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Curtis Mayfield - Curtis

Drift Sunday Classic

Curtis Mayfield - Curtis

Released in September 1970, Curtis is the eponymous solo debut from Curtis Mayfield, an album of soothing soul and biting social commentary.

Although Curtis was Curtis Mayfield’s solo debut LP, he had spent the previous decade as a founder member and principal songwriter for Rock and Roll Hall of Famers, The Impressions. Masters of doo-wop soul, it was during this time that Mayfield first illustrated his skills for sociopolitical undercurrents in his songs. Although on the release of his debut he had no intentions of leaving The Impressions full time, his solo debut forced it and was remarkable for several of reasons.
Curtis Mayfield - Curtis
Firstly, it was self-produced. Outside of the expectations of what The Impressions ‘should’ sound like, he was able to bring in huge orchestrations and a scorching funk band that perfectly balanced the saccharine soul of his inimitable voice. From the very first beats, this was a new sound. Secondly, the album was released on his own Curtom Records label, a bold move at the time, but the imprint would go on to huge commercial success throughout the seventies. Curtis illustrated supreme confidence in it’s own creative and cultural value. Much of the album is rooted in sweet and soothing soul, but the two singles - (Don't Worry) If There's a Hell Below, We're All Going to Go, and Move On Up - are complex, sprawling and effervescent. Not only was Mayfield one of the first artists to write openly about African-American pride and community struggle, he did so in a way that was so arresting and musically gratifying. The cut-down edit of Move On Up would spend months in the charts and remains one of the most euphoric, faultless and instantly recognised songs of all time.
Curtis Mayfield - Curtis
In a career that would continue to condemn social dysfunction, systemic racism and cultural shortchange - all through the lens of funk, soul and shimmering cinematics - Curtis was an incredible introduction to ‘that voice’ as a solo artist, and also a hugely significant influence on how soul music would evolve throughout the 1970s. If your heart doesn't pound with delight when the drum break comes back in on Move On Up, you ain’t listening...

Pensive, beautiful, lavish and utterly vital. A classic amongst classics.

Drift Sunday Classic
• In stock now, we have the 2013 pressing on high-quality 180 gram vinyl.
• The reissue comes complete with original artwork in a gatefold sleeve and re-mastered audio.