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Curtis Extra tracks

4.8 out of 5 stars 48 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

A deluxe reissue of the late soul poet's stunning 1970 solo debut, a funky masterpiece and a missive to black America. Joining the original LP are his hit single version of the unforgettable (Don't Worry) If There's a Hell Below We're All Going to Go plus six demos-all previously unissued in the U.S.!
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 15, 2000)
  • Original Release Date: 1970
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Extra tracks
  • Label: Rhino
  • ASIN: B00004UDE9
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #22,167 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

By P Magnum HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on October 29, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Curtis Mayfield was one of the first black artists to openly sing about the inequities facing his race as well as sing with Afrocentricity. He wrote songs for his group, The Impressions, such as "Choice of Colors", "We're A Winner" and "Keep On Pushin'" that provided the soundtrack for the civil rights movement. On his first solo album, Curtis, he takes on a harder stance and his songs are most critical and scathing than the uplifting one he performed with The Impressions. The album's opener "(Don't Worry) If There's A Hell Below, We're All Gonna Go" breaks down stereotypes and lays blame for the nation's situation on everyone. The album's best track is the misty "We The People Who Are Darker Than Blue" that has a mystical vibe to it. Mr. Mayfield was never afraid of speaking his mind and his debut solo album has alot to say.
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Format: Audio CD
Of all my favorite songwriters, a group including the teams of Tosh/Marley Lennom/McCartney, Page/Plant, Jagger/Richards and Patton/Benjamin (Outkast), Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Jimi Hendrix and Ben Harper to name a few I would have to put the late, great Curtis Mayfield, Soul Brother #1 right at the top. His songs had the social conscioussness and political militance of Martin Luther King and he was a major influence two of the greatest Soul Brothas of all time, the "Bush Doctor" Peter Tosh and Brother Bob Marley who imitated his work with the Impressions as they first performed as the wailers . His music over three plus decades was just off the meat rack funky as hell, and so ahead of his time that his songs have been sampled on some of the best hip hop beats OF ALL TIME like Camp Lo's "Black Nostaljak a.k.a. Come On!", 2Pac's "r u still down", or the "BathTub" skit from Snoop's first album. You might not recognize these songs on paper but you most definitely would if you heard them. The man was a certified musical genius.

That said, this, his first solo album might just be his best which is really quite a feat considering teh two or three he released subsequently like Superfly and Roots. Not a weak track among the original or added tracks but the very best are "Move on Up", "(Don't Worry) If there's Hell Below", We People who are Darker than Blue" and "Miss Black America" among the original tracks. Of the demos "underground","suffer" and "Ghetto Child" are the best, the latter track being nearly identical to the killer opening cut "Little Child Runnin' Wild" from Superfly only without horns or strings and other production overdubs).
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Format: Audio CD
Although this solo debut can be found for a good price as an import (backed with the lesser "Got To Find A Way" from 1974) Rhino has give it the treatment that it deserves on its own. There are 9 bonus tracks here with the best being the non-album tracks that turned up on later albums (i.e. "Underground" and "Suffer"). There are good liner notes and the sound is great. This was Curtis' best album of the 70's (along with Superfly, the songs hold up well today and it's great to have it as a budget-priced album in the States.
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Format: Audio CD
1970 was the year. While the Chi-lites were Singing(For God's sake)Give More Power To The People)Curtis Mayfield was taking it for himself and giving it back to the people. From the instant classic of "If there's a Hell Below(we're all gonna go)which puts today's rap music to shame. It was totally honest without being vulgar,Curtis made sure God and damn were individual words. He dared do what very few except Gil Scott-Heron do which is mention the Nixon by name,not inuendo. After talking about "Educated fools from uneducated schools." Curtis writes and the then president; "Nixon talking about don't worry,he say don't worry "(echo sound)but they don't know,there can be no show. If there's Hell below,we're all gonna go"(echo twice) But there is joy in this music the uplifting "Move On Up" And the thought provoking, "We The People"(who are darker than Blue)with is still timely questions:"High yellow gal, can't you tell,your just the surface of our dark deep well? and,"But there's the joker in the street. Lovin' one brother, and killing the other." Add to all that,The start of Mayfield's own record label, Curtom which lasted untill 1976. And you have a truely historic recording.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Simply said, Curtis Mayfield is the most underrated & underappreciated artist of the 20th century period! I was looking at Rolling Stone's list of the "100 Greatest Artist of All Time" recently and it has Curtis listed at #99?! Now, that's a ridiculous placement anyway you look at it, but, if you truly examine this list and see who they've got ahead of him, it's down right criminal!!!! Now, i'm fully aware of the ridiculous bias of Rolling Stone Magazine towards the beatles, elvis, etc.., but to place this man in the 99th position out of 100 is insane!!

He was one of the truest poets to ever pick up the pen and his songs are true reflections of the man, where he & the world were at that moment & where he hoped they both we would be in the end. He struck a cord with the youth of the day and like Maurice White, Sam Cooke, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder & Bob Dylan, spoke of the injustices and bigotry of that day in a clear and concise manner that was unavoidable while offering hope through mutual love & respect. Curtis was a unique blend of singer, songwriter, composer and producer, he was also one of the few artists of his day with his own record label.

"Curtis" is his 1st solo release after having already established his Genius in The Impressions. It is one of the most moving albums i've ever heard and every bit as good as the albums of that day and shows this man was every bit the writer as the above mentioned Avatars of Music history. Curtis' solo career is in many ways similar to that of Bob Dylan's. A tremendous songwriter whose music was considered the "Authority" for a particular movement. For Dylan, it was the "Folk Protest" movement and for Mayfield the "Civil Rights" movement.
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