02/12/2014 Names "Super Fly" One of the Top 40 Movie Soundtracks That Changed Alternative Music

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Super Fly (1972)

Curtis Mayfield's unabashedly beautiful, poignantly righteous, and certainly superior soundtrack to the low-budget 1972 blaxploitation film Super Fly created a genre all its own — one in which, says Alicia Keys, the pain and longing of ghetto life "swells and flows." Its iconic wocka-wocka guitar riffs, Greek-chorus strings, and sizzling hi-hat cymbals are all over lounge-funk smoothies from modern funkateers like Shawn Lee ("Greg's Theme") and Thievery Corporation (whose Eric Hilton lauds Mayfield's "beauty" and "revolutionary spirit"). The title track's bass line and rototom percussion have been sampled by the Beastie Boys, Ice-T, Geto Boys, Nelly, and the Notorious B.I.G.; the "Pusherman" bass line can be heard in "King Animal" by Soundgarden, just one Seattle grunge combo among many to claim his influence. R.G.

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