Thursday, August 14, 2008

Shaft Anthology CD: "What is it with this black shit?"

The other dark knight
It warms my brown heart to see Film Score Monthly's so concerned about us minority folks.

A week that began on a sad note with soul legend Isaac Hayes' death has climaxed with some awesome news about Hayes' most beloved contribution to film music. The folks at FSM have announced that in September, they will release the Shaft Anthology box set, which will mark two milestones: the first-ever release of the film versions of the Hayes/J.J. Johnson cues from the first Shaft installment's instrumental score (the 1971 Enterprise/Stax soundtrack album was a re-recording) and the first CD appearance of Gordon Parks' score from Shaft's Big Score, with additional tracks that were not part of the Shaft's Big Score LP.

As a fan of the music from the first Shaft movie and its two sequels, this limited-edition release excites me even more than FSM's mammoth, instantly out-of-print Superman: The Music box set from earlier this year. The three-CD anthology is also a cool way to honor Hayes' memory. According to FSM, the box set was actually long in the works and "was sent to the pressing plant for manufacturing three weeks prior to his death."

All that's missing from the box set is the soundtrack from the 1973 threequel Shaft in Africa, which was reissued by Hip-O Select a few years ago. FSM will substitute the Shaft in Africa tracks with score cues from the watered-down and wack Shaft TV series, which was best remembered for removing the "sex machine to all the chicks" side of Shaft's character, much like what producer Scott Rudin forced the filmmakers to do to the Samuel L. Jackson version of Shaft 27 years later.

As soon as I receive the Shaft box set, selections from the set will definitely be added to daily playlist rotation on the Fistful of Soundtracks channel.

If you have both a PC and a Netflix account like I do, the entire 1971 Shaft flick can be streamed for free here. If you wanna see Shaft instantly, ask your mama!

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