This set provides an accurate overview of the Stax era recordings of the only man fit to be called "The Black Moses Of Soul" -- Isaac Hayes. Prior to becoming a solo artist, Hayes and partner David Porter were collectively responsible for well over 200 sides -- including the genre defining "When Something Is Wrong With My Baby," "Soul Man," "B-A-B-Y," " "Hold On, I'm Comin'," and "I Had a Dream." Hayes then redefined the role of the long player with his inimitably smooth narrative style of covering classic pop and R&B tracks, many of which would spiral well over ten minutes. Thanks to the extended play time available on CDs, Man!: The Ultimate Isaac Hayes 1969-1977 (2001) is able to include several of those sidelong cuts such as "Walk On By," "By The Time I Get To Phoenix," and the "Look Of Love." Oddly, compilers opted for the single edit of "I Stand Accused," rather than the version found on the Isaac Hayes Movement (1970). Otherwise, this collection gathers 21 sides from Hayes' dozen solo platters for the Memphis-based R&B Stax label and the subsidiary Enterprise Records. No "ultimate" collection could be so without a fair sampling from Hayes' seminal blaxploitation soundtracks to Shaft (1971) and Truck Turner, the latter of which also featured the musician in the lead role. In addition to featuring the obvious theme songs, also included is the hard-to-find theme to the short-lived television show The Men -- which was issued as a single, although it also popped up on the highly recommended Live at the Sahara Tahoe (1973) set. Notably represented are some later sides such as the four/four funk of Disco Connection, and the aggressive and greasy funk of Chocolate Chip. Inevitably, it would be impossible to include all of the possible inclusions, and as such, tracks such as the psychedelic "Hyperbolicsyallabicsesquedalymistic" from Hot Buttered Soul (1969), or either of the epic renderings of "Ain't No Sunshine," from either the Wattstax (1973) soundtrack or the previously mentioned Live At The Sahara Tahoe. Those minor complaints aside, enthusiasts of all degrees of interest won't go wrong with Man!: The Ultimate Isaac Hayes 1969-1977.
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AllMusic Review by Lindsay Planer
Track Listing - Disc 1
Track Listing - Disc 2