One of the greatest soul groups of all time will be making their debut appearance (apparently, don’t quote me on that) in Manchester in two weeks’ time. The Impressions were hugely influential for fellow soul groups as well as reggae and rap artists and lead singer Curtis Mayfield went on to be even more successful and amazing. Sadly, he’s no longer with us, but the current line-up is surprisingly old-school (certainly compared to the likes of The Temptations, Four Tops or Drifters), so it should be a great night. Here’s the 10 bests songs by The Impressions and Curtis Mayfield:
1 – People Get Ready
One of the most beautiful songs ever written. End of.
2 – Move On Up
Perhaps best known now for the sample in a Kanye West song, Move On Up is 8 minutes of genius.
3 – It’s Alright
Not many people managed to do ‘happy’ as well as Curtis, and this Impressions song is three minutes of ‘smile’.
4 – Little Child Runnin’ Wild
He was also immense at social commentary and this opening track from the legendary Super Fly soundtrack shows how.
5 – Amen
Not written by Mayfield, but still very much associated with him after The Impressions popularised it, it’s another song to make you smile.
6 – Freddie’s Dead
Another Super Fly song, another stone cold classic.
7 – Keep On Pushing
One of the first of his social commentary songs, this civil rights anthem endures to this day, with Barack Obama using it in his groundbreaking keynote convention speech in 2004.
8 – Super Fly
Completing the Super Fly soundtrack hat-trick with another soul-funk standard.
9 – Beautiful Brother Of Mine
If there’s anyone out there who doesn’t fall in love the first time they hear this song, I just don’t understand why. This is Mayfield magic in a nutshell.
10 – Just A Little Bit Of Love
An emotional song to finish. In August 1990, stage lighting equipment fell on Curtis during a show and paralysed him from the neck down. Seven years later he managed to record one last album, singing each individual line one by one, lying on his back. He died two years later. Here’s a song from that album.