"California Soul" is a pop-soul tune written by Ashford & Simpson, issued originally as a single by American pop quintet The Fifth Dimension in late 1968. It was also covered by Motown vocal duo Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell the next year and was the duo's last single together when released in early 1970.
Both the Fifth Dimension's version and the Gaye/Terrell version were modest charted hits. The original performed better reaching number twenty-five on the pop singles chart, while Marvin and Tammi's cover reached number fifty-six pop but never charted R&B. The duet was released after Terrell's tragic death from a brain tumor in March 1970.
The song was a socially conscious-type of song advocating love and peace.
In 1969 Bluenote singer Marlena Shaw also did a version of the song which is now featured in a Dockers commercial circa 2008. The Diplo remix appears on the Verve Remixed volume 4 compilation album.
The song is also featured in The Italian Job (2003 film), starring Mark Wahlberg.
The song is sampled by Gang Starr in their song "Check the Technique."
Additionally, a sample of the chorus from the Marlena Shaw version was used by Adam Freeland in his song "Mind Killer" aka "F.E.A.R", which was featured in the 2001 video game Rez.