As a writer, producer, and artist - both solo and with The Impressions - Curtis Mayfield (1942-1999) was one of the foremost exponents of Chicago soul. He penned such favorites as Jan Bradley's "Mama Didn't Lie" and Major Lance's "The Monkey Time," not to mention a string of Impressions classics including "It's All Right" and "Gypsy Woman." Mayfield's deep social conscience manifested itself in such influential anthems as "Keep on Pushing" and "People Get Ready" which established him as a central voice of Black America and of the civil rights movement. His 1970 solo debut Curtis predated Marvin Gaye's What's Going On as it incorporated political and social strains into its music, departing from The Impressions' frequently silky soul into a world of hard-hitting psychedelic funk. His soundtrack to director Gordon Parks Jr.'s 1972 blaxploitation classic Super Fly yielded two million-selling singles with "Freddie's Dead" and the title track. A chart-topping album on both the Pop and R&B surveys (and No. 2 Jazz), Super Fly remains one of the rare soundtracks to outgross the actual film.
Having previously reissued Mayfield's debut album in a deluxe presentation, Run Out Groove announced today that the Super Fly soundtrack is the label's latest fan-voted vinyl release. The expanded 2-LP set is based on Rhino's definitive 1997 double-CD release, and carries over all of the bonus tracks from that release except for an interview with Mayfield. These "extras" include single mixes, demos, alternate versions, instrumental cues, and a couple of promotional radio spots.
Despite controversy over its portrayal of African-Americans as dealers and pimps - the film revolves around Youngblood Priest (Ron O'Neal), a dope pusher trying to break free of the underworld - Super Fly was financially backed by members of the Harlem community where it was shot. It assembled the largest non-white film crew to that point in time, and was both written and directed by African-Americans. (White producer Sig Shore appeared in the movie as Deputy Commissioner Riordan, or "The Man.") The movie grossed approximately 4 million dollars, while Mayfield's pulsating soundtrack earned roughly 5 million dollars. A 2018 remake attempted to update the story and smooth over its rough edges, but it was largely felt that the new approach lost most of the social subtext of the original film.
Run Out Groove's 50th anniversary vinyl presentation has been remastered with lacquers cut from the original analog source tapes. It features a tip-on paper wrapped style sleeve, a fold-out poster, new liner notes and rare photos, and a custom felt turntable mat exclusive to this release. Additionally, a limited multi-color edition (a blend of solid red, orange, and yellow) is available exclusively from the label or the first 1,500 customers that order. (The standard black vinyl version is also available for those uninterested in the color variant.) Super Fly: 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition is available to pre-order now through January 13, 2022. Like most ROG releases, it will be individually limited and numbered based on the orders received.
Meanwhile, voting is open for the next release. Fans can choose between:
Randy Newman, Good Old Boys: Deluxe Edition - The great American singer-songwriter's 1974 masterwork would return to vinyl in a deluxe 2-LP edition including the vinyl debut of the Johnny Cutler's Birthday demos comprising an early draft of the album. This edition would be sourced from lacquers cut from the original analog tapes and would add new liner notes.
Steel Pulse, Babylon the Bandit: Deluxe Edition - The Grammy-winning U.K. reggae group's 1985 album would be expanded to two LPs with bonus tracks and would be cut from the original analog tapes.
Labelle, Labelle: The debut album of Labelle (formerly Patti LaBelle and The Bluebelles, featuring Patti, Sarah Dash, and Nona Hendryx) features such classic songs as "Wild Horses," "Time and Love," and "You've Got a Friend" in the trio's inimitable style. This oft-overlooked set would be expanded to 2 LPs with previously unreleased bonus tracks.
You'll find the track listing and pre-order links for the upcoming ROG reissue of Super Fly below!
Curtis Mayfield, Super Fly: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (Curtom LP CRS-8014-ST, 1972 - reissued Run Out Groove, 2022)
- Little Child Runnin' Wild 5:28
- Pusherman 5:07
- Freddie's Dead 5:31
- Junkie Chase (instrumental) 1:42
- Give Me Your Love (Love Song) 4:21
- Eddie You Should Know Better 2:21
- No Thing On Me (Cocaine Song) 4:59
- Think (Instrumental) 3:49
- Superfly 3:56
- Freddie's Dead (single mix) 3:21
- Superfly (single mix) 3:12
- Ghetto Child (demo version of Little Child Runnin' Wild) 3:19
- Pusherman (alternate mix with horns) 6:12
- Freddie's Dead (instrumental) 4:50
- Junkie Chase (full length instrumental version) 4:19
- No Thing On Me (Cocaine Song) (instrumental/score version) 4:39
- Militant March 0:55
- Eddie You Should Know Better (Instrumental version) 2:17
- Radio Spot # 1 0:28
- The Underground (1970 demo) 3:14
- Check Out Your Mind (Instrumental studio Jam) 4:08
- Radio Spot #2 0:24
All tracks on Side C and Side D first collected on Rhino R2 72836, 1997