Baby I Know You’re Uptight, But Try and Relax A Minute…

Wouldn’t it be cool if he was throwing up a Bloods hand signal in this photo?


Only Isaac Hayes can turn a sweet, sexless, wedding-reception Billy Joel composition into a lets-get-busy song. Particularly amazing about this track from his 1978 album For the Sake of Love is the spoken intro.

After reading a Dear John letter from the lady he’s wronged, presumably by sleeping around on her,  Isaac woos her back with several persuasive retorts: “Sometimes when a man is wrapped up in so much love and affection he can easily become spoiled and take things for granted.” So basically, it’s her fault he treats her bad because she loved him down so good. Concerning his wandering eye: “Sometimes I might even look at another nice-looking lady in passing-but it ain’t about nuthin’-if I didn’t have an eye for beauty, than how could I justify my adoration for you?” I love his logic. 

It gets redundant once he gets into the song, so I faded it out after the first verse. It’s all about the intro anyway. 

Just The Way You Are

Isaac Hayes and Dionne Warwick released a live double-album in 1977 called A Man and A Woman. I think pretty much people hate this record because it’s not very funky. It can be pretty schmaltzy at times, but I have a fondness for their Burt Bacharach/Hal David duets. Warwick had 33 Bacharach/David hits, and Hayes is perhaps best known for “Walk On By” off of Hot Buttered Soul. Here they marry “I Just Don’t Know What to Do With Myself” with “Walk On By” to great effect.

I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself/Walk On By

Here’s a hot and slinky Isaac Hayes-penned hit for Dionne from 1979. I just love her vocal style, she exhibits such restraint in her phrasing. 

Deja Vu

Hayes also teamed up with Millie Jackson, who got a reputation for being nasty because she wrote a lot of nasty songs and sang them even nastier in her live, “uncensored” performances. Here’s a sweet track off their collaboration Royal Rappin’s.

Sweet Music, Soft Lights, and You

More Millie Jackson, off of her 1980 album I Had to Say It, plus the live version off her Live and Outrageous (Rated XXX) album. It gets credit for being the first rap song by a woman. It’s not that offensive, but if you’re a white woman either dating or married to a black man, you might want to skip it. Millie is not down with miscegenation.

I Had To Say It

I Had to Say It (live)


One response to “Baby I Know You’re Uptight, But Try and Relax A Minute…

  1. Great post, gentlebear. Bacharach/David ; Dionne warwick ; Isaac Hayes – how could you go wrong ?

    I haven’t heard this 1977 album, so thanks immensely. The first medley sounds absolutely fantastic!

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