Stax Records and Craft Recordings have announced a series of releases paying homage to the iconic Wattstax Benefit Concert which took place at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on August 20, 1972.
Soul’d Out: The Complete Wattstax Collection is a 12-CD box set featuring the complete 1972 L.A. Memorial Coliseum concert plus recordings from the Summit Club, including 31 previously unreleased tracks across the collection. These recordings are housed in a folio with a 76-page, full-color book featuring an introduction by Wattstax creator Al Bell, and new essays by Rob Bowman and A. Scott Galloway.
Wattstax: The Complete Concert includes the full L.A. Memorial Coliseum concert and is available on both 6-CD and 10-LP formats. In addition to musical performances, it features all the speeches and other stage banter from the event, including event MC, the Reverend Jesse Jackson’s often referenced “I Am Somebody” speech. Both formats of this collection include the full-color book with introduction by Wattstax creator Al Bell, and essays by Rob Bowman and A. Scott Galloway that is also included in Soul’d Out: The Complete Wattstax Collection.
A 1-CD title, The Best of Wattstax, brings together a handpicked selection of twenty of the best musical performances from the Wattstax concert. Including performances by Isaac Hayes, The Staple Singers, The Bar-Kays, Kim Weston, Rufus Thomas, Carla Thomas, Albert King, Eddie Floyd and more, and serves as a great introduction to the event and the many iconic artists that it featured.
Newly cut from the original analog tapes, reissues of the two original soundtrack albums Wattstax: The Living Word and The Living Word: Wattstax 2—which feature highlights from the concert and subsequent documentary film—are also reissued on 2-LP formats from today.
In celebration of the 1973 Columbia Pictures music documentary, Sony Pictures has re-released Wattstax at participating Alamo Drafthouse locations throughout the U.S. beginning today, February 24.