Isaac Hayes ‘Shaft’ Among Most Influential Soundtracks

The musical genius of Isaac Hayes and other producers behind the 1971 soundtrack for the film “Shaft” is yet again being recognized. According to Turner Classic Movies, the hit soundtrack is among fifteen of the most influential movie soundtracks ever. Joining ‘Psycho,’ ‘Goldfinger,’ and ‘Saturday Night Fever,’ ‘Shaft’ lands just below ‘Star Wars’ on the list, revealed Wednesday. Chiming in on the list, Rap artist and actor Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, who worked with Isaac Hayes on the film Hustle & Flow, said Hayes’ Oscar®-winning work on the movie Shaft continues to be influential. “The soundtrack to Shaft was more than music being laid onto a film,” said Ludacris. “It was the actual credible atmosphere of the film. Isaac Hayes made you feel the relevance of black music culture within the film with his choice of sounds, instrumentals and words.” ‘Shaft’ has also impacted works from today’s producers, including Ludacris. “When I make songs specifically for films, I want them to have the kind of impact the music did for Shaft,” says the rapper/producer. “It defined the film and the times. It was a black film, black music and black culture in perfect balance.” According to Turner, several aspects were considered when selecting the 15 most influential film soundtracks, including the impact they have had on how music is used onscreen to tell a story and on the methodology of song selection.


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