The Impressions: Keep On Pushing - People Get Ready (CD)
These two 1964 and 1965 albums (released originally as ABC 493 and 505, respectively) are the second of five CDs that will comprehensively cover the ABC-Paramount recordings of the fabulous vocal group The Impressions. In their various guises, the group scored 50 (no, that's not a misprint!) US R&B chart singles and 39 on the Pop chart. Led by the charismatic singer, songwriter and guitarist Curtis Mayfield, the group also included Fred Cash and Sam Gooden (and, for the first album only, Arthur and Richard Brooks).In 1958, the group had backed Jerry Butler on such recordings as his mammoth hit For Your Precious Love (No 3 R&B, No 11 Pop). Mayfield continued to work with Butler as a musical arranger and guitarist but in 1961, The Impressions signed with ABC-Paramount and cut the sultry, Latin-tinged Gypsy Woman. It achieved classic status, reaching the charts at No 2 R&B and No 20 Pop. The songs that comprised the first album The Impressions defined the Chicago sound of soul - smooth, cleverly arranged vocals, light dramatic orchestrations and subtle but compelling rhythms.
Tied up by their second album with the other co-founder of the Chicago sound - Johnny Pate - Mayfield and The Impressions cut their first complete album Never Ending Impressions, a key album from that soul era. The sound The Impressions created influenced not only American and European pop balladeers (The Walker Brothers, among them) but it had a great influence on Jamaican music. I Gotta Keep On Movin' supposedly influenced Bob Marley when writing the reggae classic I Shot The Sheriff. Keep On Pushing/People Get Ready (CDKEND 130) contain two of Mayfield's most telling and timeless performances - Amen and People Get Ready - plus the first socially-aware Mayfield composition to enter the Top 10 - Keep On Pushing.
People Get Ready is a stunning song. It combines the intensity and vision of early gospel music with the new assertiveness of Civil Rights and it went on to become one of the movement's greatest slogans. Elsewhere, the group are content to be nothing but oh-so-cool! (check out Talking About My Baby). They still do even that better than any other group from that era.A message from the keeper of the Kent vaults: Kent originally issued these albums on vinyl in 1984. This release marks their first time ever on CD in their original form.
Article properties:The Impressions: Keep On Pushing - People Get Ready (CD)
|Impressions, The - Keep On Pushing - People Get Ready (CD) CD 1|
|01||Keep On Pushing||The Impressions|
|02||I've Been Trying||The Impressions|
|03||I Ain't Supposed To||The Impressions|
|04||Dedicate My Song To You||The Impressions|
|05||Long, Long Winter||The Impressions|
|06||Somebody Help Me||The Impressions|
|08||I Thank Heaven||The Impressions|
|09||Talking About My Baby||The Impressions|
|10||Don't Let It Hide||The Impressions|
|11||I Love You||The Impressions|
|12||I Made A Mistake||The Impressions|
|13||Woman's Got Soul||The Impressions|
|15||Sometimes I Wonder||The Impressions|
|16||We're In love||The Impressions|
|17||Just Another Dance||The Impressions|
|18||Can't Work No Longer||The Impressions|
|19||People Get Ready||The Impressions|
|20||I've Found Out That I've Lost||The Impressions|
|21||Hard To Believe||The Impressions|
|22||See The Real Me||The Impressions|
|23||Get Up And Move||The Impressions|
|24||You Must Believe Me||The Impressions|
Without the richly burnished baritone leads of Jerry Butler, who had fronted their soulful breakthrough ballad For Your Precious Love (you'll find it on our 1958 disc), The Impressions were finding it hard to come up with a second hit. Butler had quit the Chicago group amidst jealousy from some members over Vee-Jay Records unexpectedly giving him featured billing on the single.
Chicago native Curtis Mayfield, all of 16 when he played guitar and sang high tenor behind The Ice Man on For Your Precious Love, took over lead duties for The Impressions. He'd attended Wells High School while living in Cabrini-Green, the massive housing project on Chicago's near North Side. Even before that, he doo-wopped with The Alphatones on the West Side and sang hymns with the Northern Jubilee Gospel Singers. That's where he took up guitar, tuning his axe to a very unusual F# chord that gave Mayfield his highly distinctive sound.
The Impressions brought Fred Cash up from Chattanooga, Tennessee to replace Butler. He'd been in The Roosters there along with tenor-singing brothers Arthur and Richard Brooks and baritone Sam Gooden, who now comprised the rest of The Impressions. With Mayfield's airy high tenor out front, the quintet stuck around Vee-Jay's Abner label for a short while, but A&R man Calvin Carter didn't care for Curtis as a front man, so they were dropped. The Impressions made a single for Bandera Records, owned by Vi Muszynski, who had brought them to Vee-Jay in the first place, but Listendidn't reverse their fading fortunes. Curtis took a break to tour as Butler's guitarist, the pair co-writing three major R&B sellers for Jerry at Vee-Jay in 1960-61: the R&B chart-topping He Will Break Your Heart, Find Another Girl,and I'm A Telling You.
"In the writing of them, we would mess around, he would wind up singing the hook with me. So we decided to record 'em that way, and it turned out very well,"says Butler. "I think a lot of that had to do with the way Curtis played guitar."
Eddie Thomas brought The Impressions to the major label ABC-Paramount, recording in New York with arranger/conductor Roy Glover, Jr., who decorated Mayfield's exotic Gypsy Woman with castanets and hushed backing. Cut in July of 1961, Gypsy Woman was a #2 R&B/#20 pop hit late that year (another Mayfield ballad, As Long As You Love Me, was its flip side). The Impressions were back.
Various Street Corner Symphonies 1961 Vol.13
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