Isaac Hayes's distinctively syncopated rhythm tracks and lavishly orchestrated arrangements helped lay the stylistic foundation for what would become known as disco, and in 1976, the Memphis soulman jumped headfirst into the new dance craze with Groove-a-thon for his short-lived Hot Buttered Soul label. Perhaps he was premature, as the 12-inch single format that came to characterize the disco era--and would have proven ideal for the sensual "Rock Me Easy Baby" and tour-de-force title track--had not yet been introduced. The album thus "undeservedly" fell "into historical neglect," as Stax historian Rob Bowman puts it in his meticulously researched booklet notes, but with this CD reissue, it stands up well for reevaluation as a true masterpiece of soul. It includes "Wish You Were Here (You Ought to Be Here)," one of the most gorgeous ballads of Hayes's prolific songwriting career.
with Lester Snell, Sidney Kirk, Michael Toles, William Vaughn, Charles Pitts, Anthony Shinault, Erroll Thomas, Willie Hall, Willie Cole, Hot Buttered Soul, and others