7 Songs, 32 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

It's a testament to Curtis Mayfield's musical genius that upon its 1974 release Sweet Exorcist received mixed reviews. Mayfield had set the bar far too high with the funk and soul of Curtis, Roots, and the Superfly soundtrack. While several of the songs here were written between 1969 and 1972, Mayfield's performances don't let on that they're older tunes. The searing ballad "To Be Invisible" (from the Claudine soundtrack) is the obvious centerpiece. But "Ain't Got Time," "Sweet Exorcist," and "Power to the People" feature solid musicianship and Mayfield's trademark falsetto vocals, which turn just about everything he touches into an angelic high. "Kung Fu" was a top 40 hit that maintains a playful vibe and a solid groove. "Suffer," a collaboration with Donny Hathaway, has a beautiful horn and string arrangement that exemplifies the smooth, luxuriant sounds of early- to mid-'70s soul music. In retrospect, Sweet Exorcist is a stirring period piece from a lush and romantic time for soul music.

EDITORS’ NOTES

It's a testament to Curtis Mayfield's musical genius that upon its 1974 release Sweet Exorcist received mixed reviews. Mayfield had set the bar far too high with the funk and soul of Curtis, Roots, and the Superfly soundtrack. While several of the songs here were written between 1969 and 1972, Mayfield's performances don't let on that they're older tunes. The searing ballad "To Be Invisible" (from the Claudine soundtrack) is the obvious centerpiece. But "Ain't Got Time," "Sweet Exorcist," and "Power to the People" feature solid musicianship and Mayfield's trademark falsetto vocals, which turn just about everything he touches into an angelic high. "Kung Fu" was a top 40 hit that maintains a playful vibe and a solid groove. "Suffer," a collaboration with Donny Hathaway, has a beautiful horn and string arrangement that exemplifies the smooth, luxuriant sounds of early- to mid-'70s soul music. In retrospect, Sweet Exorcist is a stirring period piece from a lush and romantic time for soul music.

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