Writer and soul singer known for his smooth voice, Isaac Hayes’ 1972 album cover, entitled Black Moses, came rather as a welcome surprise to impress for its creativity. Musically, the album was winner of a third Grammy for Hayes, for “Best Pop Instrumental Performance,” after his successful “Best Original Score” and “Best Movie Theme” for the movie “Shaft,” just a year before.
The cover initially appears ordinary, with Hayes’ face in closeup wearing classic shades, standing before a body of water. The reverse is a single stone tablet imprinted with production and song details mimicking it’s biblical counterpart. Fairly Moses-like, I’d say.
But the coup de grâce is the fold-out cover that accompanies it.
With a repeat of Hayes face, you get the feeling there’s a second album inside a second cover. If that’s what you think, like me, you would be wrong.
The cover opens to reveal a 3 foot by 4 foot, color replica of “Black Moses” on the one side, and a color photo of the bare-chested Hayes centered above it on the reverse.
Flanked by one tablet on each side, Hayes’ picture sits above a full two-page bio. The biography by Senior Editor, Chester Higgins of Jet Magazine, in an old world style font, details Hayes life in a creative storytelling style.
Phrases like, “and so it came to pass that…” give the bio that King James sort of feeling.
Lest you believe that those who heard 70s music for themselves are the only ones who knew Isaac Hayes, in more recent years, he was the voice of “Chef” for Comedy Central’s “South Park,” series until his 2006 departure when the script conflicted with his religious beliefs.
The talented Hayes passed away in 2008, leaving behind great music, a notable voice and luckily some spectacularly creative album cover art.