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There's No Place Like America Today

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Album Review

The title is intended in an ironic way, as illustrated not only by the cover — a grim parody of late-'40s/early-'50s advertising imagery depicting white versus black social reality — but the grim yet utterly catchy and haunting opening number, "Billy Jack." A song about gun violence that was years ahead of its time, it's scored to an incisive horn arrangement by Richard Tufo. "When Seasons Change" is a beautifully wrought account of the miseries of urban life that contains elements of both gospel and contemporary soul. The album's one big song, "So in Love," which made number 67 on the pop charts but was a Top Ten soul hit, is only the prettiest of a string of exquisite tracks on the album, including "Blue Monday People" and "Jesus" and the soaring finale, "Love to the People," broken up by the harder-edged "Hard Times." The album doesn't really have as clearly delineated a body of songs as Mayfield's earlier topical releases, but it's in the same league with his other work of the period and represents him near his prime as a composer.

Customer Reviews

Excellent Album

My familiarity with Mayfield's more popular work (Pusherman, etc.) lead me to listen to this album and it has been both surprising and satisfying. Socially conscious and heartfelt, I would recommend this album to anyone who wants a deeper look at a soul music icon.

iTunes Misses the Whole Point Of Curtis

What is the point of the review iTunes gives of this collection of songs???? I would love to know how old this "iTunes" reviewer is.... Curtis Mayfield was amazing...listen to these songs..judge for yourself.... RD

This is the originator

People seem to forget where half the samples in the world ceom from in Hip hop, Young people do some homework and soulsearching and cop the record!

Biography

Born: June 3, 1942 in Chicago, IL

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

Perhaps because he didn't cross over to the pop audience as heavily as Motown's stars, it may be that the scope of Curtis Mayfield's talents and contributions have yet to be fully recognized. Judged merely by his records alone, the man's legacy is enormous. As the leader of the Impressions, he recorded some of the finest soul vocal group music of the 1960s. As a solo artist in the 1970s, he helped pioneer funk and helped introduce hard-hitting urban commentary into...
Full Bio