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The Very Best of the Impressions
The Impressions
The Very Best of the Impressions
Genres: Pop, R&B
  •  Track Listings (16) - Disc #1

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 marr...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: The Impressions
Title: The Very Best of the Impressions
Members Wishing: 6
Total Copies: 0
Label: Rhino Records
Original Release Date: 1/1/2008
Re-Release Date: 2/26/2008
Genres: Pop, R&B
Style: Soul
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 081227258320, 081227994365


Product Description
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.

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CD Reviews

The greatest hits of the Impressions (with Curtis Mayfield)
Lawrance M. Bernabo | The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota | 01/12/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"There are so many soul groups where one member was the lead singer from the start or where one singer became bigger than the group and went out on their own (e.g., Diana Ross and the Supremes). What made the Impressions different was that it produced two major stars in Curtis Mayfield and Jerry Butler (Fred Cash was the third member of the trio). Working out of Chicago and originally a doo-wop group called the Roosters, the Impressions had a distinctly different sound from the groups in Motown and Philadelphia. Their harmonies were lighter and the trios would trade off on the vocals, a gospel tradition that was rare for rhythm and blues groups. In terms of instrumentation Mayfield (who wrote almost all of the songs in this cllection) went for minimal guitars and understated rhythms, often with a Latin influence, all of which continued to give the Impressions a distinct sound.

Since "The Very Best of the Impressions" is a Rhino collection it is an excellent collection of the group's greatest hits with stellar liner notes by David Nathan. True fans of the group will quibble with the sixteen songs selected only because the deciding factor is how well they did on the soul charts rather than on their quality irrespective of chart success. The hits are arranged chronologically, from their early successes with "Gypsy Woman" and "It's All Right," when the group was a quintet rather than the trio it is best remembered as being, to the two songs by the Impressions that made it to #1 on the soul on the Black Singles chart were "Choice of Colors" (which asked the question, "If you had a choice of colors, which would you prefer, my brother?") and the post-Mayfield "Finally Got Myself Together (I'm A Changed Man)." In between are the classic tracks Mayfield wrote that were some of the first R&B songs to exhibit a strong social consciousness and reflect Mayfield's religious background.

The biggie here is "People Get Ready," which only made it to #14 on the Billboard chart but which was named by "Rolling Stone" magazine as the 24th greatest song of all-time. Mayfield wrote the song just before a march in Chicago led by Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1965. When the song was released churches in Chicago began singing their own version, which ironically changed the final lyrics so the song was more universal but less religious. The song would eventually be covered by Vanilla Fudge, Bob Dylan, the Chambers Brothers, Glen Campbell, Petula Clark, Rod Stewart, and Aretha Franklin, which certainly speaks to the scope of those who were moved by its message.

"Amen" and "Keep on Pushing" are in a similar religious vein, the former familiar because of Sidney Portier singing the old spiritual in "Lillies of the Field" and now rewritten by Mayfield and producer John W. Pate, Sr. The latter reflects the resolute attitude of the civil rights movement. Other songs reflect Mayfield's last years with the group, such as "We're a Winner," "This Is My Country," and "Check Out Your Mind." One song that I would have liked to have seen included is "Mighty, Mighty Spade & Whitey," the B-Side for "Choice of Colors" which received a lot of air-play because of its provocative title. But what is here is certainly representative of the Impressions, both in terms of their musical style and their cultural significance in the Sixties."
bill | Louisville, Kentucky | 12/30/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Being saddened by the death of Curtis a couple of days ago, I paid my resects by diggin out all of my Impresssons albums and listened to them as I have never before. The music although the same as it was some twenty five years ago sounded more special. This album is one of my favorites. It features Curtis at his best. His guitar licks ever prevalent, unique only to Curtis. Will miss him. I thank God for him and his music....Bill"
Very uplifting | usa | 03/09/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"these songs are timeless.The Genius Mind of Curtis Mayfield is felt all through here.Choice of COlors is a Powerful song.MR.Mayfield made a Incredible Impact on the world of Music.he was so real&forceful with His Work.He WIll be Missed but never forgotten.this is true SOUL MUSIC.everything that is missing badly now in R-N-B."