With its gripping depiction of American slavery, 12 Years a Slave is being praised as the year's best film by many critics, including Rolling Stone's own Peter Travers. It's an eye-opening true story that follows Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a free black man who is abducted and sold to work on a cotton plantation.
Northup's story has also inspired an eclectic group of songwriters who paid tribute to the film on its musical companion, Music From and Inspired by 12 Years a Slave. Curated by R&B singer John Legend and featuring a score from composer Hans Zimmer, the album includes original tracks and covers from artists like Alicia Keys, Gary Clark Jr., Alabama Shakes and Cody Chesnutt. The full LP is available below as an exclusive stream.
Chris Cornell, solo artist and frontman of Soundgarden, contributed a new song called "Misery Chain" with Civil Wars vocalist Joy Williams. In a press release, Cornell talked about the inspiration for the track.
“I was moved by this film and the story in a way that transcends any film experience I have ever had," he said. "I was inspired to write a hundred different songs, but finally landed on one based on what I believe is an extremely important message I took from this man's journey. Compassion, basic human rights and love must be our priorities above race, religion or commerce. Every generation needs a reminder of that simple idea.”
Music From and Inspired by 12 Years a Slave will be released on November 5th in digital format, with a physical release to follow on November 19th. The album is available for pre-order at iTunes and Amazon.