Curtis Mayfield – Super Fly: Deluxe 25th Anniversary Edition
by astro man
Super Fly is the third album by the legendary soul and funk artist Curtis Mayfield. Before listening to this album and doing some research, I didn’t know much about Mayfield other than songs like “Move On Up” and “Pusherman” as well as Mayfield having some influence on Jimi Hendrix. To my delightful surprise, I opened up pandora’s box of music that has influenced and changed the world. Super Fly was released as the soundtrack for the movie Super Fly. Curtis Mayfield’s Super Fly along with Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On were pioneering soul concept albums. Super Fly was originally released in 1972 and then rerelease in 1997 as the Deluxe 25th Anniversary collection.
In Super Fly Mayfield’s lyric’s are about deep affairs dealing with the ghetto, drugs, love, death, and the struggles of blacks during tumultuous times. Not only is the lyrical content of this album at a spectacular level, but the orchestration of the music is a masterpiece. Mayfield’s candor voice cuts deep to the core, the strings soothe you along, the horns bring a warmth, the guitar brings the funk, and all together comes the beauty of the painting. The creativity that is emitted through this album was a huge breakthrough for music.
“Little Child Runnin’ Wild” is the opening track for this album. It starts with an organ and percussion beat along with a gritty distorted guitar that give you a broken sense of direction. Then Mayfield sings the lyrics “Little Child / Runnin’ wild / Watch a while / You see he never smiles / Broken Home / Father gone / Mama’s tired / So he’s all alone…” These lyrics set the tone for the rest of the album and struggles that victims of the ghetto go through.
“Pusherman” is a real groove to listen to. It sounds like Mayfield is almost rapping at the beginning about being that man with the drugs. This song shows he definitely laid out the groundwork for early hip hop. During “Give Me Your Love (Love Song)” Mayfield shows good work with the wah-wah pedal while adding beautiful strings to add depth.
The self titled track “Super Fly” exhibits the craftiness of Mayfield’s lyrical storytelling skills as well as the musicianship that was put into this album. The original soundtrack was 9 tracks long, but the rereleased version has a disc two with an additional 12 tracks.
This soundtrack was ranked number 69 on Rolling Stones 500 greatest albums of all time. If that isn’t a statement to you than you most likely have been living under a rock. Super Fly is a liberating piece of music that influenced everyone in the 70’s and continues to do so today.
Listen to the album here.
Buy the album here on amazon.