Curtis Mayfield – 1971 – Roots

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There’s a perfect mix of heartbreaking vocals, and tight funky grooves.

One of Soul’s most classic albums. Featuring timeless cuts like “Beautiful Brother Of Mine“, “Keep On Keeping On” and “Get Down“, this album is outstanding from start to finish.Β After leaving his position as leader of the Impressions, one of the most successful black vocal groups of the 1960s, Curtis Mayfield made progressive and highly influential funk/R&B records, most notably the soundtrack to the cult movie SUPERFLY. His unique, simultaneous rhythm/lead guitar style and fragile falsetto vocals have been much imitated but never duplicated.

Tracks

A1 Get Down (5:45)
A2 Keep on Keeping On (5:08)
A3 Underground (5:15)
A4 We Got to Have Peace (4:44)
B1 Beautiful Brother of Mine (7:23)
B2 Now You’re Gone (6:50)
B3 Love to Keep You in My Mind (3:48)

The Reviews

1

Curtis Mayfield’s visionary album, a landmark creation every bit as compelling and as far-reaching in its musical and extra-musical goals as Marvin Gaye’s contemporary What’s Goin’ On. Opening on the hit “Get Down,” the album soars on some of the sweetest and most eloquent – yet driving – soul sounds heard up to that time. Mayfield’s growing musical ambitions, first manifested on the Curtis album, and his more sophisticated political sensibilities, presented with a lot of raw power on Curtis Live!, are pulled together here in a new, richer studio language, embodied in extended song structures “Underground“), idealistic yet lyrically dazzling anthems “We Got to Have PeaceΒ “, “Keep On Keeping On” and, best of all, the soaring “Beautiful Brother of Mine” and impassioned blues “Now You’re Gone“. The music is even bolder than the material on the Curtis album, with Mayfield expanding his instrumental range to the level of a veritable soul orchestra; and the recording is better realized, as Mayfield, with that album and a tour behind him, shows a degree of confidence that only a handful of soul artists of this era could have mustered.

2

While he may have produced consistently great, intellectual and popular music throughout his entire career, Curtis Mayfield was on a creative roll in the early to mid 70’s, and “Roots” is one of his strongest efforts. While not quite as stunning in it’s epic sweep as the flawless “Curtis”, or as hard-hitting as the best moments on “Superfly”, “Roots” is nonetheless a great LP.
From the opener, “Get Down” and the ultra-funky “Underground” to my favorite track, the ghostly sounding “Beautiful Brother of Mine“, this second solo outing is a feast for the ears.
Mayfield would completely explode the possibilities of his medium and alter black pop forever the following year with “SUPERFLY”, but for the time being he was content to soften his preachiness a tad with this release, and we, the lucky listener, reap all the benefits. A Classic.

3

This man stays on my mind all the time. I have to admit, “We the People Who Are Darker Than Blue” is the jam on this album with its breathtaking strings and rhythm section that sends chills up my spine. It is the jam right along with “Wild and Free“. This particular album went platinum cause it was consistent from one song to the next, had a common theme that is shared (being black in today’s society and love among mankind)and last, the album had actual musicians playing on this record and not the computerized music we hear today. Just listen to this record all the way through and you won’t be disappointed at all. You get your money’s worth with this guy. Curtis puts out quality material and he is never sounds rushed.

 

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Conversation for album: Curtis Mayfield – 1971 – Roots

13 Comments
  • simon
    Posted at 23:17h, 12 July 2008 Reply

    Thanks for this one two

  • Lud
    Posted at 23:20h, 14 August 2008 Reply

    Great album, great artist.
    Thanks for sharing.

  • ALEX
    Posted at 20:40h, 29 August 2008 Reply

    MANY THANKS AGAIN NIKOS!
    GREAT ALBUM!

  • Kostas
    Posted at 19:13h, 05 October 2008 Reply

    Super!kairo ton epsaxna auto to disko.oti prepei
    thanx for share

  • Alan Brain
    Posted at 09:52h, 03 November 2008 Reply

    Brother you are killing me, CURTIS MAYFIELD, Roots!!!!
    Wow!!!! Im from Peru, live in Congo DRC, my ip adress is from hungary but my soul is here with FYS!

  • Chris
    Posted at 08:11h, 12 November 2008 Reply

    This cat makes me feel proud to be from the Chicago area!!! Great post. Peace

  • Cecelia Johnson
    Posted at 08:34h, 18 December 2008 Reply

    Curtis Mayfield is an amazing person I love his music

  • soti
    Posted at 01:53h, 20 March 2009 Reply

    Eyxaristw gia ton curtis, niko. thanks, man πŸ™‚

  • Carlos
    Posted at 01:27h, 28 May 2009 Reply

    Thank you for all this great music

  • brotherpete
    Posted at 15:53h, 29 September 2009 Reply

    thanks a lot !!!

  • Dave
    Posted at 23:06h, 30 July 2011 Reply

    i think Curtis hasn’t gotten the recognition he deserves. Thanks for the respect you show these artistes.

  • Hamburg City
    Posted at 15:37h, 25 January 2013 Reply

    Big up from Hamburg City. I love your blog. Truly committed love for good music! ItΒ΄s just great!

  • Psychfan
    Posted at 15:18h, 15 June 2018 Reply

    Great artist, great album. Thank you!

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