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Back to the World


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Audio CD, August 29, 2006
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 29, 2006)
  • Original Release Date: 2006
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Snapper UK
  • ASIN: B000B9WDIW
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #34,352 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Back to the World
2. Future Shock
3. Right on for the Darkness
4. Future Song (Love a Good Woman, Love a Good Man)
5. If I Were Only a Child Again
6. Can't Say Nothin'
7. Keep on Trippin'

Editorial Reviews

Back To The World is a powerful concept album dealing with America's social issues, the aftermath of the Vietnam War, the environment (years before it became fashionable), as well as Curtis' optimism for the future. 7 total tracks. Charly. 2005.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 19 customer reviews
Curtis Mayfield was a great musician and a wonderful human being.
Cody Bryan III
And the beautiful album closer, "Keep On Trippin" is a song about one whose lost his love but is hoping that the "trip" she's on will lead her back to his arms.
Shining Star
It has some good songs like "Back to the World" and "Future Shock" but it seems like a bit of a disappointment as a follow-up to "Superfly".
Alan R. Farber

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Eddie Landsberg VINE VOICE on May 16, 2006
Format: Audio CD
This has always been one of my favorite Curtis Mayfield albums, even though I don't think its his most popular (and it often goes out of print.) The reason is because its just so darn tight and funky - - yet political (in that distinct Curtis Mayfield) way too. The tracks are so tight, its incredible... and not only is it heavy funk - - but its a distinct type of funk that only Curtis was playing (and that's hard to describe for the uninitiated.) - - I don't know how to describe it... 100% Curtis = 94% JB, 6% Bob Marley ??? Really, you have to listen...

Overall, this is a great album because on one hand the instrumental tracks are kicking -- even if you're not dancing, you can't help but move, however, if you listen to it just for the lyrics, you can follow Mayfield's lyrics from begining to end... in part because he had a unique style of lyric writing too that made him more of a political poet or even a pre-hip hop rapper more than a simple soul wailer or crooner (as was common in that era.) Throughout the album Mayfield's status as a visionary and artist becomes clearer and clearer as he paints pictures and makes you think and wonder. Consider the opening track BACK IN THE WORLD, with its pumping bass and drums, lush violins, wa wa guitars, and funky horns about a Vietname Vet who dreams of coming back to the U.S. but finds life quite a bit different than what he was expecting... Mayfield pleads his case passionately and emotionally by putting you in his mind, yet the tune is also so damn funky you don't know how to respond. The music makes you want to dance... but the message makes you both sad and angry at the same time. And at the same time he also has that unique style of rhythm guitar as well !

Overall this is an intense album.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By John David Sullivan on February 27, 2007
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This one's my favorite Curtis Mayfield release after Superfly.It was originally released in 1973 and was required listening during my days in the US Army. Oh what great memories! Highly recommended!!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Cody Bryan III on September 25, 2007
Format: Audio CD
I played this album on the air at Utapao Royal Thai Naval Air Force Base in 1973 and 1974 over the American Forces Radio and Television station. Most of us knew this album because it was about a Vietnam Vet coming back to the States. Curtis Mayfield was a great musician and a wonderful human being. He is missed.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Johnny Thursday on September 16, 2006
Format: Audio CD
This record has my alltime favorite curtis tune, and I love a whole lot of curtis tunes to death. When he says "it's the educated people...making up the rules, holding back the schools" I couldn't agree more. But much like his debut, Curtis, the hypnotic and apocolyptic ("hell below" on that one) is balanced by more upbeat stuff. Maybe the best Curtis cover art, too.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Shining Star on November 13, 2009
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I really loved this album and have always thought it was a great follow up to his masterpiece Superfly. He really shows off his incredible musical compositions on this album with some of the most breathtaking instrumentals i've ever heard. Curtis was the complete package, great songwriter, singer, arranager and producer. This album is a kind of a "concept" album of sorts. It still has powerful and timely lyrical content mainly dealing with life in the U.S. after the vietnam war which had just ended as the last troops were finally on their way back home.

The title track and 1st song on the album is told from the viewpoint of a soldier whose made it back home only to be told that A) The war had not been won and B) Nothing really had changed for the better since he'd left and in many ways was now worse. It's a very descriptive and chilling realization that now the soldier was in the midst of a another war for freedom of thought and expression "Back In The World". The second track, "Future Shock" is just as moving and powerful.

It details the actual war the soldier and his family are experiencing right here at "home" "Back In The World" that is the U.S. and paints the very real picture of how their was a just as much a struggle for survival here as in Vietnam. Then comes the Crown Jewel of this album, "Right On For The Darkness", which is such a beautiful example of a play on words. He tells of the blindness of the people and all the injustices going on all around and salutes the ignorance with a "Right On For The Darkness" almost as if to say, you're blind and asleep so continue on in your delusions.

It's at this point, after detailing all the "wrongs" of society, that the poet begins to tell us how to deal with the issues of the day.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Bill Your 'Free Form FM Print DJ on March 2, 2010
Format: Audio CD
What fascinates me about Curtis Mayfield--well, NASA scientists can't count that high.

But one most important element is that when soul and funk seemed two schools that only sometimes crossed paths, Mayfield to craft a perfect synergy.

On back to the world, the master continues with his soul that was always perfectly orchestrated, never sappy, and funk that was always knockout punch, but always melodic.

Forget about the brilliant social commentary--Mayfield somehow always managed to write and sing in poetry AND prose at once--the music works as two genres at once, not mixing them, but merging him.

Great music is common. True genius is rare. Curtis does and is both.
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