Isaac Hayes

The Very Best of Isaac Hayes [2007]

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This is not a bad start, at least as far as single-disc representations of Isaac Hayes' Stax years are considered. The Very Best of Isaac Hayes contains many of the necessities -- his reinventions of "Walk on By," "By the Time I Get to Phoenix," and "Never Can Say Goodbye," alongside originals like "Theme from Shaft," "Do Your Thing," and "Joy, Pt. 1" -- but since it contains a total of 18 tracks, there's no room left for the original full-length album versions, so you get the single edits. Ultimate Isaac Hayes: Can You Dig It?, a two-disc/one-DVD set released in 2005 by Stax, is easier to recommend because it is more expansive, allowing enough room for all 12 minutes of "Walk on By" and a few essential cuts that couldn't fit here -- such as "Hyperbolicsyllabicsesquedalymistic" and "I Stand Accused."

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