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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The king of soul, 25 Jan 2006
This review is from: Give It Up: the Best of the Curtom Years 1970-1977 (Audio CD)
There are truly wonderful tracks on this album. For me, Curtis is the greatest of all contemporary musicians. His music is the most soulful of all the "Soul" artists in my opinion. In fact I'm not going to say "in my opinion" anymore when talking about Curtis, as it's obvious that it is my opinion. What I really want to say is that what I say about Curtis is the gospel truth !

His music is powerful, yet delicate, beautiful, uplifting, but also serious and heartbreaking. He sang in a very high pitched, cool, jazzy, falsetto voice which might take a while to get accustomed to and may not be to everyone's taste. His music could be funky or lavishly orchestral and sometimes both. Some of his songs are overpoweringly intoxicating to me and totally unique. No one sounded anything like Curtis and no music sounded anything like his. He is an example of a true artist, a genius who didn't get by on hype or good looks, just sheer talent. He was also a great guitarist and no one played guitar like him.

Of his great tunes, Move On Up is probably the best known, and indeed one of his greatest. The full nine minute version is the one to savour. This song was like an anthem to me when I was 15 and in fact still is. However, there are numerous other equally great tunes in his 1970-78 repertoire of timeless works of art.

Curtis sang from a stance of Afro-centricity with lyrics about being Black, the problems Black and poor people face, and also the failings of Black people, so it was a warts and all image he portrayed. His music was not just that though. He also sang about love between people of all races - the human race.

I revere him like no other artist (except maybe Mozart and Bach), but I do understand that his uniqueness and true greatness will not be recognised by the vast majority. It's probably something you either can feel or just can't.

Sadly Curtis was severely injured by falling scaffolding whilst making a comeback to the stage in 1990 and he lost movement in his limbs as a result. For the last 9 years of his life he was unable to move and wheelchair bound. He also needed assistance to breathe so it's amazing that he was still somehow able to produce music. Eventually he died in 1999 and his loss will always be something that hurts me. I sometimes wonder if artists with a short lifespan are put on this planet specifically to shine bright and inspire people before leaving prematurely.

Many of Curtis' songs make me want to cry and just thinking about some of the melodies I have loved for so long, sends shivers through me. People like Curtis never truly die, as their music lives on in people like me and as long as I'm alive, I'll never tire of the legacy he left behind. I feel like crying now.
Some of my favourite tracks are on this album, but please try to seek out the other great music he sang and performed which are listed as follows:
The best albums: Curtis, Never Say You Can't Survive, There's No Place Like America Today, Short Eyes Soundtrack, Got To Find A Way, Roots.
Greatest specific tracks are:
Billy Jack - We The People Who Are Darker Than Blue -
So In Love - The Makings Of You - People Get Ready -
Back Against The Wall - Blue Monday People - Jesus -
To Be Invisible - Sweet Exorcist - A Prayer - P.S. I Love You
So You Don't Love Me - Right On For The Darkness -
Give A Little Bit - Keep On Keeping On - All Night Long -
Show Me Love - Never Say You Can't Survive - Choice Of Colours - We're A Winner - Sparkle - Love To Keep You On My Mind -
After Sex - When You Used To Be Mine - Little Child Running Wild.
The list is long and there are many more great tunes to savour, but I just thought you'd like to know about the wealth of great music Curtis Mayfield, the genius, left for us to adore.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The epitome of 70s cool, 10 Jun 2004
This review is from: Give It Up: the Best of the Curtom Years 1970-1977 (Audio CD)
Before deciding to buy this album, I read a review saying 'When Marvin Gaye was asking 'what's going on', Curtis mayfield was telling us.' That is just so true.
Mayfield's lyrics are some of the most socially aware of his era, but the intelligence of his writing is only the half of it.
What really impressed me so much was his ability to totally engage the listener from the very off and making music that was not only totally relevant, but also fantastic to listen to.
This is a hugely accessible collection of his very best tunes, which showcase his amazing vocal and musical range. It's the perfect album to ease yourself into his world if you're just getting into his music for the first time. And no matter how many times you hear 'Move on Up' it never ceases to dazzle. Surely it's one of the most amazing feel-good tunes of all time.
This album absolutely screams 70s cool. Buy it, love it, then check out the rest of his work.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So Cool!, 8 Oct 2006
By 
P. J. Aspel "The Sophisticate" (Surrey, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Give It Up: the Best of the Curtom Years 1970-1977 (Audio CD)
This cat is just there, man! I mean, who else has released a greatest hits package that avoids all the corn and the cliches in order to produce pure quality?

Every track is really exciting and the lyrics are bloody mind blowing! I love how Curtis sings about being black and their struggle to fit into the American Way whilst also sounding as good, if not even better than top league artists like Micheal Jackson or Isaac Hayes!

"Move on Up" and "Superfly" are my absolute favourites, and, whilst also being a Jamiroquai fan, you can easily see where Jay Kay gets his influences.

Hugely entertaining, classy stuff, I'd say, so if you like your soul hot and buttered, cop this now!!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Stuff, 18 Nov 2003
By 
Mr. AJ McIntosh "Gus" (Dublin) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Give It Up: the Best of the Curtom Years 1970-1977 (Audio CD)
This is a wonderful collection of CM songs put together in a way that makes it sound like it was written as an album. It could be, of course, that I am just used to hearing the tracks in this order but I recently lost 'Give it up' and replaced it with another CM collection. Not the same. I had to go out and buy 'Give it up' again. You should too. No clangers, you see. All top of the class. Proper stuff. Fantastic stuff.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars oof what real music sounds like, 10 Nov 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Give It Up: the Best of the Curtom Years 1970-1977 (Audio CD)
This c/d is what all music should be like,the lyrics are heartfelt, the music is just great from the first track (wild and free my favourite)through the whole c/d the music is soulful and sometimes just wonderful and with a voice only second to Marvin Gaye in scope and range. This is music that is difficult if not impossible to find fault with listen to it and see if you can(good luck you'll need it).
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5.0 out of 5 stars Curtis Mayfield, 8 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Give It Up: the Best of the Curtom Years 1970-1977 (Audio CD)
I have been listening to Curtis Mayfield for some 30+ years. It breaks my heart that he is no lomnger with us. His music and lyrics are timeless and have a strong message to the war mongers of this world. Super Fly will always be my favourite track and brings back great memories every time I listen to it. God Bless Curtis.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Curtis is Hot!, 24 July 2009
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This review is from: Give It Up: the Best of the Curtom Years 1970-1977 (Audio CD)
This is my first Curtis Mayfield album as I have been curious about him for a while...

But please help, I can't stop playing it... Have to get more. This is hot!
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Give It Up: the Best of the Curtom Years 1970-1977
Give It Up: the Best of the Curtom Years 1970-1977 by Curtis Mayfield (Audio CD - 1999)
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