Monday, April 02, 2007

247. Curtis Mayfield - Superfly (1972)

Track Listing

1. Little Child Runnin' Wild
2. Pusherman
3. Freddie's Dead
4. Junkie Chase [Instrumental]
5. Give Me Your Love (Love Song)
6. Eddie You Should Know Better
7. No Thing on Me (Cocaine Song)
8. Think [Instrumental]
9. Superfly


After all I was not deported! April Fools... I could never be deported as both Portugal and the UK are EU... all those other things about huts, telegraph poles and carriages of no horse drawn are all true however!

Here's another quality blaxplotiation soundtrack for you people. Curtis Mayfield makes a really nice album which is frankly much more subversive than the film it refers to. The whole album is an exercise in social criticism of the state of black society in the US.

That said the album didn't grab my attention all that much, there are some extremely pretty arrangements here, but there is none of the raw power of Shaft for example and it doesn't reach the poetic and critical heights of What's Going On. Still it is a worthy addition to any library of funk/R&B/soul of the early 70's.

Curtis is first and foremost a stupendous arranger, his lyrics are sometimes his downfall however, coming across as far to simplistic in parts. For a soundtrack it is, however, surprisingly cohesive because of the genious of the instrumentation so it is something you should check out but I wouldn't take with me to a desert island. Get it at Amazon UK or US.

Track Highlights

1. Pusherman
2. Think
3. Freddie's Dead
4. Superfly

Final Grade



Superfly, along with Marvin Gaye's What's Going On, was one of the pioneering soul concept albums, with its then-unique socially aware lyrics about poverty and drug abuse making the album stand out. The film and the soundtrack may be perceived as dissonant, since the Superfly film holds rather ambiguous - some will say sympathetic - views on drug dealers, whereas Curtis Mayfield's position is far more critical.

Like What's Going On, the album was a surprise hit that record executives felt had little chance at significant sales. Due to its success, Mayfield was tapped for several film soundtracks over the course of the decade.

In 2003 the TV network VH1 named Superfly the 63rd greatest album of all time. Track number two, "Pusherman", has been selected among The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll .

In 2003, the album was ranked number 69 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

Youtube user-made video for Pusherman, not bad and at least has the original version of the song:

No comments: