Various Artists

The Best of Shaft

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What can you say? Here is a brilliant collection by Universal's Hip-O imprint, that assembles 16 wonderfully remastered, burning cuts from the Shaft trilogy: Shaft, Shaft's Big Score, and Shaft in Africa. While the latter two films may not have been as great as Gordon Parks' original, much of the music was, as evidenced here. Not only are there two takes of "Theme from Shaft" (Isaac Hayes' smash hit, and Bernard Purdie's killer instrumental version), but two different versions of "Are You Man Enough," by the Four Tops; one is an extended mix for the end credits. Hayes has two other entries here, the hip vocal "Soulsville," and the moody psychedelic funk of "Do Your Thing," and a couple of other instrumental cues. There are a load of smoking cues by Johnny Pate as well, and killer instrumental funk jams by him, making this essential listening for any fan of the movies or down-and-dirty-grooved soundtracks.

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