Questlove reveals official Summer of Soul soundtrack will be released next year

Featuring 17 songs recorded live from the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival

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Questlove, drummer for The Roots, has revealed that an official soundtrack for his recent documentary Summer of Soul is set to be released early next year.

Questlove shared the news on Thursday (December 9), saying that the album will arrive on January 28 via Legacy – exactly one year since the film premiered at Sundance Film Festival.

It will comprise 17 songs that were recorded live at the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, which the documentary chronicles through archival footage from the event. Iconic Black artists such as Nina Simone, a young Stevie Wonder, The Temptations‘ David Ruffin, Gladys Knight, BB King, Hugh Masekela, The Staple Singers and many others performed at the summer festival, with their appearances documented in the film and forthcoming soundtrack.


Listen to the lead single – Sly and the Family Stone‘s “Sing a Simple Song” – below.

“It goes beyond saying that you can’t have a monster music journey on film without an equally awesome soundtrack,” Questlove said in a press statement.

“The people demanded ‘more!’. So for the people, we bring you musical manna that hopefully won’t be the last serving. These performances are lightning in a bottle. Pure artistry!”

The documentary marked Questlove’s filmmaking debut, and went on to win the Sundance Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award. It’s also been nominated for a Grammy in the Best Music Film category, alongside Billie Eilish‘s Happier Than Ever: A Love Letter to Los Angeles, and Bo Burnham’s Inside.

He is also working on another documentary about Sly Stone.


The Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised) Original Motion Picture Soundtrack tracklisting is:

1. The Chambers Brothers – “Uptown”
2. B.B. King – “Why I Sing the Blues”
3. The 5th Dimension – “Don’t Cha Hear Me Callin’ to Ya”
4. The 5th Dimension – “Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In (The Flesh Failures)”
5. David Ruffin – “My Girl”
6. The Edwin Hawkins Singers – “Oh Happy Day”
7. The Staple Singers – “It’s Been a Change”
8. The Operation Breadbasket Orchestra and Choir (feat. Mahalia Jackson and Mavis Staples) – “Precious Lord Take My Hand”
9. Gladys Knight and The Pips – “I Heard It Through the Grapevine”
10. Mongo Santamaria – “Watermelon Man”
11. Ray Barretto – “Together”
12. Herbie Mann – “Hold On, I’m Comin’”
13. Sly and The Family Stone – “Sing a Simple Song”
14. Sly and The Family Stone – “Everyday People”
15. Abbey Lincoln and Max Roach – “Africa”
16. Nina Simone – “Backlash Blues”
17. Nina Simone – “Are You Ready”

Originally published on NME

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