John Legend named his album with the Roots Wake Up! after an Arcade Fire song they recorded. Sadly, that one landed on the cutting room floor. However, the similarly-themed “Wake Up Everybody,” originally by Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, made it. It’s the first single and it indicates that this collaboration just might live up to the mile-high expectations. Canadian soul singer Melanie Fiona joins Legend in the uplifting duet and Chicago rapper/actor Common lends his skills with a new verse. Download it below.
The album features ten covers of power-to-the-people songs (full tracklist below) from the ‘60s and ‘70s along with on Legend original. “If you can kind of transport your mind to what everyone was feeling at that time, there was a lot of energy in the country, a lot of feelings that we could all do something to make the country better and the world better,” Legend said.
Check out “Wake Up Everybody” below. For another preview, head over to Levi’s to hear their version of Ernie Hines’ “Our Generation.”
Wake Up! Tracklist:
01. Compared to What (Les McCann & Eddie Harris cover)
02. Hard Times (Stephen Foster cover)
03. Little Ghetto Boy (Donny Hathaway cover)
04. Wake Up Everybody ft. Common and Melanie Fiona (Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes cover)
05. Our Generation (Ernie Hines cover)
06. Love the Way It Should Be (Prince Lincoln and the Royal Rasses cover)
07. Hang On in There (Mike James Kirkland cover)
08. I Can’t Write Left Handed (Bill Withers cover)
09. Wholy Holy (Marvin Gaye cover)
10. I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free (Billy Taylor & Dick Dallas cover)
11. Shine (original)
Wake Up! drops September 21.