Isaac Hayes – Shaft – Music from the Soundtrack (Stax Super 2659 007) (1971)

“Mr. Hayes?” Jerry Goldberg poked his head in his boss’s office/composition room to deliver some good news. “Joel Freeman sent a letter confirming your involvement in the soundtrack of his new film about a black private detective called Phallus.”

“Excellent,” Isaac burred. “Does he give any specs?”

“A few. Shall I read them?”


“Well, Joel says here he wants it to sound like fairly smooth soul music, nothing too syncopated, with a few Bacharach moves. You will want to use strings and wide-ranging musical colorations on some tracks to presage the disco movement by half a decade.”

“I can do that.”

“He also says he wants it to sound nothing like your brilliant southern soul work for Sam & Dave, et al.”

“No problem.”

“Finally, he’s included lyrics for the ‘Theme from Phallus’ which he’d like you to tidy up as you see fit.”

As he spoke, Jerry handed a sheet of paper to Isaac.

This is what it read:

Who’s the African-American private investigator
That’s physically attractive to a variety of women?
You’re darn tootin’

Who is the man
That would demonstrate bravery for other African-Americans?
Are you understanding what I’m saying?

Who’s the gentleman that isn’t afraid
Of any impending disaster?
That’s exactly right.

Understand, Phallus is a d-amned– 
(Reconsider that phrase)
But I’m discussing Phallus
(Then we can understand what you’re saying)

He’s a multi-faceted character
But no one understands him other than his good-lady wife
(John Phallus)

After he finished reading, Isaac set the paper down on his desk, leaned back in his chair and said, “Needs work.”

“But I do like the Greek-inspired, stereotype-fullfilling name,” he added brightly.

Editor: In what must surely be the greatest twist of logic ever to grace Thrifty V, I include the above Lp on the grounds that I exchanged it (and others, more of which later) at the used records stall in the Hythe Malt House for albums I’ve thrifted (including some featured here).

Published in: on June 9, 2012 at 6:44 pm  Comments (4)  

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Classic – the LP and the skit.

  2. asbo, are you a “shaft” completist? i’ve caught that particular bug and now have at least 30 cover versions… and counting!

  3. One’s enough for me, thanks. 🙂

  4. […] pretty weak solo catalogue, it is a surprisingly engaging listen; better than the overly-lauded Shaft soundtrack I would have said. Rhythm by The Movement, strings by The Memphis Symphony Orchestra. […]

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