We Got To Have Peace
Curtis Mayfield was around for a long time. Pretty much the whole time that I appreciated music, in fact. He began his career with a gospel choir, moving to the group The Impressions at the age of just fourteen. In that group, he collaborated with the marvellous Jerry Butler, and they produced some of the enduring soul sounds of my youth.
After he left that group in 1970, Curtis worked on film soundtracks, and also became increasingly political with his musical message. His film soundtrack for the ‘Blaxploitation’ film, ‘Superfly’ received critical acclaim, and achieved huge sales. Despite being diagnosed with Diabetes, and also suffering a serious injury, he continued to record. He also returned to The Impressions after a twenty year absence, as well as collaborating with other artists, including the British group, The Blow Monkeys.
Many of his later songs carried a political message, and that did not affect his popularity, or record sales. He sadly died from complications of Diabetes at the young age of 57, in 1999. He left behind a legacy of soulful sounds, stretching over the decades. Perhaps because of the current world situation, this track from as long ago as 1971 sums up his hopes and desires, as well as being all too relevant just now.