By Rashad Grove
Craft Recordings has announced a new deluxe reissue of Isaac Hayes’ Grammy Award-winning album Shaft.
Set for a June 14th street date and limited to 5,000 copies worldwide, the two-CD collection will offer the newly remastered, classic soundtrack—originally released in 1971—plus all of the original music from the film, which did not appear on the best-selling LP. In-depth liner notes from Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson round out the set. A single-disc version consisting of only the remastered soundtrack will also be available.
In the liner notes of the deluxe reissue, Roots co-founder Questlove writes that the film “was the Big Bang of African American movies…It was Year Zero for the Blaxploitation movement. It was the blast center.” While Shaft was a game-changer, Isaac Hayes’ compositions for the film helped set the stage for countless scores to follow. Questlove elaborates, “Shaft did many things. What it did, most of all, was cement the relationship between African American movies and African American music. Every Blaxploitation film that followed, whether it was a straight crime story, a feminist rewrite, a comedy, or even a horror movie, had an accompanying soundtrack by an artist trying to put the black experience on wax.”
Both a commercial and critical success, Shaft—Music From The Soundtrack remains Isaac Hayes’ best-known and best-selling album. The groundbreaking title—which, upon its release, was already setting a record as the very first double album of original studio material from an R&B artist—became an instant success. Shaft spent 60 weeks on the Billboard 200 chart, peaking at Number One, while “Theme From Shaft” went to Number One on the Hot 100 singles chart. Hayes took home three Grammy Awards for the album and its songs in 1972, and an Academy Award® for “Best Original Song” for “Theme From Shaft,” becoming the first African American to win an Oscar in a non-acting category. The classic track has been sampled by N.W.A., Big Daddy Kane, Jay-Z and many more. In 2014, Shaft—Music From The Soundtrack was inducted into the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress for being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”
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