John Legend, Chris Cornell & Joy Williams, Alabama Shakes, Alicia Keys On '12 Years A Slave' Soundtrack

An expanded soundtrack to the acclaimed movie 12 Years A Slave will be released digitally on November 5 -- with a CD dropping November 19 -- via Columbia. John Legend, given the task of creating an "audio companion" to the film, enlisted an impressive line-up of musicians, including Alicia Keys, Gary Clark Jr., Chris Cornell featuring Joy Williams, Laura Mvula, Cody Chesnutt and Alabama Shakes. The release, officially titled Music From and Inspired by 12 Years A Slave, will also include score excerpts from the film soundtrack's composer Hans Zimmer. Stream "Move" performed by John Legend featuring Fink and "Misery Chain" by Chris Cornell featuring Joy Williams below.

From the Press Release: The 16 tracks featured on the soundtrack are songs of freedom, each recorded specifically for the film and inspired by the true story of Solomon Northup. Standout tracks include John Legend’s soulful version of “Roll Jordan Roll,” Alicia Key’s stunning original track “Queen Of The Field (Patsey’s Song,)” the Alabama Shakes heartfelt performance of “Driva Man,” Gary Clark Jr’s “Freight Train” and the beautiful duet “Misery Chain” from Chris Cornell featuring Joy Williams of the Civil Wars. The soundtrack also includes a rare performance of “Roll Jordan Roll” featuring the full cast, including lead actor Chiwetel Ejiofor.

John Legend featuring Fink - "Move"

Chris Cornell featuring Joy Williams - "Misery Chain"

Full album stream here...

12 Years A Slave is a stunningly powerful film. I was so moved when I saw it. I felt every minute of it and was so inspired to contribute to the music of the soundtrack. This album brings together some incredible artists from different places and different genres who have all been touched by the film. When artists are inspired by great art, it makes us want to create. This album is the result of that inspiration.”  – John Legend

“We chose a song called "Driva' Man.” It is a sparse, brooding, slow-swinging jazz number.  There is no lightness in the music of "Driva' Man" because there is no mention of freedom in this song. The focus of the track is about an enslaved person reaching "quittin' time" while also trying to please the overseer to avoid getting beaten. After we watched 12 Years A Slave in our hometown of Athens, Alabama, we stumbled across this song a week later. It is a very simple song which is why we chose it to contribute to the soundtrack.  The two works, for a moment, take the audience into another time and place where you can imagine being denied your freedom: After which, one's own freedom can be better appreciated. 12 Years is one of the most important films we have ever seen and it is important to us to give back some of what the movie has given to us.”  -Brittany Howard of Alabama Shakes

“I was moved by this film and the story in a way that transcends any film experience I have ever had.  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.”- Chris Cornell

12 Years A Slave is based on an incredible true story of one man's fight for survival and freedom.  In the pre-Civil War United States, Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a free black man from upstate New York, is abducted and sold into slavery.  Facing cruelty (personified by a malevolent slave owner, portrayed by Michael Fassbender) as well as unexpected kindnesses, Solomon struggles not only to stay alive, but to retain his dignity.  In the twelfth year of his unforgettable odyssey, Solomon’s chance meeting with a Canadian abolitionist (Brad Pitt) forever alters his life.  12 Years A Slave premiered at the Telluride Film Festival on August 30 and was released on October 18.


1 Tim Fain – Devil’s Dream

2 John Legend – Roll Jordan Roll

3 Gary Clark Jr. – Freight Train

4 Tim Fain and Caitlin Sullivan – Yarney’s Waltz

5 Alabama Shakes – Driva Man

6 David Hughey and Roosevelt Credit – My Lord Sunshine (Sunrise)

7 John Legend feat. Fink – Move

8 Hans Zimmer – Washington

9 Gary Clark Jr. – (In The Evening) When The Sun Goes Down

10 Alicia Keys – Queen Of The Field (Patsey’s Song)

11 Hans Zimmer – Solomon

12 Laura Mvula – Little Girl Blue

13 Chris Cornell feat. Joy Williams – Misery Chain

14 Topsy Chapman feat. Chiwetel Ejiofor and Cast – Roll Jordan Roll

15 Tim Fain – Money Musk

16 Cody Chesnutt – What Does Freedom Mean (To A Free Man)