Curtis Mayfield Curtis on Numbered Limited-Edition 24K Gold CD from Mobile Fidelity
Mayfield's Stunning 1970 Solo Debut Set Benchmarks in Music, Songwriting, and Production Fields
Mastered from the Original Analog Master Tapes: At Last, Sonics That Reveal the Record's Soulfulness
might best be remembered for producing the Super Fly
soundtrack but the incomparable soul singer/multi-instrumentalist/composer never eclipsed the musical and songwriting genius of 1970's groundbreaking Curtis
. Released shortly after he departed the Impressions
, a vocal group that he'd already taken in socially conscious directions, Mayfield's self-titled solo debut set new standards in areas of production, songwriting, and musical fusion
. A gripping statement that fearlessly confronted the controversial issues consuming America and urban life, it served as an influential precursor to Marvin Gaye's What's Going On
and remains an inextricable part of the R&B landscape. Seldom has an album registered with so many audiences and groups.
While drawing upon the doo-wop and gospel characteristics made famous by the Impressions, Mayfield stood out as a solo pioneer by mixing in decidedly funky rhythms, swirling string accompaniments, extended and wide-open grooves. His exclusively falsetto singing heightened the drama. Almost unconsciously, Curtis created the blueprint for the future of psychedelic funk, birth of blaxploitation music, and advancement of elegant soul that placed black music on the same platform as the era's most celebrated pop and rock recordings. On top of it all, the Chicago native delivered message-driven lyrics that challenged the social, economic, and political concerns that had become inherent to the African-American experience. Far from being preachy, Mayfield's tightly focused lyrics embrace a courageous freedom and sense of humanity, echoing like conversations overheard on the street.
Rarely has any album more saliently addressed prejudice, disparity, and injustice in such an intelligent and biting manner. The record's crossover appeal and catchy melodies spread Mayfield's sentiments to the mainstream, which embraced powerful emotional fare such as "(Don't Worry) If There's a Hell Below, We're All Going to Go," an attention-getting single that reached number three on the Billboard charts. Simultaneously menacing and empowering, lush and gritty, intense and laidback, orchestral and lean, rousing and soothing, Curtis' revolutionary legacy is further underscored by the presence of the uplifting anthem "Move On Up," an inspiring and unifying classic on par with Bob Dylan's "The Times They Are A-Changin'." It's no wonder that artists as disparate as the Afghan Whigs, Bruce Springsteen, and My Morning Jacket have all covered material from the album.
Mastered from the original analog master tapes, and available on numbered limited-edition 24K Gold CD from Mobile Fidelity, the eminently soulful Curtis now invigorates the senses and triggers reactions like never before. Mayfield's smooth singing and brilliant production devices – the harps and strings on "Wild and Free," progressive grooves of the wake-up call "The Other Side of Town," the lengthy R&B sway of "We the People Who Are Darker Than Blue," the punctual horns and shaking congas that spice nearly every track – resonate with incredible immediacy and breathtaking clarity, all the while retaining the raw spirit and ambitious sophistication Mayfield intended. Whether this 1970 classic is a longtime favorite or you've never heard it, this is the only digital version to own.
Do not miss this musical masterpiece from Mobile Fidelity. Order your limited-edition 24K Gold CD, housed in gorgeous mini-LP style packaging, from Music Direct today to get the lowest number possible!
"This remaster just oozes passion, feeling, and yes, soul. It has a big, warm fat sound, with Mayfield's vocals ringing out loud and clear, much better than you remember, with orchestral elements floating all across the soundstage. When Mayfield yells, 'Sisters, Niggas, Whiteys, Jews, Crackers!' over the distorted bass line that opens the record, the effect will make you want to hit the floor in anticipation of The Man breaking through the door at any second."
Curtis Mayfield Curtis Track Listing:
– Jeff Dorgay, TONE Audio, Issue 29
- (Don't Worry) If There's a Hell Below, We're All Going to Go
- The Other Side of Town
- The Makings of You
- We the People Who are Darker than Blue
- Move on Up
- Miss Black America
- Wild and Free
- Give It Up