Curtis Mayfield’s “Superfly OST”

Released: July 11, 1972

Genre: Psychedelic soul ・funk ・progressive soul

Label: Custom

Producer: Curtis Mayfield

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

It’s really rare that soundtrack albums really grasp my attention, but it is something special about Curtis Mayfield’s Superfly that makes him truly one of the greatest musicians to ever grace the planet.

Curtis Mayfield, 1972.

Curtis Mayfield is one of the most influential musicians of all time. His career began as a member of a gospel choir, and eventually joined the vocal group The Impressions. As a songwriter, Mayfield was behind a lot of politically conscious music, including the group’s hit single People Get Ready, which was unofficially considered the anthem of the Civil Rights movement by Martin Luther King Jr.

Curtis left the group in 1971 and embarked on his solo career, releasing records that continued concerns of political and social matters.

Superfly was released July 11, 1972 on Curtom Records, a label Mayfield started in 1968. Everything about Superfly is simply remarkable: production, lyrical content, the whole nine.

The album served as the soundtrack to the 1972 blaxploitation film of the same name. Directed by Gordon Parks, Jr, Superfly was about a cocaine dealer is who trying to get out of the drug business.

Superfly also serves as one of the most pioneering soul concept albums, along Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On. The socially conscious lyrics about poverty and drug abuse makes Superfly ahead of its time and a timeless record that truly stands the test of time. The album was a surprise hit on the charts, where it was number one on the Billboard 200 chart for four weeks, and the R&B albums charts for six weeks. In 2019, the album was selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the National Recording Registry for being “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant.”

Ladies & gentlemen, I present to you: Curtis Mayfield’s Superfly OST.

Side one:

Little Child Running Wild


Written by Curtis Mayfield

The album begins with the immaculate Little Child Running Wild. Originally titled Ghetto Child, the song is a story of a neglected child in the ghetto. The child is at a disadvantage being in a broken home, and feels all alone from his father being gone and having a single mother who is tired.

The song was sampled by artists like Ludacris & Total.

Pusherman


Written by Curtis Mayfield

If any earlier signs of hip hop/rap was prevalent in music in the early 70s, Pusherman would totally be a contender. A pusherman is someone who is an illegal drug dealer, and Mayfield beautifully embodies how pusherman can really be.

The song has been sampled by Ice-T for his song I’m Your Pusher

Freddie’s Dead (Theme from Superfly)


Written by Curtis Mayfield

Freddie’s Dead is one of my favorite songs from Curtis. The first single release from the album, Freddie’s Dead is a tale of a man from the film (Fat Freddie) who was caught up in the drug game and was eventually murdered.

The song peaked at number four on the Billboard Hot 100 charts, and number two on the R&B charts. The song was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best R&B song, but lost to The Temptations’ Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone. The song was sampled by artists like UGK, Donnell Jones, MC Hammer & Erykah Badu, and has been used in films like Friday & TV sitcoms like The Boondocks.

Junkie Chase (instrumental)


Written by Curtis Mayfield

Side two:

Give Me Your Love (Love Song)


Written by Curtis Mayfield

Give Me Your Love is a R&B masterpiece, period. The song is a slow jam R&B ballad utilized in a love scene between the main character in the film (Priest) and his love interest (Georgia). The seductive and steamy record is a classic all of the way. The song has been sampled or covered by artists like Mary J. Blige, Teena Marie, Leon Spencer, Snoop Dogg, Wale & Lucky Daye.

Eddie You Should Know Better


Written by Curtis Mayfield

Eddie You Should Know Better is a record that tells a story of a man named Eddie (who played Priest’s right hand man in the film,) who is too deep into the drug game, to ever leave. He is obsessed with the fast money and wealth the drug game brings, to ever leave it alone. He doesn’t think about how it can negatively affect his loved ones if he is even killed, as long as he lived lavish throughout his life. Hence the title of the track. Priest knew better, & Eddie didn’t.

No Thing on Me (Cocaine Song)


Written by Curtis Mayfield

No Thing on Me (Cocaine Song) is a SONGGGGGGGGG about gratitude, awareness and self-preservation.

Think (instrumental)


Written by Curtis Mayfield

Think is the second and instrumental from the album, and it is a truly flawless piece. The song was sampled or covered by artists like J. Cole, Beyoncé & The Isley Brothers.

Superfly


Written by Curtis Mayfield

The only game you know is do or die..

Curtis Mayfield, 1972.

Superfly closes out the album with the title track, and it is truly the highlight of the album. The song sold two million copies, and peaked at number five on the R&B charts and number eight on the Hot 100 charts.

the song has been sampled/interpolated by artists like Alicia Keys, Nelly, Willie D, Beastie Boys & Geto Boys.

Superfly is truly one of the best movie soundtracks of all time, and influenced GENERATIONS of soundtracks to come. After the success of Superfly, Curtis would go on be selected to do the music score for several classic films from the 70s, and be one of the most iconic producers of all time. Not only did the soundtrack out grossed the film, but it is funk & psychedelic soul goodness. -MJ

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