The Impressions forged a crucial link between 50s era R&B and 60s soul, and when they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1991 it was noted, They pioneered and epitomized the sound of Chicago soul, a marriage of gospel and pop influences with a timely conscience. As songwriter, producer and part of the group s stellar vocal harmonies, Curtis Mayfield helped infuse their sound with authentic soul and a social awareness that made many of their songs including People Get Ready, We're A Winner, and Keep On Pushing fundamentally identified with the civil rights movement. They re among the classics on this definitive, 16-song single-discsurvey of their landmark tracks, which was compiled with input from Mayfield himself (the collection originally came out in 97, Mayfield passed in 99). Other highlights include their seminal 61 single Gypsy Woman, Amen, the #1 hits It's All Right and Finally Got Myself Together (I m A Changed Man) and much more.
Sweet soul music of the highest caliber, the singles collected here--including classics like "Keep On Pushing," "Amen," and "People Get Ready"--were primarily the creation of singer-songwriter Curtis Mayfield, but they also feature gorgeous harmonies and occasional leads by Impressions Fred Cash and Samuel Gooden. And--bonus!--besides including most of the group's Mayfield-era hits, The Very Best also documents the Impressions' biggest post-Mayfield recording, "Finally Got Myself Together (I'm a Changed Man)." As an introduction to the group, in fact, this disc's only flaw is that it omits their heavenly 1958 hit "For Your Precious Love," with original lead Jerry Butler. --David Cantwell
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