Given that Isacc Hayes' "Shaft" is such an universal icon of 70's cinematic soul, it's kind of a drag that fewer people are familiar with his ability to radically interpret already familiar songs, as he did with Burt Bacharach's "Walk On By." He turned a great pop song (a hit for Dionne Warwick) into a twelve minute opus of late night lovin'. The damn song builds up, slows down, builds again, climaxes, and ends with a spare drum beat that allows you to catch your breath. How did he hear that? Amazing.
"I felt what I had to say musically could not be said in two minutes and thirty seconds, ... So I did my thing. If it was a hit, great. But I just did what I wanted creatively.”
He also did a nine minute version of "Close to You" (a hit for the Carpenters), another late night lovin' reinvention.
Isaac Hayes - Theme From Shaft mp3, Close to You mp3 and three others at the Vinyl District
Theme From Shaft - Eight covers and variations at Moistworks (including a version by Sammy Davis Jr that just makes you want to slap him.)