#177: The Anthology 1961-1977 by Curtis Mayfield and The Impressions


The Anthology 1961-1977 by Curtis Mayfield and The Impressions (1992)

Favorite Tracks: "Never Let Me Go" and "It's All Right" and "Amen" and "People Get Ready" and "Move On Up"

Thoughts: Can we talk about a song on this album? It's called "I'm So Proud." Considering it's a doo-wop/R&B song from the 60s, I assumed the person the protagonist was proud of was his girlfriend. So, what might you be proud of your girlfriend for? Here were some ideas I had:

I'm so proud of you
You completed your PhD

I'm so proud of you
You finished that 10k

I'm so proud of you
You've been elected governor

I'm so proud of you
You're an unapologetic feminist

I'm so proud to be loved by you
because you're kind, spirited, and intelligent

Sure, I might have been shooting for the moon there. But the actual lyrics were worse than I expected:

Prettier than all the world and I'm so proud of you
I'm so proud of you
Your only one fellow's girl oh and I'm so proud
Sweeter than the taste of a cherry so sweet
And I'm so proud girl, I'm so proud of you
Compliments to you from all the people we meet yes and I'm so proud
I'm so proud, believe me I love you too, I'm so proud of being loved by you

Ugh. 'I'm so proud of MYSELF that I'm with someone prettier than everyone else! And girl you better stay pretty forever or I'll be embarrassed to be with you.' Fuck this song and fuck the culture and society it was written in. Harrumph, harrumph, harrumph. ("I didn't get a 'harrumph' out of that guy." "Give the governor a 'harrumph'!" "Harrumph!" "You watch your ass.")

Fortunately as time went on Curtis started writing about civil rights instead of extolling the prettiness of his girlfriend, like with the super classic "People Get Ready."

I'll be honest, I sort of rushed through this album. I don't really see why this was almost 300 albums better than, say, Golden Hits by The Drifters, which features a similar music style but with a much better catalog in my opinion. I suppose it probably has something to do with the culturally relevant songs Curtis wrote and their importance/impact on history. Which I totally respect, I just didn't find these songs as musically interesting as The Drifters'.

Is This Better Than Fleetwood Mac?: Not to me. Plus it's another compilation album, so it's an unfair comparison. Bottom line: I wish the album had been shorter, and I won't be adding it to my library anytime soon, but it was fine to listen to.

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