~ Release group by Curtis Mayfield


Release Format Tracks Date Country Label Catalog# Barcode
Curtis 12" Vinyl 8 Curtom Records CRS 8005
Curtis CD 8 Curtom Records CUR 2012
Curtis Vinyl 8 Sequel Records NEMLP 965 5023224096517
Curtis CD 17 Rhino (reissue label) 8122-79932-2 081227993221
Curtis CD 17 Rhino (reissue label) R2 79932 081227993221
Curtis CD 8 Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab UDCD 781 821797078160
Curtis CD 8 Curtom Records WPCR-27702 4943674164844


associated singles/EPs: (Don’t Worry) If There’s a Hell Below We’re All Going to Go / The Makings of You
included in: Original Album Series (Curtis Mayfield)
Allmusic: [info]
Discogs: [info]
Wikidata: Q717750 [info]
Wikipedia: en: Curtis (Curtis Mayfield album) [info]
other databases: [info]
reviews: [info]

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Since the early '60s, Curtis Mayfield had been proving to the world what a great commercial writer he was. Not only churning out hits for his own band, The Impressions, he'd also scored serious chart action with acts like Major Lance, Jan Bradley and even Brian Hyland. But while his pop soul credentials were immaculate, he'd also been carving out a name as black music's premier exponent of songs that mirrored the civil rights movement in the USA. By 1970 this strand in his music had morphed into Black power consciousness, and his first full foray into tougher territory came with his first solo album, Curtis.

While he was still ostensibly with the Impressions when he recorded Curtis, the music he laid down was a different beast entirely. Rather than the smooth pop of his former band, he chose a grittier funk nand psychedelic edge with which to deliver this missive of consciousness-raising. Recorded at a time when, as Curtis himself said: ''...people stopped wearing tuxedos...people were getting down a little more'', the album, encouraged by his manager, allowed Mayfield to spread his wings and experiment a little more.

While the juxtaposition of strings, harps and throbbing backbeats may well have sprung more from his lack of musical education, the results were startling. Mixing contemporary issues about racial pride and civic responsibility (Miss Black America, Move On Up) the albium was a heady brew of realism and danceable grooves. Only boasting one hit ((Don't Worry) If There's Hell Below We're All Going To Go), Curtis still sold well and opened up Mayfield's career to the extent that he shook off the chains of commercialism once and for all (he left the Impressions for good the following year), becoming a spokesman of his generation.