Curtis Mayfield - Super Fly


Apr 26 2011, 21:39

The early 1970s were the height of the hippy movement in the USA. The period was marked by social unrest around a number of social issues (the Vietnam war, racism, poverty, organised crime) and the hopeless optimism inspired by 'loved up' psychedelia (although the darker side of the drug experience was being documented by The Velvet Underground, and there were links between the drugs and the organised crime).

The society in which this social flux was ocurring was sharply differentiated on racial lines. There were seperate media serving the cultural needs of white, black and hispanic communities. In the urban African-American communities were on average, extremely poor, while experiencing the formation of a middle class. Thus they provided both source material and a marketing opportunity for a new film genre .

These same social tensions were being reflected in that community's music: . However there was a distinction to be made between music that responded to the psychedelia (eg Prelude) and music that adressed the grim reality of ghetto life (eg Family Affair). The latter movement produced two great concept albums. One was Marvin Gaye - What's Going On, which documented the bewilderment that the Vietnam veterans experienced on their return. The other ...

... was the soundtrack for one of the films mentioned above.

I won't pretend to be a fan of the film; it's the music that turns me on.

Great rhythms on horns, choppy guitars, and bass. Topped with sweetly tragic lyrics describing the harsh side effects of the drug trade. What more could you want? (Move On Up says the greedy, irrational part of me that hates rhetorical questions). Of course it was a lot of sound and fury, but similar sentiments have been expressed in both song and film since.
Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five - The Message
It's like a jungle sometimes; it makes me wonder how I keep from going under


  • Babs_05

    Good journal and cool tracks. Thanks.

    Apr 27 2011, 13:49
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