My attempt to blog all of the entries from the book 1001 Albums to Hear Before You Die
Brief Background: Shaft is the soundtrack to the 1971 film of the same name. The theme song was originally written by Hayes after he was told he would receive a chance to audition for the lead part if the song materialized. Hayes went on to write the rest of the soundtrack in-between tour dates, even though he was duped into coming up with the song. Hayes is backed on the album by The Bar-Kays.
What I think:
I’ve never really been a fan of the wah-wah style funk the “Shaft Theme” is built around and was kind of weary about listening to this album. It turns out I had nothing to worry about. The songs on this album are wonderful pieces of instrumental soul that are often times mellow and really beautiful. As a complete surprise to me the soundtrack may even be a bit too soft and slow. Although it does have some great upbeat tunes as well in “Shaft’s Cab Ride”, the insanely catchy “Be Yourself” , the pure soul of “Bumpy’s Blues” and twenty minute master piece “Do Your Thing”.
I have now learned not to doubt Mr. Hayes as I’ve been burned twice. And while Hot Buttered Soul may be better as a whole piece, this album does a marvelous job of bringing that Stax/Memphis soul sound into the ’70s on solid ground.
Do I agree or disagree with the writers as to this being an album you must listen to? I 100% agree that this album should be here. Not only is the music great, but for better or worse you can really start to hear that disco sound coming out of the title track. The high hat and drum part are the blueprint for one of the music musical trends to ever hit.
Rating (Out of 5): 5
Shaft Amazon Review (Out of 5): 5
Is this my first time hearing this album? Yes (177/222)
Percentage of Albums that are new to me: 80%