Top 10 Rarest Blaxploitation Vinyl Soundtracks

Updated: Aug 29, 2021

The most highly regarded blaxploitation films (Coffy, Super Fly, Trouble Man) typically have one thing in common… A memorable soundtrack!

In 1971, the blaxploitation soundtrack was born, as a then-unknown Earth Wind & Fire reached #13 on the Billboard R&B charts for “Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song.”

Later that same year, “Theme from Shaft” reached #1 on Billboard’s Hot 100, continuing on to win the Academy Award for best original song in 1972.

Now considered one of the top 100 best albums of all-time, Curtis Mayfield perfected the blaxploitation soundtrack in 1972 with “Super Fly.”

While the following list isn’t likely to jog many memories or hold high acclaim in the same manner, contained below are, in fact, memorable themes of obscure, lost and simply overlooked blaxploitation films.

Let’s begin with the honorable mentions:

Bare Knuckles, Every Nigger is a Star, La Permission, Pound and Smile Orange. (These rare albums have been omitted from our list because the films do not comport with the popular definition of the sub-genre.)

10. Countdown At Kusini (1976) - Manu Dibango

Label: D.S.T. Telecommunications, Inc. [LPK 1001]

Genre: Afrobeat, Jazz-Funk, Soul

Rating: 4.5/5 | Median Pricing: $165 +/-

A unique entry into the blaxploitation sub-genre, and a capable one at that! “Countdown” is a musical tour de force far in excess of its film. Best we can tell, no more than 5,000 limited/numbered pressings were made, but not nearly as many seemed to have survived. Fortunately, many are still found unopened, or in well preserved condition. Prior to Manu Dibango’s death in 2020, this OST was selling for around $150, but since his death, some have gone for as much as $350 in mint condition. Still a good investment piece, and an essential part of any heavy blaxploitation collection. A reissue is also available.

9. Lord Shango (1975) LP - Howard Roberts

Label: Bryan Records [BRS-104]

Genre: Funk, Gospel, Jazz

Rating: 4/5 | Median Pricing: $65 +/-

While it’s the most attainable OST on our list, Lord Shango isn’t for everyone (the film included). It’s, surprisingly, very good for what it is, accomplishing for the film what it needs to. Arguably the two best tracks can also be obtained on a 45 single (Jenny’s Theme & Funky But??). The LP has the collectibility factor for both blaxploitation grail seekers for its rarity and horror fans for its artwork. We suspect the value of this one will continue to rise.

8. Tongue (1976) LP - Roger Hamilton Spotts

Label: Chocolate Cities [Choc 1000]

Genre: Funk, Soul

Rating: 4/5 | Median Pricing: $100 +/-

Perhaps the most undervalued OST on our list given its high praise, Tongue has yet to see the massive inflation that has effected other equally rare OSTs, despite its prominence among blaxploitation grail hunters. The rich stereophonic sound of the original pressing is uniquely satisfying, so avoid the unofficial reissue. Give “Quasi’s Theme” a listen for clean and melodic or “Mind Blower” for some moody funk.

7. Lialeh (1974) LP - Bernard “Pretty” Purdie

Label: Bryan Records [BRS 102]

Genre: Funk, Soul

Rating: 4.5/5 | Median Pricing: $1,250 +/-

Currently the most expensive OST on our list, but not without merit, Bernard ‘Pretty’ Purdie delivers on this classic adult film soundtrack, as well the live musical performances featured in the film. Highly regarded and sought-after, for those fortunate enough to be able to shoulder the hefty financial investment, you will not be disappointed. For many of us, however, Lialeh will remain unattainable. A reissue is available.

6. Disco Godfather (1979) LP - Juice People Unlimited

Label: Apple Juice Records [AJ-152]

Genre: Disco, Funk

Rating: 4/5 | Median Pricing: $275 +/-

Like many OSTs on our list, Disco Godfather received a reissue which prompted several original copies to hit the market. Because of the mastering job on the reissue, which left much to be desired for some audiophiles, the original retains its allure as both rare and definitive. Don’t get spaced ooooout and miss adding this playful disco album to your collection!

5. Blackjack (1978) LP - Jack Ashford

Label: SES Records [SES100]

Genre: Disco, Funk, Jazz

Rating: 4.5/5 | Median Pricing: $650 +/-

Blackjack is highly prized for its rarity. Though, most of the 11 tracks are fairly conventional with a few exceptions, as is the case with the catchy main theme “Blackjack”. Because a mint copy once sold for $3K, everyone now believes their copy is worth the same, so finding one at a price commensurate with its quality might take some patience.

4. Solomon King (1974) LP - Jimmy Lewis (Sippi Records)

Label: Sippi Records [SI-1001]

Genre: Funk, Soul

Rating: 4.5/5 | Median Price: $400 +/-

First, this particular record comes in a variety of flavors, perhaps leaving some folks apprehensive to shell out the dough. Here’s a quick look:

  • Solomon King (????) Unofficial - White cover (White label with extra ring on label) (Bootleg)

  • Solomon King (1974) Sal/Wa Records - White cover (White label) [Promo] (Most common)

  • Solomon King (1974) Sal/Wa Records - White cover (Yellow label) [Promo] (Semi common)

  • Solomon King (1974) Sippi Records - Film artwork cover (Yellow label) (Rare)

  • Solomon King (1974) Sippi Records - Film artwork cover (Sippi label) (Most rare)

Solomon King hasn’t been widely seen since its rerelease as “Black Agent, Lucky King” in 1979. For those lucky enough to have seen the film, many describe it as a “poor man’s Shaft.” While we cannot opine on this, the track “Theme From Solomon King” is timed PERFECTLY to fit over the opening scene from Shaft, and it’s just as effective! The imposing 12 minute “Theme From Solomon King” takes up the entirety of side A. While the B side cannot compete, it too is decent - even if unremarkable.

3. The Six Thousand Dollar Nigger (1978) LP - Saxton Kari

Label: Weird World [2033]

Genre: Funk, Soul

Rating: 3.5/5 | Median Pricing: $500 +/-

The Weird World label (synonymous with the Blowfly party record) gives us the Wildman Steve soundtrack that we didn’t even know we wanted. Novelty and offensive artwork go a long way in persuading us. Significantly undervalued at the moment, for its rarity and not so much its pedigree, The Six Thousand Dollar Nigger is surprisingly decent, interesting, and sure to leave most heavy collectors satisfied.

2. Black Starlet (1974) 7”, EP, Promo - Joe Hinton & Dee Ervin

Label: Act One Productions [AOP-001]

Genre: Funk, Soul

Rating: 3.5/5 | Median Pricing: $500 +/-

Black Starlet is the only soundtrack on our list that isn’t a 12” LP. While there are equally rare 7” blaxploitation vinyl out there, few are EPs boasting 4 tracks with cover art and an insert. This was a special movie premiere keepsake provided to the cast and crew of the film. Joe Hinton and Dee Ervin provide some sweet little tracks worthy of the price of admission..

1. Together For Days (1973) LP, Promo - Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson

Label: TFD Co. | Olas Corp. [TFD-2]

Genre: Funk, Pop, Soul

Rating: 4/5 | Median Pricing: $1,500 +/-

Together For Days is the rarest of the rare, less than a handful of copies are known to exist - one belonging to the film’s director. “Together” features 2 typical early 70’s pop tracks, and 3 soul/funk tracks; the big hit coming by way of its only instrumental track “Breakthrough.” “Comin’ Round The Mountain” offers a funky take on the traditional folk song “She’ll Be Coming ‘Round the Mountain.” While “Together” hasn’t been seen since its theatrical rerelease as “Black Cream” in 1974, mainstream awareness of the film exists thanks to actor Samuel L. Jackson, whose role in the film was his first. This was also the directorial debut of legendary director Michael Schultz (Cooley High, Car Wash). The soundtrack was composed by notable African American composer Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson. Perkinson’s other blaxploitation film scores include: Thomasine and Bushrod, The Education of Sonny Carson, Amazing Grace and Mean Johnny Barrows.5

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