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The soul-and funk-oriented song was issued as a single two months after the film premiere and won first place in the Billboard Hot 100 in America. In the Dutch Top 40reached "Theme from Shaft" a thirteenth place. In 1971 Hayes for the song received an Academy Award for best original song.
In 2000 told Hayes on a US radio station that he consented only with writing a movie number for the film Shaft when he also auditioned for the lead role should do.Hayes, however, would never audition. Director Gordon Parks also had his say about the song. He provided a description of John Shaft to let the movie audience to identify with detective Shaft:
... the black private dick/who's a sex machine to all the chicks ...
...He's a complicated man/but no one understands him but his woman//John Shaft...
The song falls into the blaxploitationgenre, whereby the text quite happened to racially. As a result, when the FOX Network prevailed for long time doubts whether the text from the episode One Fish, Two Fish, Blowfish, Blue Fish of The Simpsons had to be removed. In the episode Bart and Lisa Simpson doing a karaoke version of the song in a Japanese restaurant. There were also many other parodies of the number in series such as The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, The X-Files and Sesame Street (thecookie monster's Cookie Disco ). The song was also used in one series of Bassie en Adriaan.
"Theme from Shaft" opens with a sixteenth note rhythm of the hi-hat. In the opening is also the electric guitar is prominent which for a Wah-Waheffect allows, a feature for the 70 's music. Hayes plays on the keyboard.
The song text is about John Shafts image, guts and erotic appeal. The main vocals of Hayes are assisted by a trio of female singers. A well known piece from the text is the following conversation:
Hayes: They say this cat Shaft is a bad mother (...) Chorus: SHUT YOUR MOUTH! Hayes: I'm talkin' ' bout Shaft. Chorus: THEN WE CAN DIG It!
"Theme from Shaft" in the Dutch Top 40[Edit]Edit
|Theme from Shaft -in the Dutch Top 40 in week 49 of 1971|