1969, Music

The Young Mods’ Forgotten Story (1969) by The Impressions

Despite his fame, I don’t know Cutis Mayfield’s music very well and I don’t know the Impressions at all. I have only ever heard Mayfield’s most famous record and this is my first ever Impressions record. The little I know of Mayfield is that his music is slicker than I like my soul.

In some ways he sort of seems like the spiritual heir to Sam Cooke – he writes both political and romantic songs and sets them to sophisticated, polished arrangements. This record lacks Cooke’s very strong blues background, but that’s understandable given the intervening years.

I appreciate the political songs more than the romantic ones, which isn’t really a surprise. As with all social or polished political music, I find it incongruous, but I appreciate the sentiment and Mayfield definitely has a way with words.

Musically this is absolutely not my kind of soul, as it is polished within an inch of its life, with the arrangements reminding me of less jazz-indebted Burt Bacharach, or a more soulful version of any number of his contemporaries. They’re slick, is what I’m saying.

But despite that I think Mayfield’s songs are strong enough to endure the weight of the arrangements. Also, the Impressions are compelling performers even if I don’t particularly like this style of soul. (As an aside, the other two guys sure don’t do much, do they? That can’t have been a nice experience for them.)

Not knowing their catalogue, I don’t know where this sits, but it’s good enough for what it is.

7/10 I guess

All tracks composed by Curtis Mayfield.

  1. “The Young Mods’ Forgotten Story” – 2:00
  2. “Choice of Colors” – 3:15
  3. “The Girl I Find” – 2:37
  4. “Wherever You Leadeth Me” – 2:32
  5. “My Deceiving Heart” – 2:49
  6. “Seven Years” – 2:21
  7. “Love’s Miracle” – 2:24
  8. “Jealous Man” – 2:34
  9. “Soulful Love” – 2:30
  10. “Mighty Mighty (Spade & Whitey)” – 2:21
  • Curtis Mayfield: vocals, producer
  • Sam Gooden: bass vocals
  • Fred Cash: tenor vocals
  • D.Hathaway: arrangements
  • J.Pate: arrangements

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