CURTIS MAYFIELD — Superfly

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CURTIS MAYFIELD - Superfly cover
4.85 | 6 ratings | 2 reviews
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Album · 1972

Tracklist

A1 Little Child Running Wild 5:15
A2 Pusherman 4:50
A3 Freddie's Dead 5:08
A4 Junkie Chase (Instrumental) 1:52
B1 Give Me Your Love (Love Song) 4:15
B2 Eddie You Should Know Better 2:14
B3 No Thing On Me (Cocaine Song) 4:52
B4 Think (Instrumental) 3:44
B5 Superfly 3:51

Total Time 36:51

Line-up/Musicians

- Curtis Mayfield - composer, vocals, guitar
- Joseph Lucky Scott - bass
- Master Henry Gibson - percussion
- Tyrone McCullen - drums ("Pusherman")
- Morris Jennings - drums
- Craig McMullen - guitar

About this release

Curtom ‎– CRS-8014-ST (US)

Soundtrack from the movie "Super Fly"

Recorded at RCA Studios in Chicago, Illinois - except "Pusherman", which was recorded at Bell Sound Studios New York

Thanks to dreadpirateroberts for the addition and snobb for the updates

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CURTIS MAYFIELD SUPERFLY reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

dreadpirateroberts
Certainly a masterpiece of Jazz Related RnB.

Curtis unveils an almost grimy funk on the soundtrack to 'Superfly' and provides a giant hit as he does so, the album shooting to number one across multiple charts in 1972. Often compared to another seminal 'protest' album from the 1970s, in Marvin Gaye's 'What's Going On,' 'Superfly' remains just as potent, even if it is not delivered in quite the same honeyed tones.

Lyrically (and typically), Curtis takes a more disapproving approach to the subjects of poverty, drugs and urban life, than does the blaxploitation film itself, but these lyrics compliment the music beautifully and are as insightful and clear as ever. It's one of his obvious strengths - direct, memorable and sincere.

The songwriting is consistently top-notch too, not just on brilliant singles 'Freddie's Dead' or 'Superfly' but on the remaining tracks, from the short instrumental 'Junkie Chase' or 'Give me your Love' with its sparse vocal, to other album tracks like opener 'Little Child Runnin' Wild' with its greasy lead guitar. ‘Pusherman’ is another stand out. Employing an almost-rap delivery and repetitive guitar work, it’s part of a run of three excellent songs that mix his usual funk and orchestration. As with many Mayfield albums, the string arrangements are just as prominent as the horns and rhythm section, and never more beautiful than on 'Freddie's' chorus. In fact, it's no stretch for me to call it one of Curtis' all-time greatest songs, from a career than was well over ten years in at the time of the soundtrack's release.

If there is a slight dip in the quality of the album it’s supplied by 'No Thing on Me (The Cocaine Song).' It does not detract from the album – it merely represents a moment that cannot match the heights reached by the rest of the soundtrack.

Expect horns, strings and a funky rhythm, along with Curtis' trademark lyrical approach and falsetto. Furthermore, expect one of his best albums hands down.

Members reviews

Warthur
Adding a tense, nervous energy to his string and brass sections compared with the preceding Curtis, with Superfly Curtis Mayfield might have in theory been cutting the soundtrack for a sleazy and rather forgettable blaxploitation movie, but it stands perfectly well on its own as a sort of concept album telling its own story about corruption, vice, and the harm inflicted on communities from within and from without. It's like a soundtrack for The Wire several decades early, and has plenty to offer to the jazz listener, particularly with some of the horn solos. Standing at the corner between soul and funk, you could do a lot worse than sample what Curtis is pushing here.

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