AUTHENTIC SOUND, DISTILLED TO ITS PUREST FORM
ABOUT SMALL BATCH
Handpicked from Craft Recordings’ wide catalog, each Small Batch release features lacquers cut from the original tapes (AAA), using a one-step lacquer process as opposed to the standard three-step process. This technique allows for the utmost level of musical detail, clarity, and dynamics while reducing the amount of surface noise on the record.
The limited nature of these pressings guarantees that each record is a true representation of the original lacquer and is as close as the listener can get to the original recording.
“[a] kind of you-are-there intimacy...” – Absolute Sound
“more realistic, full-bodied, natural, and richer” – Analog Planet
“revelatory in terms of sonic detail” – Record Collector
The sixth title in the series is Isaac Hayes’ seminal 1969 classic Hot Buttered Soul. Set for release March 1st and available to pre-order now.
Housed in a foil-stamped, linen-wrapped slipcase. The vinyl disc—extractable through a unique frictionless ribbon pull tab—comes in a reproduction of the original album jacket and protected by an archival-quality, anti-static, non-scratching inner sleeve.
NEW LINER NOTES
In-depth liner notes from some of music’s best educators, historians, and journalists will accompany each title.
Each reissue will be limited edition and numbered. The limited nature of these pressings guarantees that each record is a true representation of the original lacquer.
Hot Buttered Soul (Small Batch, One-Step Pressing)
Please note, due to the limited nature of this pressing there is a per household limit of two copies. Product is excluded from discount code offers.
Isaac Hayes earth-shattering record Hot Buttered Soul is the sixth release in Craft Recordings' acclaimed one-step lacquer process series Small Batch. Released on Stax Records in 1969, Hot Buttered Soul pushed the boundaries of soul music, while setting Hayes on the path to superstardom, thanks to such groundbreaking tracks as “Hyperbolicsyllabicsesquedalymistic,” plus ambitious renditions of the Bacharach/David classic “Walk on By” and Jimmy Webb’s “By the Time I Get to Phoenix.”
As with all Small Batch titles, Hot Buttered Soul was mastered from its original tapes (AAA) by Bernie Grundman and pressed on 180-gram vinyl at RTI using Neotech’s VR900 compound, using a one-step lacquer process (as opposed to the standard three-step process). This technique allows for the utmost level of musical detail, clarity, and dynamics while reducing the amount of surface noise on the record. The limited nature of these pressings guarantees that each record is a true representation of the original lacquer and is as close as the listener can get to the original recording. This pressing is limited to 3,000 copies worldwide.
Please note, because the lacquers are cut directly from the original tape with no digital manipulation, there is very minor tape noise on the album's Side B caused by the tape's age and use over time, however it does not distract from the overall superb listening experience. Lacquers are cut from the master tape, except for track B1 in which the original safety was used.
ABOUT Hot Buttered Soul
Described by liner notes writer Scott Galloway as “a searing souvenir of the art form, that will emphatically inspire into eternity,” Isaac Hayes’ Hot Buttered Soul has long been considered a landmark title in R&B — one that pushed the limits of soul music and influenced countless artists in its wake.
“I always try to make my music interesting in the sense that you can’t figure out where I’m going,” Hayes told Galloway in 1995. “I don’t like people to second guess me. I had no formal training therefore I knew no boundaries. When you break the rules and go outside the box, you become innovative.”
Hayes recorded lead vocals and rhythm tracks in a single eight-hour session, during which he simultaneously served as lead vocalist, keyboardist (on the Hammond organ), and conductor. Performing alongside him at Memphis’ Ardent Studios were bassist James Alexander, drummer Willie Hall, and rhythm guitarist Michael Toles—all members of the recently reformed Bar-Kays—plus pianist Marvell Thomas (son of Rufus). The album, which was produced by Thomas, Al Bell, and Allen Jones, also featured lush orchestration (arranged by Johnny Allen) and soaring backing vocals—all of which were captured during additional sessions in Detroit.
Hot Buttered Soul is comprised of four tracks, split over two sides, beginning with a cover of the Burt Bacharach/Hal David classic, “Walk on By.” Originally an airy, three-minute-long hit for Dionne Warwick in 1963, the song was transformed by Hayes, who slowed it down and stretched it out into a psychedelic, 12-minute-long rumination on love and loss.
The mood and the pace pick up with “Hyperbolicsyllabicsesquedalymistic.” Co-written with [Stax president] Al Bell, this funky, swaggering number finds the artist at his most seductive—and, aptly, closes in a lengthy, climactic jam. Side B, meanwhile, opens with the reflective “One Woman.” The album closes out with one of Hayes’ great masterpieces: a 19-minute-long re-working of Jimmy Webb’s “By the Time I Get to Phoenix.”
Released in the summer of 1969, Hot Buttered Soul proved to be an enormous success, despite its unusual format. In addition to spending over a year on the R&B chart (and topping it for ten weeks), the LP peaked at No.8 on the Billboard 200, sold over a million copies.
And while the album garnered considerable acclaim upon its release, Hot Buttered Soul has only grown in significance over the decades. Pitchfork declared the album “A revolutionary classic of soul music,” while AllMusic hailed it as “An undeniably seminal record.” In 2020, Rolling Stone included the LP on their Greatest Albums of All Time list, calling it “An orchestral-soul watershed that forecast R&B’s turn toward symphonic excess and plush introspect.”
BERNIE GRUNDMAN ON THE ONE-STEP PROCESS