Sidney Kirk (keyboards); Erroll Thomas (bass); Willie Hall, Willie Cole (drums, tambourine); Jimmy Thompson (conga); Hot Buttered Soul (background vocals).
Recorded at Hot Buttered Soul, Memphis, Tennessee in 1976. Includes liner notes by Rob Bowman.
All tracks have been digitally remastered.
Personnel: Isaac Hayes (vocals, keyboards); William Vaughn (vocals, guitar); Charles "Skip" Pitts, Charlie Spitts, Anthony Shinault, Michael Toles (guitar); Emerson Able, Bill Easley (saxophone, alto saxophone); Darnell Smith, Lewis Collins (saxophone, tenor saxophone); Floyd Newman (saxophone, baritone saxophone); Tommy Williams (saxophone); Tommy Williams Jr. (tenor saxophone); Edgar Matthews, Johnny Davis, William Taylor , Ben Cauley (trumpet, flugelhorn); Jonathan Davis (trumpet); Bryant Munch, Richard Dolph (French horn, horns); Gary Russell (trombone, bass trombone); Jackie Thomas, Bill Flores (trombone); Sidney Kirk (piano, keyboards); Lester Snell (keyboards); Erroll Thomas (bass guitar); Willie Hall (drums, tambourine); Wilburn "Squiddley" Cole (drums); Jimmy Thompson (congas, percussion); Hot Buttered Soul Unlimited (background vocals).
Audio Remasterer: Joe Tarantino.
Audio Remixers: Henry Bush; Isaac Hayes; Roosevelt Green.
Liner Note Author: Rob Bowman.
Recording information: Hot Buttered Soul Recording Studios, Memphis, TN (1976).
Photographer: Jeff Dunas.
Arrangers: Isaac Hayes; Lester Snell.
The title track employs "Shaft"-like guitar licks, but the similarity ends there: It's a lame attempt at disco done in by Ike's lazy singing and irritatingly banal lyrics. But it's the LP's only sore point. Ike returns to his roots on "Your Loving Is Much Too Strong," a slow, romantic ballad that he and his girls, Hot Buttered Soul Unlimited, make you feel. "Rock Me Easy Baby," a slinky, syncopated shuffle, has more groove appeal than the vaunted "Groove-A-Thon," mainly because Ike constructs it for maximum soul appeal by running it for more than eight exquisite minutes. The uptempo happy-in-love ditty "We've Got a Whole Lot of Love" showcases HBS' sterling voices. Ike shows a different side on the soft, longing "Wish You Were Here," whose horn arrangements and backing vocals are simultaneously enticing and titillating. After a weak opening, the album settles into a comfortable groove, ending splendidly with "Make a Little Love to Me." ~ Andrew Hamilton