Song of the Day: Curtis Mayfield “Love To The People”
The George-born but Chicago-based Northern Soul phenomena, Curtis Mayfield remains one of the absolute greats. From his early work with The Impressions through his emergence as a solo artist, Mayfield managed to combine a combination of slickness, sultriness and social consciousness. His gorgeous higher register vocal delivery and slinky wah-wah guitar lines proved to be the absolute perfect vehicle for his vision of “woke” but sexy soul. While Mayfield was always big on peace and love, he was never one to avoid calling out injustice or to push for practical solutions.
“Love To The People” is a standout track from Mayfield‘s 1975 funk-laced LP, (There’s No Place Like) America Today. The record title (and sleeve) were intended ironically and the record dealt directly with a number of still pertinent social and political themes, racism, racism, gun violence, day-to-day urban life and more. While Curtis Mayfield may have been political, he avoided the trap of getting too preachy. The music was always what came first and center. This is political music that you can dance to, and we are all the better for it.