CURTIS MAYFIELD

RnB / Jazz Related Soundtracks • United States
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Curtis Mayfield was born July 3, 1942 in the Cabrini-Green housing projects, Chicago’s North Side, part of a single parent, seven member family in a small apartment. Mayfield first sang before the public in his grandmother’s Traveling Soul Spiritualists’ Church at age 7, the church where he obtained and retained his lifelong appreciation of black gospel music. He would also appreciate the electric blues music, newly flourishing around him in Chicago, a form of black music soon to have such an impact on young white rockers the world over. Completing the circle of Mayfield’s talent was his mother’s enthusiasm for poetry that he inherited and turned into the song lyric.

A Learning Curve. Self taught on guitar by his very early teens, Mayfield’s approach to this instrument was also distinctive, tuning the guitar to the black keys of the piano. It was to provide him with a idiosyncratic sound throughout his
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CURTIS MAYFIELD Discography

CURTIS MAYFIELD albums / top albums

CURTIS MAYFIELD Curtis album cover 3.71 | 8 ratings
Curtis
RnB 1970
CURTIS MAYFIELD Roots album cover 2.21 | 5 ratings
Roots
RnB 1971
CURTIS MAYFIELD Superfly album cover 4.85 | 6 ratings
Superfly
Jazz Related Soundtracks 1972
CURTIS MAYFIELD Back to the World album cover 4.02 | 4 ratings
Back to the World
RnB 1973
CURTIS MAYFIELD Sweet Exorcist album cover 3.00 | 4 ratings
Sweet Exorcist
RnB 1974
CURTIS MAYFIELD Got to Find a Way album cover 2.14 | 3 ratings
Got to Find a Way
RnB 1974
CURTIS MAYFIELD There's No Place Like America Today album cover 2.77 | 4 ratings
There's No Place Like America Today
RnB 1975
CURTIS MAYFIELD Give, Get, Take and Have album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Give, Get, Take and Have
RnB 1976
CURTIS MAYFIELD Never Say You Can't Survive album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Never Say You Can't Survive
RnB 1977
CURTIS MAYFIELD Short Eyes album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Short Eyes
Jazz Related Soundtracks 1977
CURTIS MAYFIELD Do It All Night album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Do It All Night
RnB 1978
CURTIS MAYFIELD Heartbeat album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Heartbeat
RnB 1979
CURTIS MAYFIELD Something to Believe In album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Something to Believe In
RnB 1980
CURTIS MAYFIELD Love Is the Place album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Love Is the Place
RnB 1980
CURTIS MAYFIELD Honesty album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Honesty
RnB 1982
CURTIS MAYFIELD We Come in Peace With a Message of Love album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
We Come in Peace With a Message of Love
RnB 1985
CURTIS MAYFIELD Take It to the Streets album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Take It to the Streets
RnB 1990
CURTIS MAYFIELD New World Order album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
New World Order
RnB 1996

CURTIS MAYFIELD EPs & splits

CURTIS MAYFIELD live albums

CURTIS MAYFIELD Curtis/Live! album cover 4.79 | 3 ratings
Curtis/Live!
RnB 1971
CURTIS MAYFIELD Curtis in Chicago album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Curtis in Chicago
RnB 1973
CURTIS MAYFIELD Live in Europe album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Live in Europe
RnB 1988
CURTIS MAYFIELD People Get Ready album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
People Get Ready
RnB 1990
CURTIS MAYFIELD In Concert-486 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
In Concert-486
RnB 1990

CURTIS MAYFIELD demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

CURTIS MAYFIELD Rapping album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Rapping
RnB 1972

CURTIS MAYFIELD re-issues & compilations

CURTIS MAYFIELD The Best Of Curtis Mayfield (Buddah) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Best Of Curtis Mayfield (Buddah)
RnB 1974
CURTIS MAYFIELD Curtis Mayfield album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Curtis Mayfield
RnB 1974
CURTIS MAYFIELD Curtis Mayfield’s Story album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Curtis Mayfield’s Story
RnB 1974
CURTIS MAYFIELD People Get Ready! The Curtis Mayfield Story album cover 5.00 | 1 ratings
People Get Ready! The Curtis Mayfield Story
RnB 1996
CURTIS MAYFIELD Give It Up: The Best of the Curtom Years 1970 - 77 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Give It Up: The Best of the Curtom Years 1970 - 77
RnB 1997
CURTIS MAYFIELD The Best of Curtis Mayfield: Move on Up album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
The Best of Curtis Mayfield: Move on Up
RnB 1997
CURTIS MAYFIELD Love, Peace, Understanding album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Love, Peace, Understanding
RnB 1997
CURTIS MAYFIELD The Best of Curtis Mayfield (Rhino) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Best of Curtis Mayfield (Rhino)
RnB 1997
CURTIS MAYFIELD The Very Best of Curtis Mayfield (Rhino) album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
The Very Best of Curtis Mayfield (Rhino)
RnB 1997
CURTIS MAYFIELD The Ultimate Curtis Mayfield album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Ultimate Curtis Mayfield
RnB 1998
CURTIS MAYFIELD Curtis: The Very Best of Curtis Mayfield album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Curtis: The Very Best of Curtis Mayfield
RnB 1998
CURTIS MAYFIELD Move on Up: The Singles Anthology 1970-90 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Move on Up: The Singles Anthology 1970-90
RnB 1999
CURTIS MAYFIELD Gospel album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Gospel
RnB 1999
CURTIS MAYFIELD Superfly and Other Hits album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Superfly and Other Hits
RnB 1999
CURTIS MAYFIELD Beautiful Brother: The Essential Curtis Mayfield album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Beautiful Brother: The Essential Curtis Mayfield
RnB 2000
CURTIS MAYFIELD Soul Legacy album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Soul Legacy
RnB 2001
CURTIS MAYFIELD The Definitive Collection album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Definitive Collection
RnB 2002
CURTIS MAYFIELD Soul Music album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Soul Music
RnB 2003
CURTIS MAYFIELD Super Fly album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Super Fly
RnB 2004
CURTIS MAYFIELD Superfly Guy album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Superfly Guy
RnB 2005
CURTIS MAYFIELD The Essential Curtis Mayfield album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Essential Curtis Mayfield
RnB 2006
CURTIS MAYFIELD New Orleans Jazz Playhouse album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
New Orleans Jazz Playhouse
RnB 2015

CURTIS MAYFIELD singles (0)

CURTIS MAYFIELD movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

CURTIS MAYFIELD Reviews

CURTIS MAYFIELD Curtis/Live!

Live album · 1971 · RnB
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Rokukai
Curtis Mayfield's first two albums are available on one CD. A parade should be held in the album's honor. It's worth the price of admission and then some, as Mayfield's growth is exponential following his departure from seminal Chicago R and B masters The Impressions.

Sorely underexposed and underrated nationally, Mayfield is a true poet laureate, and if all you've ever heard is Superfly you should buy this album immediately. If you like artists ranging from BB King to Funkadelic to Stevie Wonder you should buy this record. The music is fantastic, and Live! is one of the best live albums of the seventies.

CURTIS MAYFIELD There's No Place Like America Today

Album · 1975 · RnB
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dreadpirateroberts
The obvious highlight, anti-gun song ‘Billy Jack’ isn’t enough to salvage this album, which at first glance, has the potential to be one of Curtis’ most biting and hard-hitting releases since ‘Superfly,’ released just three years ago in 1972. The wonderful cover art and the title just beg for a protest album to rival works by Sly, Gaye or something from Curtis’ own back catalogue.

Of course, it’s unfair of me to expect an artist to look over their own shoulder or to judge ‘…America Today’ in terms of what it could have achieved. And while this is a step away from previous works, it’s not a large one nor a wholly exciting one. While the almost torpid tempos and lethargic funk that infuses the songs here can be effective, a few blasts of horns in ‘Billy Jack’ or ‘Love to the People’ don’t balance out the largely unmemorable melodies and arrangements seen elsewhere. Probably what’s most surprising (or not, based on his previous two releases) is that the vocal arrangements are not very strong – a case in point being ‘Jesus,’ a song which is a candidate for the most bland song he’s written.

‘When Seasons Change’ and ‘Hard Times’ are a little better and the minor hit ‘So in Love’ is classic Curtis, it’s nice to hear the organ and the horns playing full and bringing some extra soul to the album. However, I do miss the lush strings in some of these songs, and the grittier funk so satisfying in other albums. With regret I have to remind myself that ultimately two or three great songs, even two or three great Mayfield songs, certainly don’t make a masterpiece, or even a career highlight.

I’d urge people new to Curtis’ work to start elsewhere, perhaps ‘Curtis’ or ‘Superfly.’

CURTIS MAYFIELD Superfly

Album · 1972 · Jazz Related Soundtracks
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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.

CURTIS MAYFIELD Curtis

Album · 1970 · RnB
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Warthur
Curtis Mayfield's debut album sets you up for a dark and troubling journey through the racial minefield of American society with its terrifying opening track, (Don't Worry) If There's A Hell Below We're All Going to Go, but the following tracks tend towards syrupy string section-heavy soul numbers, interesting mainly because of Mayfield's incredible voice and his knack for getting right to the heart of an issue with his lyrics. On the whole, if you came to his music via Superfly you might find it a little tame aside from the opener, though in its own way the album achieves an interesting effect with its juxtaposition of beautiful and mildly melancholic orchestrations on the one hand and socially conscious and mildly angry lyrics on the other.

CURTIS MAYFIELD Got to Find a Way

Album · 1974 · RnB
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dreadpirateroberts
Rushed out a few months after 'Sweet Exorcist' this album features all of Curtis' hallmarks, his falsetto, his strings, the funky wah-wah lead lines and rhythm section, and of course, even at a reduced capacity, his socially aware lyrics.

Musically it's not as memorable for me. While the sound is clean and clear, the vocals are mixed more fittingly, and performed well - especially his backing tracks (and that's not the same as writing memorable melodies) the songs simply don't catch hold. It's a fairly laid back album tempo-wise, and Curtis' often are, but these songs don't have enough surprises, quickly becoming repetitive (something not limited to the opener or 'So You Don't Love Me'.)

In fact, when 'Mother's Son' punches it's way into the running order halfway through, it's a shock. Suddenly the funk is back, with rhythm instruments are backed by only by clavinet as the strings get a rest. As with some of Curtis' material the song probably could have been shorter, but there are a couple of spicy solos that I wouldn't want to trade in for the sake of succinctness. And half the point of funk is getting a groove and riding it, but what I love most about Curtis in his earlier releases, is his ability to surprise me.

Once again, Mayfield draws on previous material for inspiration, expanding some of the feel from the song 'Sweet Exorcist' on the more complex 'Cannot Find a Way' which echoes some of his earliest material, funky, with horns, prominent bass and drums backed by strings that often make plaintive sweeps. It doesn't ever change gears however, and falls prey to my chief complaint with the album - that being its repetitiveness.

Collectors will want this one, but less dedicated (or obsessive, whichever you prefer) will want to stick with his first three studio albums, the 'Superfly' OST and 'Curtis/Live!' - or at least, start there.

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