“Curtis” by Curtis Mayfield - album review

features in: Album Chart of 1970Album Chart of the Decade: 1970s

TJR says

The Impressions front-man stepped aside for this solo effort which arrived in September, 1970. It gave him the chance to stretch out some, incorporating motifs from the recent psychedelic-era as well as from the future funk. Lyrically, it was a socially and politically conscious set, encouraging African-American pride. “(Don’t Worry) If There’s A Hell Below, We’re All Going To Go” serves as a classic starter; it’s on another level with crisp horns, phat bass and a very exciting funk-groove. “Sisters, Brothers and the whiteys, blacks and the crackers, police and their backers, they're all political lackeys, smoke, the people, and the dope, educated fools, from uneducated schools, pimping people is the rule, polluted water in the pool, and everybody saying, ‘Don't worry’, they say ‘don't worry, don’t worry’”. The great start continues with “The Other Side Of Town”, which is effortlessly graceful, belying the core feeling: anger and depression borne of poverty. It ain’t gonna be easy, warns Curtis on “Move on Up”, but his winning positivity roused thousands: “Hush now child, and don't you cry, your folks might understand you by and by, just MOVE ON UP! toward your destination, though you might find from time to time, complication.” Congas, horns and strings collide in the joyous 9 minute call-to-action culture-clash. “Curtis” was a most-welcome change of direction from the artist. Respect was due to this funk-soul brother. Power to the people!

The Jukebox Rebel

A1 [07:50] 9.4.png Curtis Mayfield - (Don’t Worry) If There’s A Hell Below, We’re All Going To Go (Curtis Mayfield) Disco / Funk
A2 [04:01] 8.2.png Curtis Mayfield - The Other Side Of Town (Curtis Mayfield) Soul
A3 [03:43] 5.2.png Curtis Mayfield - The Makings Of You (Curtis Mayfield) Soul Ballad
A4 [06:05] 6.0.png Curtis Mayfield - We The People Who Are Darker Than Blue (Curtis Mayfield) Soul Ballad
B1 [08:54] 8.5.png Curtis Mayfield - Move On Up (Curtis Mayfield) Soul
B2 [02:58] 5.1.png Curtis Mayfield - Miss Black America (Curtis Mayfield) Soul
B3 [03:16] 7.7.png Curtis Mayfield - Wild And Free (Curtis Mayfield) Soul
B4 [03:49] 6.1.png Curtis Mayfield - Give It Up (Curtis Mayfield) Soul

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