Curtis Mayfield

People Get Ready: The Curtis Mayfield Songbook

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Curtis Mayfield makes a long overdue – and well earned – appearance in Ace’s ongoing Songwriter series this month with “People Get Ready”, a collection that spans more than a decade and a half of brilliant compositions by one of the most prolific and important tunesmiths of the 20th Century.

From the late 1950s onwards, Curtis’ outstanding songwriting provided hits for almost everyone in his peer group on the Chicago Soul scene – a scene that his words and music virtually invented. His own hits, firstly with the Impressions and eventually as a solo artist, are among the most important of their time, and of all time.

“People Get Ready” is Ace’s small but perfectly formed salute to Curtis’ craft, and strives to represent every facet of his lyrical and musical genius. It can’t be definitive – we would need a large box-set for that – but it’s assuredly representative in every way.

Curtis always spoke to his people and on behalf of his people, and the messages in socially conscious songs such as ‘People Get Ready’, ‘Hard Times’ and ‘Keep On Keepin’ On’ are as relevant now as they were half a century ago. While from a romantic standpoint, songs do not get any better than the likes of ‘I’m So Proud’ or ‘The Makings Of You’.

22 quality performances from a host of major black American artists (plus a couple of the many covers of Mayfield copyrights from Jamaica, a country in which Curtis was revered) across a period of more than 50 years bear testimony here to the brilliance of Curtis Lee Mayfield.

01 Gypsy Woman - The Impressions
02 The Monkey Time - The Miracles
03 Behind The Curtains - Jan Bradley
04 Rainbow (Alt) - Gene Chandler
05 Mama Didn't Lie - The Orlons
06 Um, Um, Um, Um, Um, Um - Major Lance
07 I've Been Trying - Jerry Butler
08 Minstrel And Queen (Queen Majesty) - The Techniques
09 It's All Over - Walter Jackson
10 He Will Break Your Heart - Freddie Scott
11 People Get Ready - Dionne Warwick
12 That's What Love Will Do - The Gaylads
13 Man's Temptation - The Jackson 5
14 Give Me Your Love - Barbara Mason
15 Need To Belong To Someone - Isaac Hayes
16 I'm So Proud - The Main Ingredient
17 Make Me Believe In You - Patti Jo
18 Keep On Keeping On (UK single edit) - Curtis Mayfield
19 The Makings Of You - Gladys Knight & The Pips
20 Let's Do It Again - The Staple Singers
21 Look Into Your Heart (Single edit) - Aretha Franklin
22 Never Stop Loving Me - Keni Burke
23 Something He Can Feel - En Vogue
24 Hard Times - John Legend & The Roots featuring Black Thought

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Michael K.
United Kingdom United Kingdom
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People get ready. Curtis Mayfield songbook

Always loved Curtis mayfield but didn't realise he had wrote so many songs for other people like monkey time for smokey Robinson band the Miracles um um um for major lance a big hit for Garry pucket in the U.K. Also songs for Isaac Hayes Jackson 5 aether franklin Dionne Warwick and many others some great soul music