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Isaac Hayes – Shaft (1971)

August 30, 2015

Summer Soundtrack Week

Day One: Superfly

Day Two: So I Married an Axe Murderer

Day Three: A Hard Day’s Night

Day Four: Back to the Future

Day Five: Shaft


[Album 420/1001]

Why youtube can be fantastic:220px-Shaft_cover

Newsradio is among my favourite sitcoms.

In the first season, there was an episode where the news director (Dave Foley) was asked by his boss (Stephen Root) to give one person a $3,000 bonus, most of the staff a $400 bonus, and one unlucky employee a bonus of $0.  That dreaded $0 bonus was better known as the Shaft.

There’s a fun bit at the 11 minute mark where Phil Hartman and Joe Rogan’s characters begin quoting the theme from Shaft, much to the chagrin of Andy Dick’s reporter character (and typical shaft recipient) Matthew.

Thank you Tubes of You!



Why youtube can be frustrating:

I couldn’t find a physical copy of the Shaft soundtrack and so I once again turned to the world wide web.

Take a look at this version I found:




The ads were excessive and curiously placed (TD Bank really seemed to think that Shaft soundtrack streamers are a key demographic).  Without exaggerating, the adverts were about 10x the volume of the instrumental pieces that led into the commercial breaks, making it a free, but far from ideal listening experience.

I did not dig it.


Why libraries are amazing:

My local library system came through with the Shaft DVD.  And it was great!

Really enjoyed the film and the songs & score make much more sense in the context of the movie.  The Isaac Hayes music enhanced the Shaft experience, helping to establish the early-70s setting in some not-so-tourist-friendly parts of NYC.

As for the title character, he may be a complicated man but I certainly understand Shaft’s appeal.

If I see the Shaft soundtrack, I may or may not invest in a physical copy.

But am I likely to borrow the movie again from my wonderful local library?

Damn right!

From → 1970s

  1. jprobichaud permalink

    Oh, Shaft, he’s such a complicated man…

    • I’m talkin bout Shaft!

    • Ah shite, didn’t notice you ended your party with that bit!

      I was going to buy a reissue of this but apparently the stereo is the wrong way round so I didn’t. Even though I’m not quite sure if that even matters… what do you think?

      • Your post! Haha not your party. I really shouldn’t use my phone to comment.

      • My party, I can dig it!
        Good question on the inverted stereo, I’ve never heard of that, I’d imagine all the parts should still be audible?
        I enjoyed so much of the film’s dialogue that now that I’ve seen it, I don’t know if I’d appreciate the music-only soundtrack as much without his zingers!

      • Yes, that’s a good point about the dialogue. I did hear the album years ago but I can’t remember much about it other than a few tracks. I’m more familiar with the film.

        I could see how the stereo might annoy you if you’ve heard the album loads (and especially on headphones). But I’m not that familiar so… I really don’t know! It put me off cause it made the reissue seem shoddy but maybe it’s not that big a deal? Hmm… Maybe I’m being too complicated about it!

      • HMO, much like the title character, you’re a complicated man!

  2. You are one wise Caucasian, Geoff!

  3. Ach, shame you couldn’t get your hands on a copy of this one, but I tend to agree that it may be a bit lost without the dialogue. Maybe.

    The film is truly great, though. No idea what they were thinking when they remade it a while back!

    • Haven’t seen the remake yet, doesn’t sound like I should be in any rush to do so!

      • Nope. In fact, I dare say you need never see it …

  4. Shaft and Superfly–two of my all-time favorite soundtracks!

  5. Damn, usually the Tubes of You are better than that. Alas. I still think if you see the soundtrack for cheap, snag it!

    I love the music. It’s Isaac friggin’ Hayes, man! So good. Nice pick!

  6. You need the double vinyl!

  7. I love the theme song! Such great musicians! I think I still have my copy of this movie in my collection.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

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  4. 1971 | 1001albumsin10years

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