One of the greatest things that a musical genius could do is to compose a movie soundtrack. This was done by many artists in the 1970’s, artists like Quincy Jones, Curtis Mayfield, and of course Roy Ayers. When most of these jazz, soul, funk masters incorporated their musical talents into the realm of film, the results were always fantastic, and Isaac Hayes‘ score and composition to the film Three Tough Guys is no different.
Isaac Hayes is known for his smooth soulful ballads and his extremely deep voice, but his skills as a composer is what makes him most impressive. What is also worth noting when discussing Isaac Hayes is that his music is not limited to soul, and the Tough Guys soundtrack is a testament to that.
Throughout the soundtrack, Isaac shows his versatility by featuring songs that cover multiple genres, but what makes this soundtrack stand out from most of Isaac’s other works is that there is a heavy jazz sound that permeates many of the compositions. There is a great deal of improvisation and soloing on many songs, and others have a steady swing that can be identified as a jazzy sound. Other songs have his trademark soul and funk breaks, and while Isaac is a more than accomplished vocalist, he doesn’t do much singing on this album.
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Isaac’s strong point has always been his instrumentation and is ability to incorporate an entire orchestra into his music while still giving it a true soulful sound. He was definitely unique, as he is credited as the producer, arranger, composer, and conductor on this project, something that few musicians could pull off. All things considered, this project is one of Isaac’s best works, and his legacy is truly one of a kind, and his music surely is a reflection of that.
Let’s not forget to mention that Isaac Hayes starred in this particular movie as well. Here is the trailer for Three Tough Guys. (Lets count and see how many people were knocked, punched, or slapped silly in true 70’s blaxploitation fashion, of course.)
Written by: @Haylow