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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Shaft

Isaac Hayes

1971

Shaft
Album Summary

Shaft is a double album by Isaac Hayes, recorded for Stax Records' Enterprise label as the soundtrack LP for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's 1971 blaxploitation film Shaft. The album mostly consists of instrumentals composed by Hayes as score for the film. Three vocal selections are included: "Soulsville", "Do Your Thing", and "Theme from Shaft". A commercial and critical success, Shaft is Hayes' best-known work and the best-selling LP ever released on a Stax label.In 2014, the album was added to the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress for being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."

Wikipedia

Rating

3.22

Votes

10229
Genres
Soul
Funk
Jazz

Reviews

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Thu Jun 24 2021
2

Oh yeah. Quick aside, if soundtracks are allowed on this list, then where's Saturday Night Fever? Because Saturday Night Fever is a 5. Also, the Spotify link here does NOT include the entire album, it only allows you to hear 4 songs from the album. If you intend to listen to Spotify, make sure you listen to the remastered Deluxe Edition, which has all 16 songs. Theme from Shaft (the song) is an all-time classic. The rest? Well, it's not Saturday Night Fever. Since I was already familiar with the theme song, the rest of it made me a bit disappointed. It's fine overall. I'm not sure it belongs on the list. It could get kicked off to make room for, gee, I don't know...Saturday Night Fever maybe?

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Thu Apr 29 2021
3

Je me réveillai hier matin avec la même curiosité quotidienne : qu'allait me proposer aujourd'hui ce généreux générateur ? Mon doigt tapa soudain le lien de ce dernier dans la barre de recherche et, une fois ma critique de l'album précédent rédigée ainsi que les quelques étoiles attribuées, l'album Shaft apparut au milieu de l'écran. Je cliquai sur le lien Spotify lorsque je fus pris d'effroi ; seuls trois chansons étaient disponibles. YouTube fut dès lors ma seule alternative. Après quelques minutes d'écoute, la supercherie se découvrit progressivement : il s'agissait de la bande son d'un long-metrage. Je laissai échapper un long soupir amer. C'est désemparé que je poursuivis tout de même l'écoute. "Comment as-tu trouvé la musique ?" me demanderiez-vous si j'étais en face de vous. "Pas mal" vous répondrais-je avec assurance. J'ai seulement regretté les trop nombreuses similitudes avec la bande-son du film Amélie Poulain, personnage qui intervient d'ailleurs à de nombreuses reprises dans le morceau de 19 minutes. Une belle collaboration en somme.

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Mon Jun 14 2021
4

I mean, it's Shaft, right? Baby, if you can't groove on this at least a little bit, I don't know if we can jive, dig? This is prime, buttered funk. But ... well, it's a bit dated at this point, you know? For example, "Cafe Regio" sounds like it should be playing in an elevator at some resort in Miami. Still a great album filled with sick grooves, though.

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Thu Apr 29 2021
3

Vivement les 1001 comptines à écouter avant de s'endormir

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Wed Feb 23 2022
2

There is no way this album should be on this list to me. It’s not because I hate the music. The music is fine…for a soundtrack. You know…where there is a visual presentation ongoing simultaneously. This album is devoid of much meaning on its own. Admittedly, I’ve never seen Shaft. So maybe the album would feel more tactile if I had the memory of the action to harken back to while listening. From the sound, I can tell that songs like Ellie’s Love Theme and Early Sunday Morning fit the mood the song title implies. To me, an album shouldn’t be on this list if it is only impactful when paired with its movie. This album would be better fit for a list of movies with great soundtracks you must see/hear before you die, assuming it fits that mold. I’ve definitely had a vastly more profound negative visceral reaction to some other albums on the list (The Cramps, System of a Down I’m thinking of you), but at least I can understand how someone can get into them. This album it’s hard for me to understand how this is a go to listen for someone without the movie. And it does not do anything to make me want to see the movie either. I don’t get it.

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Mon Mar 15 2021
1

I see no reason to listen to these songs other than if you are actually watching the movie...

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Wed Feb 17 2021
3

This was a funky album. But also... my life doesn’t need to have shaft music in the background? I’m not a black man with an Afro wearing a purple coat and a Steve Harvey mustache...

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Fri Feb 12 2021
5

Gotta be my next find at the record store.

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Mon Jan 18 2021
5

Instantly a classic. Fucking phenomenal, soulful and yet the times of psychedelic rock start showing near the end.

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Sun Apr 04 2021
5

Amazing album overall can not believe it had such a cultural impact as the score for a film 4.8

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Wed Apr 21 2021
5

You know that Shaft is one bad mother... (Shut your mouth!) But I'm just talkin' about Shaft! (We can dig it)

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Tue Dec 14 2021
5

Such a soulful album. The use of horns and strings alternates between peeping you up and mellowing you out, much like Shaft himself when he’s on the job. I forgot how much gospel influence there is as well. Use of vocals is smart and timely without overdoing it. I loved this album!

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Tue Jul 06 2021
4

I was expecting this to be a "this is pretty good but not really my thing" type of review but I really ended up digging this. Do Your Thing is an epic jam. Most everything on here is ultra-groovy and funkalicious. 4 stars.

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Thu Jun 24 2021
4

Very cool 70's vibes, feels like this must've been what set the tone for this to be riffed off so much. Love the theme, the rest is good, but still a movie soundtrack. Bumping up to a 4 for the influence.

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Wed Jun 23 2021
4

Chef from South Park is such a smooth, sensual, caring lover. I often dress up as Shaft for children's parties. They love it. I love it.

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Wed Feb 23 2022
2

I feel bad giving this a 2 considering the cultural significance and the fact that the sound is perfectly pleasant. The problem for me lies in the fact that it was designed to be background to what was happening on screen. It is not designed or intended to be digested on it's own.

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Wed Feb 23 2022
2

Shaft was a bad mother (shut your mouth), but you wouldn't know if just from listening to Isaac Hayes' soundtrack. This album felt like chillin' in the jazz club, not chasing down some mobsters or risking his neck for his brother man. There were some cool guitar elements on "Cafe Regio's," but overall I was surprised by the lack of excitement, pace, and action implied in most of these instrumentals, you dig? Does most of the movie "Shaft" involve scenes of Shaft lying in bed relaxing with a good book or a post-coital cigarette? Or walking through the park on a sunny day? The energy finally picks up at the end of "No Name Bar," and "Do Your Thing" does a lot of different things, some of which are pretty great.

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Wed Feb 17 2021
1

I..what..I don't understand. Maybe it was just too sexy for me.

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Tue Mar 30 2021
5

Can you dig it? Best track: Theme from Shaft

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Thu Feb 04 2021
5

Never heard anything but the Shaft theme by Hayes. Some really good background vibing tunes.

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Thu Feb 18 2021
5

Knew and loved many of these tracks already. This was surprisingly fun to work to, and I expect I'll be coming back to it on occasion.

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Wed Apr 21 2021
5

soundtrack music is the best, why isn't there more

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Thu Jun 24 2021
5

Holy hell this album is groovy.

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Sun Jun 20 2021
5

Прекрасный саундтрек. Осталось посмотреть фильм.

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Sun Aug 29 2021
5

Funky, soulful and keeps it up for the whole double album (though it could be one disc if not for "Do Your Thing"). You can't go wrong with it.

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Sun Sep 19 2021
5

Spotify was missing about 9 songs from this album sadly. Still a wonderful album!

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Tue Sep 28 2021
5

The album that really shows the godlike genius that is Isaac Hayes. The arrangements are the equal of Per Sounds.

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Fri Nov 05 2021
5

Groovy as hell and smooth as a motherfucker

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Sat Nov 06 2021
5

Holy crap, Do Your Thing just GOES OFF. The rest of the album is pretty smooth and funky, but that track is GOLD.

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Tue Nov 09 2021
5

Excellent. Added to list of favorites

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Mon Nov 29 2021
5

Really fun album. Great score

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Thu Dec 02 2021
5

Awesome album. Classic for a reason.

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Tue Dec 14 2021
5

Anyone who doesn’t like this album doesn’t know 1) what great music is 2) how to have fun.

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Wed Dec 15 2021
5

Surprised by how much I’m enjoying these funky jams. Great music to focus on work to as well.

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Wed Dec 22 2021
5

I *love* this album. Every track. Sure, everybody knows the theme song, but the real good stuff is on the B side.

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Thu Jan 06 2022
5

Really awesome jazzy funk. Instant classic.

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Fri Jan 28 2022
5

Every. 👏🏼Fucking. 👏🏼 Track. 👏🏼

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Wed Feb 02 2022
5

Fun and groovy. Watch yo' mouth!

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Tue Mar 29 2022
5

Awesome soul/funk music. It’s weird to listen to Isaac Hayes because I always think of Chef from South Park, but the dude is legitimately talented. This album is a bop.

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Thu Apr 28 2022
5

A masterclass in soundtracks. Character-driven melodies and arrangements, so much pace and movement, long-form instrumentals and vocal pieces, and that chunky, solid full orchestral backing. Spot on.

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Thu Oct 26 2023
3

This was very entertaining, if not very engaging outside of the vocal tracks. Never seen the movie but I bet it's lots of fun! Love me some Isaac Hayes in general. RIP Richard Roundtree

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Thu Oct 26 2023
3

Before going any further, I salute Charles Pitt for ruling the wah-wah with a precision that puts alongside demi-machine Jaki Liebezeit - imagine that band! - and who led me on a short digression to The Isley Brother's It's Your Thing, where he plays one of those riffs that you could listen to for hours. I bought this album more than twenty years ago, and never had much time for it, title track aside. It's gorgeous as pure soundtrack, too much so: it's decorative, mise-en-scene, and therefore faintly anonymous - there's a style, personality, but barely any voice, melodies and riffs designed for ambience rather than focus. Cafe Regio's is a relaxing type I wouldn't mind spending an afternoon in a bar with. The near 20-minute Do Your Thing is the standout oddity, and might be close to the Can-collaboration I imagined earlier: I like it a lot, though I cannot remember any particular moments from it as I type this. Anonymity strikes again. This is the second double-album in a row that we've been dealt, and I note that this passes a lot quicker and easier than Ryan Adams' grand statement of nothing.

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Thu Jan 18 2024
3

5/10 - 3/5 I was surprised to see a soundtrack come up. It sounds pretty good, but it does just end up being background music. I struggled to stay present and invested.

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Sun Jan 07 2024
2

Album 281 of 1001 Issac Hayes - Shaft Rating : 2 / 5 Aside from the theme song, this is nothing but background music. No songs to be found here.

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Thu Apr 28 2022
5

Every bit as cool as its reputation – and maybe even cooler. “Do Your Thing” is elevated and epic – just about as good as rock/soul/pop music can be. The title track completely unmistakable, truly one of a kind The instrumentals work every bit as well as those cuts where the nonpareil voice (casual, knowing) comes. Awesome in every way as it can be. 4.8 / 5

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Mon May 16 2022
5

Along with 1993, the 1001 randomizer has recently gifted me with soundtracks. This one I have actually heard before. It is a double album and mostly instrumental and was scored by Isaac Hayes. The album was #1 on the charts, had a #1 song on the charts and won an academy award. It incorporated using R&B and soul into a soundtrack and was highly successful. Due to this, it had a huge influence on both soundtracks and R&B music (Curtis Mayfield, Marvin Gaye). Hayes recorded the rhythym tracks with the Stax Studio band The Bar-Kays in one day, the orchestral tracks the next day and then the vocals on the third day. The songs were later re-recorded at Stax Studios. This album is one of those added to National Recording Registry by The Library of Congress for being culturally, historically or aesthetically significant. The album starts out with iconic "Theme from Shaft". Got to love the intro with guitar and cymbals. For the next set of songs, it sounds like a soundtrack, with Hayes doing a great job combining jazzy guitar and rhythm with horns and strings to sound like a cinematic score. A great song in this set is "Cafe Regio's." The ability of Hayes to do this should come as no surprise if you've ever listen to his "Hot Buttered Soul" from 1969. The second half of this album is where it really takes off and separates itself from other soundtracks; I did think I was listening to "Hot Buttered Soul." It starts with "Soulsville" which is one the few songs with vocals. Next is "No Name Bar" with a great groove mixing in horns and strings and then "Bumpy Blues" with its piano and bluesy feel. And then...the highlight for me " Do Your Thing" which is a total R&B, soul and psychedelic jam. At 19 minutes long it didn't seem long enough. The guitar solo alone is epic, seemingly clocking in at 10 minutes. Who doesn't also love an organ solo? The song ends in like a psychedelic haze.... Amazing. The album ends with an instrumental of the "Shaft" theme. It's been awhile since I've seen the movie but after listening to this, I need to see where all these songs fit in.

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Fri Jul 08 2022
5

Even though most of this is instrumental, it is fantastic. I love the Theme from Shaft.

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Thu Jul 28 2022
5

This is great walking around the city music

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Mon Aug 29 2022
5

five stars, for a brother man

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Wed Sep 07 2022
5

Awesome awesome album. One of the first on this list I agree with!

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Mon Sep 26 2022
5

I’ve never seen the movie Shaft, but I do remember watching the Academy Awards the night that Isaac Hayes won 2 Oscars - one for the now legendary theme song & one for the best dramatic score. Hayes was a mainstay of Stax Records during the 60’s - a great musician & composer and he had started a solo career in 1968. Four solo albums preceded Shaft but there’s no doubt that his career peaked with the soundtrack. Hardly surprising. A double album, it is thoroughly engaging, whether you’ve seen the film or not. It is soulful, funky and jazzy. Hayes enlisted the great Stax band The Bar-Kays to provide the instrumentation. I listened to the album from go to whoa & loved it. Here was a man who was only the 3rd Black American to win an Oscar, with a style of music that the Academy had never celebrated before. And 25 years before Salty Balls.

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Tue Oct 18 2022
5

9/10. This was really nice, an improvement on the other Isaac Hayes album by virtue of the fact he is singing a bit more sparsely

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Wed Jan 11 2023
5

Interesting to have a soundtrack on this list - most of the tracks are instrumental and it's very easy to imagine them as background pieces. I've not seen Shaft the movie, but am aware of it's cult. As for the music, it's insanely groovy - itchy guitar hooks aplenty; deliciously mellow at times. I've always felt Isaac Hayes was like a much cooler Barry White. Such a shame that he fell in with the Scientologists; for South Park to offer a tender tribute rather than an all-out character assassination speaks volumes. A fantastic composition.

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Tue Jan 17 2023
5

It's a soundtrack, so it's literally designed to be background music... ...but, this is Isaac Hayes, so I'm totally unsurprised that 'Shaft' rules. Putting aside the iconic theme song, the other pieces are the audio equivalent of an indulgent dessert - there's a delicious voluptuary about the arrangements. Plus, this is pungent music, invoking particular times, moods and atmospheres with ease. Of course, it wouldn't be Hayes if there wasn't a track jammed out to last almost one side of vinyl. Here, it's 'Do Your Thing', a kickass hunk of soul-funk with one of the sickest guitar solos around. It's the Blaxploitation 'Freebird'!

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Tue Feb 14 2023
5

Spotify doesn't have the entire album but from what i heard it's fantastic.

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Fri Apr 21 2023
5

Why the hell did they go so fucking hard for a movie sound track? Perfect background music for almost anything.

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Mon May 01 2023
5

10/10 while it is a tad repetitive, it’s far too iconic and innovative for me to give this anything less than what it deserves

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Mon May 08 2023
5

They say this cat Shaft is a bad mother (Shut your mouth) But I'm talkin' 'bout Shaft (Then we can dig it) So good. One of the pillars of the Stax sound, and deserves to be on a top 100 list. 5/5

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Wed Jun 07 2023
5

It gets a 5 just for the Theme song. Can ya dig it?

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Sun Jul 02 2023
5

I owned this album in vinyl, having purchased it in a used record store sometime in the early 90s. I came for the title track, but stayed for the funky variety of songs on a pretty incredible soundtrack. A masterpiece of 70s movie soundtracks!

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Sun Jul 02 2023
5

Funky and soulful. The apparent blueprint for all cop show scores of the 1970s. I felt like I was listening to an episode of Charlie's Angels.

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Sun Jul 02 2023
5

An album well worth the time. My first listen of the full album and I have no complaints at all. Can you dig it?

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Sun Jul 02 2023
5

There aren't many soundtrack albums in this project, but if I were to guess one that would be on the list, it would be this...even though I've never listened to it aside from the incredible theme song. This is wonderful music!

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Wed Jul 19 2023
5

Super soulful. I really like the keys and the strings through the first half of the album. There are tracks through the middle that spend more time featuring the guitar, horns and sax which are excellent. Spectacular bass lines throughout. I haven't seen this movie, but if it's as good as the soundtrack I have to watch it. 4.5/5, rounded up Fave tracks: Theme from Shaft, Soulsville, No Name Bar, Do Your Thing

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Fri Oct 06 2023
5

You could tell Isaac Hayes had a massive “shaft” the whole time while making this straight heat.

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Fri Oct 13 2023
5

Funky AF. Cool as hell. Some of the tracks are a little dull to sit down and listen to, but that's explained entirely by it being incidental music to a fillum. The highs beat out the lows though, hands down.

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Thu Oct 19 2023
5

LET"S FUCKIN GOOOOO. Gotta watch this movie. Do your thing goes so hard

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Fri Oct 20 2023
5

I'm just disappointed that not all tracks were available on Spotify.

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Fri Dec 01 2023
5

Vele malen geparodieerd, nooit geëvenaard (kon niet nalaten om ook even de hilarische parodie op het genre te herkijken, 'De kracht van Schagt'). Wah-wah-gitaren, koortjes, violen, een orgeltje, en nietsontziende percussie: het is voor de foute jaren zeventig-detective wat de electrische gitaar en jazz-blazers zijn voor James Bond en de harmonica voor de Western. Onverwoestbaar. En dat dan vier plaatkanten lang. Waarom dacht je dat Isaac Hayes karakter bij South Park 'Chef' heet...

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Tue Dec 12 2023
5

Took this at face value as a soulful jazz record with a couple of bangers thrown in, and it did not disappoint. A few reviews seem to have been foxed by the word soundtrack and failed to do that, it's still music, it's hardly a series of incidental pieces. Beyond the obvious, No Name Bar and Cafe Regio's stuck out. And the 20 minutes long funk Do Your Thing is just outstanding. The longer it goes, the better it gets. An easy 5 in the end. Thoroughly enjoyed from start to finish.

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Thu Dec 21 2023
5

Schade das bei Spotify so viele Tracks fehlen. Isaac Hayes is nämlich geil.

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Mon Dec 25 2023
5

Great soundtrack! Isaac Hayes rules!

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Sun Dec 31 2023
5

Not much to say here: iconic soundtrack album with vintage IH soul music. Can be listened without the movie - in particular the 19 minute jam at the end is great.

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Thu Jan 11 2024
5

I liked this album very much, both the instrumentals and the vocals. I have always liked the theme song.

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Wed Jan 24 2024
5

Looooooved it, absolute vibe

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