Paul Weller, former frontman of the Jam and the Style Council, recently released his 13th solo LP, A Kind Revolution. In honor of the occasion, the veteran singer-songwriter combed back through the discography of one of his key influences, Curtis Mayfield, a man he admires as much for his producing – and the albums he released on his Curtom label – as for his songwriting.
Curtis was a prophet and a poet. With this song, he was weaving together the black-pride movement with a humanitarian message. He was an ambassador of peace.
This has a real driving beat to it, just a great dance record with very dramatic strings and minimal backing.
I first heard this instrumental track in the early 1990s at a club. It’s got this spacey, futuristic sound, but it’s still soulful.
Baby Huey had just one album on Curtom and then died very young. The beautiful vocal here is like Chicago blues with soul.
Curtis wrote this, another uplifting love tune. Apart from his political writings, he was a master of romantic songs.