Tuesday, July 20, 2010

"No more sleeping in bed"

BlaxploitationI spent a large part of the 1990s collecting the fabulous Blaxploitation compilation CDs. Subtitled "soul, jazz and funk from the inner city", they were a sublime introduction to the gritty, atmospheric soundtrack of 1970's ghetto America.

They're sadly out of print now* but among the highlights was Harold Melvin & The Bluenotes' Wake Up Everybody, a Philly soul companion piece to Marvin Gaye's What's Going On, sung with croaky indignation by Teddy Pendergrass.

The song got a long overdue airing at the World Cup when John Legend (remember him?) and The Roots played it at the closing ceremony. The good news is that they've recorded it properly, too, and it'll be the title track of a collaborative covers album later this year.

The studio version features some beautifully heartfelt vocals from Melanie Fiona and a soft-as-butter rap by Common, who calls the track "a song as sweet as the Psalms".

Amen, brother.

John Legend feat The Roots, Melanie Fiona and Common - Wake Up Everybody

Kanye West has put the track on his website, should you fancy downloading a copy. Alternatively you can wait until Wake Up, the album, comes out on 21st September.

* Although Amazon has the final, three-CD roundup for a bargainacious £2.99

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