The only thing missing from Questlove‘s moving historical documentary Summer Of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised) (aside from the hours of footage that had to be cut to make a watchable documentary in the first place) was a soundtrack that could be played outside of watching the film itself. After all, the doc covered the weeks-long 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, which featured free live performances from Black music legends like Gladys Knight & The Pips, Nina Simone, and Sly & The Family Stone.
That changes today, with the announcement of the official soundtrack coming soon to streaming and physical media, including CDs and vinyl. Like the film, Questlove curated the once-lost audio documentation from several of the original performances, compiling 17 tracks including Sly & The Family Stone’s “Sing A Simple Song,” B.B. King’s “Why I Sing The Blues,” and The Operation Breadbasket Orchestra & Choir’s rendition of “Precious Lord Take My Hand” with Mahalia Jackson and Mavis Staples.
In the press release announcing the soundtrack, Questlove said, “It goes beyond saying that you can’t have a monster music journey on film without an equally awesome soundtrack. 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! Enjoy.”
The Summer Of Soul soundtrack is due on streaming and CD 1/28/2022 via Legacy Recordings. Pre-save it here. The vinyl release will be announced at a later date.