A fabulous assortment of artists from different areas of the rock genre give a glorifying tribute to Curtis Mayfield in a sparkling 17-song package. Gladys Knight, Stevie Winwood, Lenny Kravitz, Whitney Houston, Bruce Springsteen, Eric Clapton, The Isley Brothers, Aretha Franklin, B.B. King, Phil Collins, Stevie Wonder, Rod Stewart, Elton John, Tevin Campbell, Narada Michael Walden, Repercussions, Branford Marsalis.
Curtis/Live! is, simply, one of the greatest concert albums ever cut on a soul artist, and one of the legendary live albums of all time. Cut in January of 1971 during four nights at The Bitter End (then Greenwich Village's leading music venue) in New York, the resulting double LP transcended any expectations in both its programming and execution – Mayfield performed numbers off of the Curtis album ("[Don't Worry] If There's a Hell Below We're All Going to Go"), as well as exciting and urgent new versions of songs originally performed by the Impressions ("We're a Winner," "People Get Ready," "Gypsy Woman"), plus a very moving R&B version of "We've Only Just Begun." This is all beautifully stripped-down work by a quintet consisting of Mayfield (vocals, guitar), Craig McMullen (guitar), Tyrone McCullen (drums), "Master" Henry Gibson (percussion), and Joseph "Lucky" Scott (bass) – a solid, intense performance, with quietly elegant guitar playing against a rock-solid rhythm section, as Impressions hits are rethought and reconfigured in a new context, and Mayfield's early solo repertory comes to life in newer, longer live versions.
Curtis Mayfield hit a stride during the '70s that was unparalleled among R&B/soul performers from an album standpoint. He was writing, producing, arranging, and performing on great album after great album, then distributing them on his own label as well. This one included the big hit "Kung Fu," plus the title song, and once more perfectly blended rigorous message tracks and steamy love songs.
The first solo album by the former leader of the Impressions, Curtis represented a musical apotheosis for Curtis Mayfield - indeed, it was practically the "Sgt. Pepper's" album of '70s soul, helping with its content and its success to open the whole genre to much bigger, richer musical canvases than artists had previously worked with. All of Mayfield's years of experience of life, music, and people were pulled together into a rich, powerful, topical musical statement that reflected not only the most up-to-date soul sounds of its period, finely produced by Mayfield himself, and the immediacy of the times and their political and social concerns, but also embraced the most elegant R&B sounds of the past…
Original Album Series contains Curtis Mayfield's first five solo albums: Curtis (1970), Curtis Live! (1971), Roots (1971), Back to the World (1973), and Sweet Exorcist (1974). As with other Original Album Series packages, each disc is in a paper, LP replica-style sleeve with reproductions of the front and back sides. With the release of Original Album Series by Curtis Mayfield you get 5 Cds by the man himself It really is wonderful bargain.Unlike other sets these have not been re mastered and DO NOT include any extra tracks which is a shame.But then Curtis Mayfield produced each and every one of the five so I suspect that there was no need for them to be remastered as the sound was good to begin with.