Wednesday, February 29, 2012

SWEET EXORCIST - Curtis Mayfield

YEAR: 1974

LABEL: Curtom

TRACK LISTING: Ain't Got Time, Sweet Exorcist, To Be Invisible, Power To the People, Kung Fu, Suffer, Make Me Believe In You

IMPRESSIONS: Again, not to go with the obvious -- SUPERFLY -- but instead with a much lesser known but still worthy album. This is nowhere near a masterpiece, of course, but I've always enjoyed the very laid-back grooves contained herein; in fact, the more relaxed funk is in stark contrast to the quite chaotic cover art and SWEET EXORCIST is more a "late-night" album than a funkified SUPERFLY. Unlike Marvin Gaye, Curtis Mayfield's "romantic" music was always more cerebral and emerged from the brain rather than the groin. However, this is a cool, smooth soulful album which provides a nice break from Curtis' perhaps overly familiar music in favour of more overlooked work. Having said this, the more funky, more Superflyesque "Kung Fu" was a hit single than oldies like myself are likely to remember.

MY FAVOURITE TRACKS: Ain't Got Time, Sweet Exorcist, To Be Invisible, Kung Fu, Suffer

FACT SHEET: SWEET EXORCIST is Curtis Mayfield's sixth album as a solo artist. The album was recorded in the Chicago Curtom studios of Mayfield's own record label (a subsidiary of RCA). "To Be Invisible" is from the "CLAUDINE" soundtrack which Mayfield had recently written and produced for Gladys Knight and the Pips. The album finds Mayfield using songs stockpiled from earlier; four of the seven songs on the album were written before 1971. The Dirtbombs covered "Kung Fu" (along with other soul/funk classics) on their wonderfully raunchy 2001 album "ULTRAGLIDE IN BLACK".

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