In advance of last week’s wide release of “Selma,” which chronicles the freedom marches led by Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1965, Paramount Pictures released the film’s soundtrack January 6th. The album includes songs performed by The Impressions, Otis Redding, Martha Bass, and Fink. It also features three compositions by Jason Moran, who scored the film. And, last but certainly not least, the lead-in track on the album is the film’s breakout song, “Glory,” a collaboration between Common and John Legend.
In addition to contributing “Glory”—you can check out the the music video below—Common plays civil rights activist James Bevel. Curious as to how John Legend became involved? Common explains that here (hint, he suggested Legend’s inclusion).
Of course, not every song considered for the film made it onto the soundtrack, or even into the film itself, for that matter. The music supervisor, Morgan Rhodes, listened to thousands of songs while trying to choose the best sound for the film. Guided by director Ava DuVernay’s desire to use “underground hits,” rather than Billboard Number Ones, Rhodes devoured music from the ’60s, and she recently made Entertainment Weekly a playlist of ten tracks she considered using in the film (check it out below). Three of the selections actually made it into the movie, but are not included on the soundtrack. The list includes work by Toots & The Maytals, Staples Singers, John Coltrane Quartet, John Fahey, and The Isley Bros with Jimi Hendrix.
“Selma” is now playing across the country, and the soundtrack is available online and in stores.
“Selma” Soundtrack Tracklist
1. Glory – Common & John Legend (4:32)
2. Ole Man Trouble – Otis Redding (2:37)
3. I’ve Got the New World in My View – Sister Gertrude Morgan (4:32)
4. Keep on Pushing – The Impressions (2:31)
5. One Morning Soon – Joyce Collins & Johnita Collins (3:08)
6. Alabama Blues – J.B. Lenoir (3:12)
7. Walk With Me – Martha Bass (2:48)
8. House of the Rising Sun – Duane Eddy (2:44)
9. Take My Hand, Precious Lord – Ledisi (3:23)
10. Yesterday Was Hard on All of Us – Fink (5:02)
11. Cager Lee – Jason Moran (1:42)
12. Final Speech – Jason Moran (3:46)
13. Bloody Sunday Parts 1-3 – Jason Moran (4:10)