The Impressions

Definitive Impressions, Pt. 2

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The title Definitive Impressions, Pt. 2 might lead you to think this is a "greatest hits part two" collection of the Impressions, but it's not quite. Rather, it's an anthology of 28 of the best tracks from their ABC label catalog (covering roughly 1961-1968) that don't customarily make it onto Impressions greatest-hits collections, such as this volume's predecessor, Definitive Impressions. The selection includes four of the group's lower-charting R&B hit singles and a heap of B-sides and LP tracks. It's not on par with the well-known hits; there's nothing here with the instant-classic aura of "People Get Ready," "It's All Right," "Gypsy Woman," "I'm the One Who Loves You," or "You Must Believe Me," to take just a few examples. But for those fans who want to dig beyond the hits, yet don't want a complete Impressions ABC catalog (which is collected on five other Kent CDs should you want it), it's a good solid listen of secondary Impressions, every single tune written or co-written by Curtis Mayfield. The songs might be more a testament to Mayfield and the group's consistent craft than their peaks of inspiration; some of the tracks slightly alter or recycle melodies and motifs from bigger hits, and some of them are on the formulaic albeit highly polished side. But it has more than its share of fine tracks that ought to be heard by any Impressions fan, like the buoyant, up-tempo "You Ought to Be in Heaven," the glowing ballad "No One Else," the black pride ode "Little Brown Boy," the hit-worthy "Gotta Get Away," the jazzy "I Love You (Yeah)," the waltzing "Long, Long Winter," and the unusual "Don't Cry My Love," in which the narrator goes off to war to find his lost brother and bring him home.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 3:07
2 2:30
3 2:45
4 2:29
5 2:38
6 3:06
7 2:34
8 2:30
9 2:19
10 2:07
11 2:23
12 2:30
13 2:24
14 3:14
15 3:20
16 2:40
17 2:52
18 2:01
19 2:42
20 2:40
21 3:12
22 2:51
23 2:48
24 2:21
25 2:33
26 3:04
27 2:57
28 3:10
blue highlight denotes track pick