Theme from Shaft – Isaac Hayes

Australian Charts:
Theme from Shaft peaked at no 10 on the Go-Set National Top 40 on 26 February 1972.

Isaac Hayes told National Public Radio that he had only agreed to write and record the Shaft score after the film’s producer, Joel Freeman, promised him an audition for the lead role, which was taken by a then-unknown Richard Roundtree. Hayes, who also had no acting experience, never got the chance to audition but kept his end of the deal anyway

This is the theme song to the 1971 movie Shaft, starring Richard Roundtree as a Harlem detective hired by a mob boss to find his kidnapped daughter. Written, produced and arranged by Hayes, the song establishes Shaft as one bad mother who thrives on danger and doesn’t give up. He’s also “a sex machine to all the chicks,” making him sort of a black James Bond. Thanks in large part to the song, it became an iconic character.


This song is also on our Spotify playlist.

Bang a Gong song list

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