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Paul Weller: 5 Great Curtis Mayfield Productions

The former Jam frontman dissects Mayfield’s genius as a songwriter and producer

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Former Jam frontman Paul Weller picks his five favorite moments from Curtis Mayfield's discography as a songwriter and producer.

Tony Beard

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.

PAUL WELLER - http://press.wbr.com/paulweller

Curtis Mayfield, “The Makings of You”

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. 

PAUL WELLER - http://press.wbr.com/paulweller

Patti Jo, “Make Me Believe in You”

This has a real driving beat to it, just a great dance record with very dramatic strings and minimal backing. 

PAUL WELLER - http://press.wbr.com/paulweller

Leroy Hutson, “Cool Out”

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. 

PAUL WELLER - http://press.wbr.com/paulweller

Baby Huey, “Hard Times”

Baby Huey had just one album on Curtom and then died very young. The beautiful vocal here is like Chicago blues with soul. 

PAUL WELLER - http://press.wbr.com/paulweller

The Five Stairsteps, “We Must Be in Love”

Curtis wrote this, another uplifting love tune. Apart from his political writings, he was a master of romantic songs.