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Curtis [VINYL]

4.8 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Vinyl (24 Aug. 1998)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sequel
  • ASIN: B00004WUZH
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,411,597 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

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Format: Audio CD
This album takes as it's inspiration the social and political issues of it's era. During his time with the Impressions, Curtis Mayfield had long supported the Civil Rights movement, and on his first solo album he gives full rein to his sense of injustice at the way America was in the 60's. This album was released in 1970.

That does not mean the message overwhelms the music - far from it. Mayfield had one of the most inventive approaches to Soul, and that is on display in all it's glory on "Curtis". Starting with a spoken intro over a conga driven groove, "Don't Worry..." challenges you up front with racial insults, before settling into it's funky stride. Slower in tempo, but equally hard hitting, "The Other Side of Town" chronicles ghetto life and these show Mayfield at his best, both musically and socially.

There's more Funk on "Move On Up", a well known track, here in it's full 7 minute form, and there are more positive messages on "....Darker than Blue" and "Miss Black America". Turning to matters of the heart, the mid tempo "Give It Up" regrets the passing of love, while "The Makings Of You" has Curtis celebrating the love of his life.

This expanded edition also includes bonus tracks which are worthwhile for the way they give a picture of how Curtis developed his music. There are demo versions of tracks on the original "Curtis", tracks which would appear on later albums in their finished forms (Underground) and Ghetto Child later became "Little Child Running Wild" on "Superfly"

Curtis Mayfield was a musical genius, and although his later output would be uneven, this is one of at least 4 essential albums from the 70's that he wrote produced and performed. It is well worth your time and money.
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Format: Audio CD
After all if you read many reviews within this site, it won't be long at all before you see that word used. And used and used and used...

But there are a handful of people for whom the monicker is entirely suitable. In fact if there was an even higher superlative than that to bestow upon an artist then Curtis Mayfield is one of the few whom it should be used to describe.

Blazing a trail for so many who were greatful to follow him - to walk through the doors that he opened - Curtis dared to talk about the social issues of the day - particularly those affecting black people in America. But the beauty of this album is that the music does not suffer because of it - in fact if you wanted to be ignorant enough you could love this album without knowing anything of the message Curtis was trying to get across, simply because the songs are so good.

Personal highlights include the swiring carousel-like 'Makings Of You' which is indicative of Curtis's unique approach to making soul music - all strange time signiatures, tubas, harps, and various other instruments you wouldn't necessarily expect to associate with genre, the Beautiful 'We The People' and of course the astonishing album version of 'Move On Up', which pounds on for over seven minutes and still makes you want to re-start the track as soon as it's over.

To finish, I can only use another very over-used word to describe this wonderful - classic.
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Format: Audio CD
There aren't really that many absolutely faultless records in the history of pop music: 'Curtis' is one of them, with the great man at the height of his musical and lyrical prowess, mixing heavy social comment with beatiful love songs, cutting-edge funk arrangements with gospel influences. After you've bought this record you'll be seriously angry with yourself about all the years you didn't own it. I certainly was.
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Format: Audio CD
You really should own this record. From the unstoppable rumbling bass opening of (Dont worry),this album is consistently excellent. Cutting lyrics that go to the heart of African-American socio-political relations, and some of the funkiest, inspiring and innovative arrangements you will hear.
Just buy it and enjoy.
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Format: Audio CD
Curtis Mayfield had established his credentials as a member of the Impressions, both as a writer and performer. In addition he had established a reputation as a producer. His output had come to focus on the Civil Rights struggle, and this would continue with his solo work.

Thus, the tracks here have a positive message, of self determination and social justice, of freedom and equality. That is all set to the funky multi layered sound that would become Curtis' trademark. The full version of the albums best known track "Move On Up" is an excellent example; that familiar horn opening, driving congas and Curtis' falsetto vocal and it's message of hope, with the close a funk workout that was absent from the hit single version.

Other stand-out tracks include "The Other Side Of Town", one of Mayfield's most political songs, about the debilitating effect of ghetto life, and his hymn to his race "We The People Who Are Darker Than Blue". There is only one track which has love (or at least its ending) as a theme, the final cut "Give It Up" which is about the end of a relationship.

Curtis Mayfield went on to cement his place as one of the Black Musics premier artists as well as a spokesman for his people during a career that lasted until 1990 when he was paralysed when a lighting rig fell on him while onstage rehearsing. This album at the beginning of his solo career, saw his talent in full flow.
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