Curtis (LP)Curtis Mayfield
It was 1970 when Curtis Mayfield left R&B group The Impressions, to set off on his own solo path. What followed was a rich and highly celebrated career, during which Mayfield produced some of the most influential R&B, soul, funk, and gospel recordings of all time. Along with Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder, Mayfield is credited with helping to ring in a new era of socially-aware funk and soul music, all while raking in numerous Billboard-charting hits both as a performer and a songwriter. Though he died in 1999, he left behind a vast legacy of innovation and long-lasting music, and has been ranked by Rolling Stone magazine as one of the 100 Greatest Artists of all-time.
This impressive solo career began with his eponymous 1970 debut; Curtis. Calling upon his lengthy experiences as a songwriter from his time in The Impressions, Curtis Mayfield's solo work was a potently elegant work of 70s soul, which utilized the contemporary progressive Chicago sounds of the time to skillful effect. It was lushly arranged, but also politically-aware, a tapestry of orchestral sounds, but also hard-hitting and topical, and rendered chart hits in the tracks "(Don't Worry) If There's A Hell Down Below We're All Going To Go" and the soul music classic "Move On Up." Though often overlooked among Mayfield's other works, Curtis was an acclaimed commercial hit that set the stage for greater things to come in Mayfield's solo career.