Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Curtis Mayfield: Superfly: Deluxe 25th Anniversary Edition

The introductory notes for this reissue of Curtis Mayfield's seminal 1972 blaxploitation soundtrack states that, "In a way, Superfly is the black Sgt. Pepper's." While that's at once a bold and tired comparison, there's more than a little bit of truth to it. Extraordinary in itself—it's one of the most consistently great R&B albums of the rich early '70s—in Superfly you can hear the sound of disparate musical elements coming together to create a new style whose influence can still be felt. Congas, funkish guitars, lush string sections, jazz-like structural complexity and more all find their way into Mayfield's compositions. Add to this the composer's unique falsetto and lyrics that (mostly) transcend their now-kitsch origins, and you have an unimprovable classic. This set, however, does improve things by adding an extra disc of demos, alternate mixes, radio spots and, most notably, extended and alternate material previously unreleased outside of the film itself. To its credit, the label has even placed an approachable price on this two-disc set, so you're doing yourself a disservice if you don't pick it up.


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