The twists and turns of the American political system have long been turned into storied tales of deception, turmoil and mystery chronicling the dark underbelly of American culture. This year’s hottest political thriller, ABC’s Scandal, is a vivid example. But it was not just power, politics and drama that inspired writer, creator and executive producer Shonda Rhimes (Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice) to bring this story to life – the classic soul music of the 1970s was a dynamic and influential force as well.
Stax Records, a division of Concord Music Group, has partnered with ABC Studios to release Songs From Scandal: Music For Gladiators. This 12-track collection features the iconic 1970s music heard throughout Seasons 1 and 2 of the smash hit television drama.
Shonda Rhimes also contributed the album’s extensive liner notes, which detail the passion and attitude of the music that fueled the creative process: “During those four days [of writing the Scandal pilot], the soundtrack of my writing was the funky, delicious music of the 1970s.”
The perfect companion piece to Seasons 1 and 2, this soundtrack allows true Scandal Gladiators to experience the full spirit of the show. The set features iconic tracks from Booker T and the MG’s (“Green Onions”), Sly & The Family Stone (“Everyday People”), The Staple Singers (“Respect Yourself” – RAC Remix), Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell (“You’re All I Need To Get By”), and KC and The Sunshine Band (“Get Down Tonight”), just to name a few.
“It’s the music that came after they killed Jack and Bobby and Martin and Malcolm,” stated Rhimes in the liner notes. “It’s the music after Nixon disappointed a nation, it’s the music of the sexual revolution and the feminist movement.” And it’s this musical style that Rhimes and music supervisor Alex Patsavas chose to reflect the fierce determination of the series’ characters and storyline.
There is no better time to celebrate this unique era of American music. Creator Rhimes concludes: “For those of you who heard this music the first time around, welcome home. For those of you who are hearing it for the first time, pleased to meet you. Put on your headphones and give this music a listen. And become a Gladiator in a suit.”