What’s the #1 hit single that broke all the rules by taking nearly two minutes to get to the first vocal?
Who’s the subject of the Oscar-winning jam with the most instantly recognizable wah-wah guitar & hi-hat pattern ever recorded?
What’s the song that has perhaps the most parodied lyric ever recorded?
You know what? That “Theme from Shaft” song is a bad motherfucker.
I’m talking about “Shaft.”
Not even intended to be a single, “Theme From Shaft” rides the momentum from Willie Hall’s unstoppable hi-hat (which has to be somewhat derived from Tony Williams’ incredible work on Miles Davis “Shh/Peaceful”) and Charles Pitts wah-wah for what feels like a lifetime until Isaac Hayes finally breaks the tension with maybe one of the greatest opening verses ever written.
Who’s the black private dick
Who’s a sex machine to all the chicks?
You’re damn right
As if to distract you from the dizzying layers of entendres, the drums have dropped into a ridiculously funky double-time, and entire galaxies of strings and horns have popped in and wandered out of the mix, only to be subdued by the ever-present wah-wah guitar.
Finally, after Hayes has finished extolling the virtues of John Shaft, Private Dick (huh-huh), the whole song just implodes upon itself with an exploding car crash of strings with only the wah-wah surviving.
“Theme From Shaft”
“Theme From Shaft” performed at the Oscars, 1972
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