Across 110th Street

Across 110th Street

Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

Rykodisc

In the world of Seventies blaxploitation, gangster, and low-budget films, music remains the lasting legacy to decades gone by. Images of rich and poor, a brother done wrong, a deal gone bad, and inner city struggle were the topics. Character exaggeration in the form of pimps, hookers, and cops were cast into our visual memories. But what really set the tone for the storylines, action, and sweet lovemaking, is the cool vibin’ goodness of the soundtrack. An integral part of many movies such as Shaft, Foxy Brown, and Superfly, the music set the tone and acted as a roadmap, guiding us through emotion and plot.

Originally released in 1972, Across 110th Street is a tale of three men trying to make their way out of the ghetto. The soundtrack chronicles their saga of stealing a million dollars from the mob, and the troubles that follow. J.J. Johnson and Bobby Womack wrote and perform the score that weaves throughout the story. The music is brought to life by Womack and his band The Peace.

The title track is most recognizable, yet there are several solid compositions that merit a listen. Some of the instrumentals are true old school funk-outs, the likes of which cannot be recreated today. It is difficult to distinguish the purpose of some tracks as they were originally intended only for accompaniment. Also, there is movie dialogue dispersed throughout the soundtrack, which neither helps nor harms the effort.

There is an interactive CD-ROM within this Deluxe Edition, however, being a purist, I will forgo this until I rent the video. Hey, look at it as extra “stuff” to keep you distracted from playing MS Solitaire! Nineties gadgetry aside, if you want a real taste of the seventies sound, step back 26 years and take a trip across 110th. Rykodisc, Shetland Park, 27 Congress St., Salem, MA 01970; http://www.rykodisc.com

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