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Playlist: Curtis Mayfield

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An aesthete guitarist praised by Jimi Hendrix, a singer whose insane falsetto was venerated by Prince and a songwriter of very high-level, the ex-leader of the Impressions was capable of greatness, creating solid bridges between funk, a gospel tradition and soul in cinemascope. The art of Curtis Mayfield was a real electroshock for American black music in th...

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Curtis Mayfield

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Title Artist Album Duration
1
Move on Up (Extended Version)
Curtis Mayfield Curtis 00:08:53

Robert Lewis, Horn - Curtis Mayfield, Producer, Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Clifford Davis, Saxophone - Phil Upchurch, Guitar - JOHN ROSS, Keyboards - John Howell, Trumpet - Riley Hampton, Arranger - Gary Slabo, Arranger, Instruments - Tom Flye, Engineer - Harold Dessent, Woodwinds - Robert Sims, Drums, Percussion - Danny Turbeville, Assistant Engineer - Harold Klatz, Viola - Lorin Binford, Trombone - Master Henry Gibson, Percussion - Roger Anfinson, Engineer - Ron Kolber, Baritone Saxophone - Donald Simmons, Drums - Patrick Ferreri, Guitar - Elloit Golub, Violin - Harold Lepp, Instruments - Leonard Druss, Saxophone - Richard Single, Instruments - Rudolph Stauber, Trumpet - Sam Heiman, Instruments - Sol Bobrob, Violin

© 2000 Warner Strategic Marketing ℗ 1970 Curtom Classics Inc., a label of Warner Strategic Marketing

2
People Get Ready (Single Version)
Various Artists Music For Groovin' 00:02:37

Curtis Mayfield, Producer, ComposerLyricist - The Impressions, MainArtist - Johnny Pate, Producer

℗ 1965 UMG Recordings, Inc.

3
Future Shock
Curtis Mayfield Back to the World 00:05:19

Richard Tufo, Arranger - Curtis Mayfield, Producer, Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Roger Anfinsen, Engineer

© 2004 Warner Strategic Marketing ℗ 1973 Curtom Records, under exclusive license to Rhino Entertainment Company

4
Sweet Exorcist
Curtis Mayfield Sweet Exorcist 00:03:50

Richard Tufo, Arranger - Curtis Mayfield, Producer, Vocals, Writer, MainArtist

© 2005 Warner Stategic Marketing ℗ 1974 Curtom Records, a label of Rhino Entertainment Company

5
(Don't Worry) If There Is a Hell Below, We're All Going to Go
Curtis Mayfield Curtis 00:07:50

Robert Lewis, Horn - Curtis Mayfield, Producer, Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Clifford Davis, Saxophone - Phil Upchurch, Guitar - JOHN ROSS, Keyboards - John Howell, Trumpet - Riley Hampton, Arranger - Gary Slabo, Arranger, Instruments - Tom Flye, Engineer - Harold Dessent, Woodwinds - Robert Sims, Drums, Percussion - Danny Turbeville, Assistant Engineer - Harold Klatz, Viola - Lorin Binford, Trombone - Master Henry Gibson, Percussion - Roger Anfinson, Engineer - Ron Kolber, Baritone Saxophone - Donald Simmons, Drums - Patrick Ferreri, Guitar - Elloit Golub, Violin - Harold Lepp, Instruments - Leonard Druss, Saxophone - Richard Single, Instruments - Rudolph Stauber, Trumpet - Sam Heiman, Instruments - Sol Bobrob, Violin

© 2000 Warner Strategic Marketing ℗ 1970 Curtom Records, under exclusive license to Rhino Entertainment Company

6
Get Down
Curtis Mayfield Roots 00:05:48

Curtis Mayfield, Producer, Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Henry Gibson, Percussion - Leroy Hutson, Backing Vocals - Lucky, Bass Guitar - Riley Hampton, Arranger - Michael Hawkins, Backing Vocals - Roger Anfinsen, MasteringEngineer - Tyrone McCullen, Drums - Craig McCullen, Guitar - John Pate, Arranger - Marv Heiman, Conductor

© 1999 Rhino Entertainment Co. ℗ 1971 Curtom Records, under exclusive license to Rhino Entertainment Company

7
The Young Mods' Forgotten Story (LP Version)
The Impressions The Young Mods' Forgotten Story 00:02:01

C. Mayfield, Writer - The Impressions, MainArtist

© 1969 Rhino Entertainment ℗ 1969 Curtom Records

8
Gypsy Woman (Single Version)
Various Artists The ABC's Of Soul, Vol. 1 00:02:19

Curtis Mayfield, Producer, ComposerLyricist - The Impressions, MainArtist

A Geffen Records Release; ℗ 1961 UMG Recordings, Inc.

9
They Don't Know
The Impressions This Is My Country 00:02:45

Curtis Mayfield, Writer - The Impressions, Vocals, MainArtist

1968 Rhino Entertainment 1968 Rhino Entertainment

10
Claudine Theme
Gladys Knight & The Pips Claudine (Original Soundtrack) 00:04:18

Richard Tufo, Arranger - Curtis Mayfield, Composer - Curtis Mayfield, Lyricist - Curtis Mayfield, Producer - Gladys Knight & The Pips, Performer

(P) 1974 BMG Music Direct Marketing Inc. and MEWG Music Inc.

11
New World Order (LP Version)
Curtis Mayfield New World Order 00:05:36

Charles Pettaway, Backing Vocals - Brian Fleming, Producer, Backing Vocals, Writer - Curtis Mayfield, Producer, Executive Producer, Lead Vocals, Writer, Mixing Engineer, MainArtist - Gary Thompson, Guitar - ALEX LOWE, Assistant Engineer - Carlos Glover, Producer, Engineer, Mixing Engineer, Strings - Raimundo Thomas, Backing Vocals, Writer - Mario Thompson, Lead Guitar - Rosemary Woods, Producer, Piano, Backing Vocals

© 1996 Warner Records Inc. ℗ 1996 Warner Records Inc.

12
Kung Fu
Curtis Mayfield Sweet Exorcist 00:06:11

Curtis Mayfield, Producer, Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Gil Askey, Arranger

© 2005 Warner Stategic Marketing ℗ 1974 Curtom Records, a label of Warner Strategic Marketing

13
This Is My Country
The Impressions This Is My Country 00:02:47

Curtis Mayfield, Writer - The Impressions, Vocals, MainArtist

1968 Rhino Entertainment 1968 Rhino Entertainment

14
Can't Say Nothin'
Curtis Mayfield Back to the World 00:05:16

Richard Tufo, Arranger - Curtis Mayfield, Producer, Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Roger Anfinsen, Engineer

© 2004 Warner Strategic Marketing ℗ 1973 Curtom Records, under exclusive license to Rhino Entertainment Company

15
Freddie's Dead (Theme from 'Superfly') (Single Mix)
Curtis Mayfield Superfly (Soundtrack from the Motion Picture) 00:03:20

Curtis Mayfield, Composer, Producer, MainArtist - Irv Stimler, Producer

1972 Curtom Classics, LLC 1972 Curtom Classics, LLC

16
If I Were Only a Child Again
Curtis Mayfield Back to the World 00:02:52

Richard Tufo, Arranger - Curtis Mayfield, Producer, Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Roger Anfinsen, Engineer

© 2004 Warner Strategic Marketing ℗ 1973 Curtom Records, under exclusive license to Rhino Entertainment Company

17
Superfly (Recorded Live by WTTW-TV Chicago)
Curtis Mayfield Curtis Live! 00:03:57

Curtis Mayfield, Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Irv Stimler, AssociateProducer

© 2004 Warner Strategic Marketing ℗ 1972 Curtom Records, a label of Warner Strategic Marketing

18
If I Were Only a Child Again (Live in Chicago)
Curtis Mayfield Curtis in Chicago - Recorded Live! 00:04:32

Curtis Mayfield, Producer, Vocals, Writer, MainArtist

© 2005 Warner Strategic Marketing ℗ 1973 Curtom Records, under exclusive license to Rhino Entertainment Company

19
Beautiful Brother of Mine (Single Version)
Curtis Mayfield Roots 00:03:08

Curtis Mayfield, Writer, Performance, MainArtist

© 1999 Rhino Entertainment Co. ℗ 1971 Curtom Records, a label of Rhino Entertainment Company

20
Keep on Trippin'
Curtis Mayfield Back to the World 00:03:16

Richard Tufo, Arranger - Curtis Mayfield, Producer, Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Philip Upchurch, Writer - Roger Anfinsen, Engineer

© 2004 Warner Strategic Marketing ℗ 1973 Curtom Records, a label of Rhino Entertainment Company

Curtis Mayfield, Composer, Producer, MainArtist - Irv Stimler, Producer

1972 Curtom Classics, LLC 1972 Curtom Classics, LLC

22
We Got to Have Peace (2019 Remaster) (Remastered)
Curtis Mayfield Keep on Keeping On. Studio Albums 1970-74 (2019 Remaster) 00:04:47

Curtis Mayfield, Producer, Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Henry Gibson, Percussion - Leroy Hutson, Backing Vocals - Lucky, Bass Guitar - Riley Hampton, Arranger - Michael Hawkins, Backing Vocals - Roger Anfinsen, MasteringEngineer - Tyrone McCullen, Drums - Craig McCullen, Guitar - John Pate, Arranger - Marv Heiman, Conductor

© 2019 Curtom Records for the U.S. and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the U.S. All Rights Reserved. ℗ 1971 Curtom Records 2019 Remastered Rhino Entertainment

23
Freddie's Dead (Theme from 'Superfly')
Curtis Mayfield Superfly (Soundtrack from the Motion Picture) 00:05:28

Curtis Mayfield, Composer, Producer, MainArtist - Irv Stimler, Producer

1972 Curtom Classics, LLC 1972 Curtom Classics, LLC

24
People Get Ready (Single Version)
The Impressions The Greatest Hits 00:02:37

Curtis Mayfield, Producer, ComposerLyricist - The Impressions, MainArtist - Johnny Pate, Producer

A Geffen Records Release; ℗ 1965 UMG Recordings, Inc.

25
(Don't Worry) If There's a Hell Below We're All Going to Go (Single Version)
Curtis Mayfield Curtis 00:03:26

Robert Lewis, Horn - Curtis Mayfield, Producer, Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Clifford Davis, Saxophone - Phil Upchurch, Guitar - JOHN ROSS, Keyboards - John Howell, Trumpet - Riley Hampton, Arranger - Gary Slabo, Arranger, Instruments - Tom Flye, Engineer - Harold Dessent, Woodwinds - Robert Sims, Drums, Percussion - Danny Turbeville, Assistant Engineer - Harold Klatz, Viola - Lorin Binford, Trombone - Master Henry Gibson, Percussion - Roger Anfinson, Engineer - Ron Kolber, Baritone Saxophone - Donald Simmons, Drums - Patrick Ferreri, Guitar - Elloit Golub, Violin - Harold Lepp, Instruments - Leonard Druss, Saxophone - Richard Single, Instruments - Rudolph Stauber, Trumpet - Sam Heiman, Instruments - Sol Bobrob, Violin

© 2000 Warner Strategic Marketing ℗ 1970 Curtom Records, under exclusive license to Rhino Entertainment Company

Curtis Mayfield, Composer, Producer, Engineer, MainArtist - Irv Stimler, Producer

1972 Curtom Classics, LLC 1972 Curtom Classics, LLC

27
Eddie You Should Know Better
Curtis Mayfield Superfly (Soundtrack from the Motion Picture) 00:02:20

Curtis Mayfield, Composer, Producer, MainArtist - Irv Stimler, Producer

1972 Curtom Classics, LLC 1972 Curtom Classics, LLC

28
Here but I'm Gone (Album Version)
Curtis Mayfield New World Order 00:05:18

Ivan Matias, Writer - Debra Killings, Backing Vocals - Marqueze Etheridge, Writer - Tomi Martin, Acoustic Guitar - Marvin "Chanz" Parkman, Keyboards - Preston Crump, Bass Guitar - Curtis Mayfield, Executive Producer, Lead Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Andrea Martin, Writer - DEXTER SIMMONS, Mixing Engineer - Brian Frye, Audio Recording Engineer - Mike Wilson, Assistant Engineer - Martin Terry, Guitar - Organized Noize, Producer, Drums, Writer, Mixing Engineer - Shawn Grove, Assistant Engineer - ALEX LOWE, Assistant Engineer - Blake Eiseman, Audio Recording Engineer - Joi, Backing Vocals - Carlos Glover, Audio Recording Engineer - Carl Brown, Assistant Engineer - Dee Simmons, Drums

© 1996 Warner Records Inc. ℗ 1996 Warner Records Inc.

29
We the People Who Are Darker Than Blue (2019 Remaster) (Remastered)
Curtis Mayfield Keep on Keeping On. Studio Albums 1970-74 (2019 Remaster) 00:06:03

Robert Lewis, Horn - Curtis Mayfield, Producer, Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Clifford Davis, Saxophone - Phil Upchurch, Guitar - JOHN ROSS, Keyboards - John Howell, Trumpet - Riley Hampton, Arranger - Gary Slabo, Arranger, Instruments - Tom Flye, Engineer - Harold Dessent, Woodwinds - Robert Sims, Drums, Percussion - Danny Turbeville, AssistantEngineer - Harold Klatz, Viola - Lorin Binford, Trombone - Master Henry Gibson, Percussion - Roger Anfinson, Engineer - Ron Kolber, Baritone Saxophone - Donald Simmons, Drums - Patrick Ferreri, Guitar - Elloit Golub, Violin - Harold Lepp, Instruments - Leonard Druss, Saxophone - Richard Single, Instruments - Rudolph Stauber, Trumpet - Sam Heiman, Instruments - Sol Bobrob, Violin

© 2019 Curtom Records for the U.S. and WEA International Inc. for the world outside the U.S. All Rights Reserved. ℗ 1970 Curtom Records 2019 Remastered Rhino Entertainment

30
Only You Babe
Curtis Mayfield The Very Best of Curtis Mayfield 00:04:23

Curtis Mayfield, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist

1997 Curtom Classics, LLC 1976 Curtom Classics, LLC

31
Show Me Love
Curtis Mayfield Never Say You Can't Survive 00:05:16

Curtis Mayfield, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist

1977 Curtom Classics, LLC 1977 Curtom Classics, LLC

32
Billy Jack
Curtis Mayfield There's No Place Like America Today 00:06:07

Curtis Mayfield, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist

1975 Curtom Classics, LLC 1975 Curtom Classics, LLC

33
This Year (Bonus Track)
Linda Clifford The Right Combination 00:03:52

Curtis Mayfield, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist

1980 Curtom Classics, LLC 1980 Curtom Classics, LLC

34
You're so Good to Me
Curtis Mayfield Heartbeat 00:06:54

Gilbert Askey, ComposerLyricist - Curtis Mayfield, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist

1979 Curtom Classics, LLC 1979 Curtom Classics, LLC

Curtis Mayfield, Producer, ComposerLyricist - The Impressions, MainArtist

A Geffen Records Release; ℗ 1961 UMG Recordings, Inc.

36
Make Me Believe in You
Curtis Mayfield Sweet Exorcist 00:05:28

Richard Tufo, Arranger - Curtis Mayfield, Producer, Vocals, Writer, MainArtist

© 2005 Warner Stategic Marketing ℗ 1974 Curtom Records, a label of Rhino Entertainment Company

37
Hey Baby (Give It All to Me)
Curtis Mayfield Sommer Hot 00:04:44

Curtis Mayfield, Performer, Composer

2010 Acewonder ltd. 2010 Cugate ltd.

38
Do Do Wap Is Strong in Here
Curtis Mayfield The Very Best of Curtis Mayfield 00:03:34

Curtis Mayfield, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist

1997 Curtom Classics, LLC 1977 Curtom Classics, LLC

39
Keep on Keeping On
Curtis Mayfield Roots 00:05:08

Curtis Mayfield, Producer, Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Henry Gibson, Percussion - Leroy Hutson, Backing Vocals - Lucky, Bass Guitar - Riley Hampton, Arranger - Michael Hawkins, Backing Vocals - Roger Anfinsen, MasteringEngineer - Tyrone McCullen, Drums - Craig McCullen, Guitar - John Pate, Arranger - Marv Heiman, Conductor

© 1999 Rhino Entertainment Co. ℗ 1971 Curtom Records, a label of Rhino Entertainment Company

40
We've Only Just Begun (Live at Bitter End, NYC)
Curtis Mayfield Curtis Live! 00:03:44

Roger Nichols, Writer - Joseph Scott, Bass Guitar - Curtis Mayfield, Producer, Engineer, Guitar, Vocals, MainArtist - Henry Gibson, Congas - Eddie Kramer, Engineer - Paul Williams, Writer - Tom Flye, MixingEngineer - Craig McMullen, Guitar - Tyrone McCullen, Drums

© 2004 Warner Strategic Marketing ℗ 1971 Curtom Records, a label of Rhino Entertainment Company

About Playlist

An aesthete guitarist praised by Jimi Hendrix, a singer whose insane falsetto was venerated by Prince and a songwriter of very high-level, the ex-leader of the Impressions was capable of greatness, creating solid bridges between funk, a gospel tradition and soul in cinemascope. The art of Curtis Mayfield was a real electroshock for American black music in the 60s and 70s.

Curtis Mayfield, in a League of his Own

by Marc Zisman, Translated by Michele Amar

Aesthete guitar player worshiped by Jimi Hendrix, extraordinary falsetto singer revered by Prince, and a brilliant songwriter, Curtis Mayfield treated melodies as a master sculptor. His songs melded funk, gospel and soul together. Twenty years after his death, his politically charged music is still relevant and well-suited to describe America under Donald Trump.

Reaching Number 1 in the US R&B charts, Curtis was also a hit in the UK where the single Move On Up topped the local charts. But instead of building on this wide success with a second studio album, Curtis Mayfield started 1971 with the release of a live recording, Curtis/Live!, which was released in the same month as What’s Going On. On stage, Mayfield’s sophisticated songs gained more energy and groove. Later on that same year, Mayfield took a few weeks off to write the songs of his second studio album, Roots, which went on sale in October. The album featured many impressive singles such as Get Down, Beautiful Brother of Mine and We Got to Have Peace, and carried the same instrumental fullness as Curtis. Unfortunately, as awesome as it was, the album couldn’t hit the same heights as Marvin Gaye’s masterpiece. The following year, Curtis Mayfield jumped on a golden opportunity. Following the footsteps of Isaac Hayes (who made a lot of money with his soundtrack for Shaft), Mayfield was offered to work on the music of a new blaxploitation film directed by Gordon Parks Jr (the son of the man behind Shaft): SuperFly. He signed off on the soundtrack of this Harlem drug story in 1973, keeping the spirit of his first two albums alive while accentuating their darker side to fit the film’s general mood. In his lyrics, Curtis obviously criticized the choices and actions of the film’s characters, taking on a slightly different direction from his predecessors. With SuperFly, Mayfield exposed and condemned the mayhem of drugs in the Black neighborhoods. Singles like Pusherman and Freddie’s Dead did very well on the charts and the soundtrack reached number 1 in both the R&B and pop charts! Curtis Mayfield had finally reached the height of his success.


Within the next two years, Curtis Mayfield recorded three studio albums (Back to the World in May 1973, Sweet Exorcist in May 1974 and Got to Find a Way in November 1974). He also released a second live album (Curtis in Chicago in October 1973) and another soundtrack (Claudine directed by John Berry in March 1974 which featured Gladys Knight & The Pips). In the 1980’s, Mayfield was still productive but his success began to decrease. On August 13, 1990, while he was playing live at Wingate Park in Brooklyn, the stage’s lightning equipment fell on him. Curtis Mayfield was 48 and was paralysed from the neck down until his death on 26 December 1999. From the 1990s all the way up to the current day, many of his songs have been sampled by prominent rap artists such as Jay-Z, A Tribe Called Quest, The Notorious B.I.G., Kanye West, EPMD, Travis Scott, Snoop Dogg and Kendrick Lamar. Curtis Mayfield stands as a totally unique figure in the history of great Black Music. A wonderful composer, he was able to find his stylistic space among the other charismatic musicians of his time: James Brown, Sly Stone, Stevie Wonder and George Clinton. What set Mayfield apart was that he was also an amazing lyricist whose songs are useful, now as ever, in understanding and overcoming the troubles of contemporary America.

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