Genre: Soundtracks; Lead Performer: Various Artists; Producer (group): 40 Acres and a Mule Musicworks, MCA

Despite threatening to do for Mavis Staples what The Big Chill soundtrack did for Procol Harum — i.e., irreparably overexpose her — the soundtrack to Spike Lee’s latest, Crooklyn, is a tasty way of pillaging the past. A collection of classic ’70s soul spiked with two new hip-hop tracks, the disc demonstrates the enduring relevance of blaxploitation funk, as heard on hits like the Staple Singers’ “Respect Yourself,” Curtis Mayfield’s “Pusher Man,” and Jean Knight’s “Mr. Big Stuff.” A-

Originally posted June 10 1994 — 12:00 AM EDT

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