Curtis Mayfield

Got Soul: 1960-1973

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AllMusic Review by

Curtis Mayfield and Jerry Butler were briefly close collaborators before separating and establishing separate careers as solo superstars. This 28-track, 77-minute CD makes the most of that association by collecting the best 1960s and early-'70s tracks by Butler, the Impressions, and Mayfield (the solo artist) in one place. It seems petulant to complain about such a good-value, single-disc CD that compiles so much good music together, but more mileage is stretched out of the concept than is really justified. Butler and Mayfield's partnership, after all, was brief, and represented here by only the first three tracks ("He Will Break Your Heart," "Find Another Girl," and "I'm a Telling You," 1960-61 hits that the pair co-wrote). Of course there were more similarities between the two's subsequent work than there were between, say, James Brown and Smokey Robinson's prime recordings, but there were differences too. Any listener who wants to dig specifically into Mayfield and/or Butler's work should start with the single-artist retrospectives for each of those artists. That griping out of the way, for less fussy listeners who just want a lot of classic soul with similar roots in one place, this has a lot of fine music. Most of these songs were among Butler/the Impressions/Mayfield's biggest hits of the era, including Butler's "Make It Easy on Yourself," "Never Give You Up," "Giving Up on Love," "Hey, Western Union Man," "We're a Winner," and "Only the Strong Survive"; the Impressions' "Gypsy Woman," "It's All Right," "Keep on Pushing," and "People Get Ready"; and Mayfield's "Freddie's Dead," "Superfly," and "(Don't Worry) If There's a Hell Below We're All Going to Go." Lower-charting goodies and B-sides aren't entirely neglected either, some of the best of those including Butler's cover of Randy Newman's "I Don't Want to Hear It Anymore," and the Impressions' "I've Been Trying."

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1
feat: Jerry Butler
2:46
2
feat: Jerry Butler
2:47
3
feat: Jerry Butler
2:18
4 2:17
5 2:15
6
feat: Jerry Butler
2:39
7 2:22
8 2:47
9
feat: Jerry Butler
2:55
10 2:42
11 2:30
12 2:31
13 2:29
14
feat: Jerry Butler
2:32
15
feat: Jerry Butler
3:03
16 2:38
17
feat: Jerry Butler
3:04
18 2:22
19
feat: Jerry Butler
2:38
20
feat: Jerry Butler
2:32
21 3:26
22
feat: Jerry Butler
2:34
23 2:43
24 3:26
25 3:05
26 3:17
27 3:54
28 3:33
blue highlight denotes track pick