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Never Say You Can't Survive

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iTunes Review

Even by Curtis Mayfield’s standards, Never Say You Can’t Survive is especially gentle in tone and sweet in disposition, but it nonetheless displays an undercurrent of forlornness — and with reason: this was the album with which he bid goodbye to his ‘70s heyday. Never Say You Can’t Survive is the last record to feature the band that had carried Mayfield through a sterling run of almost 15 albums: Craig McCullen (guitar), Tyrone McCullen (drums), Joseph “Lucky” Scott (bass), and “Master” Henry Gibson (percussion). To Curtis, this crew was more than a band, it was a family, and by 1977 their communication was effortless, but always nuanced. Never did they overplay. Much credit also goes to Richard Tufo, Mayfield’s longtime arranger. For proof of his acumen just check the horns on “Just Want to Be With You,” or the clarinet that is subtly woven into the title track. The effect here is not as cataclysmic as Superfly,” but as the last statement of a genuine musical family, Never Say You Can’t Survive represents Mayfield at a personal peak.

Customer Reviews


This is a Gem. I especially liked his interpretation of Sparkle. Curtis is definetly the man. Unfortunately, because of his realness, much of the world will never really know his true genius. He and J dilla are synonomous, the embodiement of artistry past and present. The Future?

True Genius

Take off my shoes if you want to get loose says it all.

One of my favorites.

This album may be may favorite Curtis album, don't hesitate.


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 soul music. "Gypsy Woman," "It's...
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