The Impressions

Indelible Impressions: The Curtom Anthology 1968-1976

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Already an exemplar of the self-contained soul group (songwriting, production, and performance), the Impressions grabbed the reins of executive power by 1968, moving from ABC/Paramount to their own Curtom label with the justly liberating This Is My Country LP. And though linchpin Curtis Mayfield left for a solo career just two years later, the Impressions continued putting out strong material for several years afterward -- thanks in part to Mayfield's continued involvement on the songwriting and production side, as well as solid replacements (Leroy Hutson, Ralph Johnson, Reggie Torian) and the exquisite harmonies of Sam Gooden and Fred Cash. Indelible Impressions: The Curtom Anthology 1968-1976, Sequel's two-disc package of the latter-day Impressions, begins by closing out the Mayfield era with forceful statements of purpose like "This Is My Country," "Mighty Mighty (Spade and Whitey)," and "Check Out Your Mind," balanced with several tender ballads ("Choice of Colors," "Soulful Love"). (Sequel even tosses a bone to fans of the band's early days by adding invigorating remakes of four early-'60s hits: "Gypsy Woman," "Keep on Pushing," "I'm So Proud," and "I've Been Trying.") The second disc begins with the brief period when Leroy Hutson served as lead vocalist, then picks its way carefully through the last three years of the group's Curtom years with the late masterpiece "Finally Got Myself Together (I'm a Changed Man)." It's one of the next best purchases after The Very Best of the Impressions, and a perfect summarization of the high points (and there are many) on some scattershot LPs by one of the finest soul groups of all time.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:56
2 2:30
3 3:43
4 2:49
5 1:59
6 2:52
7 2:22
8 3:18
9 2:33
10 3:12
11 2:31
12 2:21
13 3:08
14 2:37
15 3:14
16 3:06
17 3:00
18 3:03
19 3:27
20 2:35
21 3:14
22 3:39
23 3:09
24 3:59
25 3:55
blue highlight denotes track pick