Monday, January 23, 2012

The biggest Shaft of all in the illest retro CD packaging of all

The word on the street is There's Something About Mary originally had a poster where Ben Stiller posed just like Richard Roundtree, except he was holding his peen instead of a walking stick. 20th Century Fox scrapped the poster for being too lewd and fluids-y.
Honey, someone shrunk the Shaft LP.
Because I changed the title of A Fistful of Soundtracks' default block from "Assorted Fistful" to "AFOS Prime" last week, I've had to painstakingly search through the "AFOS Prime" mp3 library for every single track that contains an "Assorted Fistful" sweeper and delete each of them from "AFOS Prime." Then I've had to go back into my CD collection, re-rip many of the tracks I deleted from "AFOS Prime," replace the parts of the tracks that were previously occupied by "Assorted Fistful" sweepers with new intros (most of them are just movie or TV trailer audio clips) and re-upload those tracks to "AFOS Prime."

And I'm having a blast! Seriously, no, I'm not.

So far, the only thing about the above tasks that's been nice is revisiting Hip-O Select/Geffen's now-out-of-print Shaft in Africa soundtrack CD because I dig its retro packaging (Hip-O Select/Geffen packaged their 2004 reissue of the Willie Dynamite soundtrack in the same fashion as well). I had to pull out the Shaft in Africa CD from the cabinets where I store my soundtrack CDs because the tracks that I ripped a few years ago from that disc, including Johnny Pate's "Shaft in Africa (Addis)," which was most memorably sampled by Just Blaze in Jay-Z's "Show Me What You Got," contain now-outdated sweepers.

In 2005, the 1973 LP for the threequel that MGM declared "The biggest Shaft of all in the hottest place of all" made its debut on CD as part of the limited-edition Hip-O Select series of Universal Music Group-owned album reissues that are available only through Hip-O's site. The CD packaging was simple and not-so-flashy but inspired. Instead of sticking the CD in a jewel case, Hip-O recreated the LP packaging--they didn't mess with the Shaft in Africa cover's original typefaces or its ABC Records emblems or its washed-out-looking color scheme and they even brought back the inner sleeve--and shrunk the cardboard sleeve and inner sleeve to CD size. It looks like something I unearthed during a crate-digging session at the used LP section of a CD store, except it somehow wound up in a washer and dryer that were being used incorrectly like in some bad sitcom or an old cartoon, and it shrunk along with all the other clothes.

The "CD-Sized Album Replica" packaging appears to be eco-friendly too. Why don't more labels package their reissues on CD like this?

Vinyl is awesome, but I hate how much space vinyl takes up (my music collection currently consists of only CDs, mp3s or AACs). I'm like an anti-hoarder. I try to make my carbon footprint as small as possible, so I rejoiced when albums became downloadable. I love how music, movie and TV show formats have gotten smaller and smaller so that the content on those formats can be carried around in your pockets now.

I've been thinking lately about venturing into club or lounge DJing. Ever since I got myself my first MacBook last month, I've been adding onto its iTunes so many mixes, including Paul Nice's Do You Pick Your Feet in Poughkeepsie? mixtape and DJ sets from props, SFNY and Sweater Funk. Listening to those mixes nonstop on my MacBook Pro has made me want to someday become a DJ like Nice, props, his SFNY cohorts and the Sweater Funk members. If I end up doing that kind of DJing, I'm so going to enjoy carrying around all those damn records.

1 comment:

  1. I to loved this LP, and the packaging was fantastic, I would love to see other LP's inc. Blaxploitation soundtracks given this kind of well thought through reissue