The Impressions – Keep On Pushing / People Get Ready (1964, 1965)

impressions

impressions

Keep On Pushing 2:30
I’ve Been Trying 2:45
I Ain’t Supposed To 2:28
Dedicate My Song To You 1:52
Long, Long Winter 2:48
Somebody Help Me 3:15
Theme From Lillies Of The Field (Amen) 3:25
I Thank Heaven 2:30
Talking About My Baby 2:33
Don’t Let It Hide 2:20
I Love You (Yeah) 2:07
I Made A Mistake 2:31

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impressions
impressions

Woman’s Got Soul
Emotions
Sometimes I Wonder
We’re In Love
Just Another Dance
Can’t Work No Longer
People Get Ready
I’ve Found That I’ve Lost
Hard To Believe
See The Real Me
Get Up And Move
You Must Believe Me

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The Impressions
“Keep On Pushing” and “People Get Ready”
Originally released on ABC Records, 1964 & 1965
This digital compact disc pressing on Kent Records 1996

The Impressions are Curtis Mayfield, Samuel Gooden, and Fred Cash
Arrangements by Johnny Pate

These two gorgeous records show The Impressions at a transition between their more adolescent-doo-wop/pop material to a mature soul vocal trio. Lyrically the tunes are still mostly of the romantic and lost-love variety with only the famous title tracks of both records showing a glimpse of where Mayfield’s writing was headed. Those are pretty notable exceptions, however: “Keep On Pushing,” with its jazz-inflected rhythm section, and the gospel-drenched “People Get Ready,” one of the most recorded tunes in history. Both anthemic and deeply spiritual, and with lovely arrangements from Johnny Pate. In the case of “People Gets Ready” it is really enlightening to go back and listen to this original version. Along with Mayfield’s stripped-down version on “Curtis Live!”, the original is pretty hard to improve on, although I can’t blame people for wanting to record it either. And while the album “Keep On Pushing” contains one song not penned by Mayfield (the hit “Amen”), “People Get Ready” would be the first album where Curtis was in charge of all the writing.

I don’t mean to give short shrift to a good old-fashioned love song either, because there are plenty of great ones on these two records. “I’ve Been Trying”, the second cut here, really stands out. It sounds incredibly fresh to my ears and very “modern” for 1964, in a good way. It doesn’t hurt that these records were recorded and mixed immaculately, and that Kent Records did a very nice job in remastering them. The other song sample I’ve given here below is the tune ‘Emotions’, which was actually recorded in 1962, is another favorite of mine. The liner notes allege that the song sounds out of place but I love it. It’s also a good example of the Impressions sweetening up a blues arrangement with their vocal harmonies while still retaining enough ‘grit’ to keep it from being too saccharine. The songwriting gets a little repetitive across these two albums, but I still consider these essential listening, especially for fans of Curtis Mayfield.

On a related note, the liner notes from some ABC Records suit on both of these albums are completely ridiculous, and go out of their way to depict The Impressions as “gentle” and accessible, in contrast to “the loud, unintellgible sounds that can hardly be understood through the overpowering beat of much of today’s popular music.” While this is certainly hilarious and entertaining, I am thankful that Kent saw fit to contract Peter Burns to write NEW, more informative notes for this collection.

Enjoy these two albums of classic Chicago soul!

impressions

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11 Comments

  1. password – senha:

    vibes

  2. Thanks Vibes,

    I have a copy of the Curtis Mayfield Anthology somewhere but I've never listened to an Impressions album.

  3. To my ears the two most consistent 'early' Impressions albums. Curtis wrote some wonderful songs about happy love, "Dedicate My Song To You" and "Talking About My Baby" are personal favourites. The positive, optimistic vibe of much of his work, including the "message songs", is one of the things that makes the man's music so special.

  4. P.S.: BIG thanks for the upgarde to FLAC!

  5. Thank you again, Flabber.
    I agree with you when you say that the songwriting gets a little repetitive and I would also choose these 2 songs as my favorite 🙂

    Célia

  6. Cool early Curtis with the Impressions … thanks so much@

    Cosmo

  7. what is the password for the download senha doesnt work.

    Please post

  8. hint:
    you cannot cut and paste the passwords. You have to manually TYPE them in the space provided

  9. vibes is the password! Thanks for a great album.

  10. E o link??

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