There are some songs that you feel you know inside out. They are the definitive version. Dionne Warwick's version of the Bacharach And David classic 'Walk On By' is one of those tunes. Or it was until I heard another version.
Isaac Hayes had been one half of a successful songwriting team for Stax with David Porter, writing songs such as Soul Man and Hold On I'm Coming for Sam And Dave. In 1967 he'd released his first album 'Presenting Isaac Hayes' which pretty much flopped. A return to writing and producing was on the cards. Then following the death of it's major star Otis Redding and the sale of it's back catalogue to Atlantic Records, Stax needed records and fast. Isaac Hayes was one of the people asked to produce an album. Having seen his first album flop Hayes wanted complete control over his next album or he wouldn't do it.
Hot Buttered Soul was the result. And it opened with a 12 minute version of 'Walk On By' which is a monster orchestral funk jam of completely epic proportions. If you feel the song is overly familiar to you then listen to this. It completely tears up the blueprint and turns it into something else entirely.
I must have heard this song a million times, hey I've heard Isaac's version countless times too. But it still surprises me.
Remember: turn it up!
Isaac Hayes - Walk On By
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