Curtis Mayfield – “Super Fly”

Image result for curtis mayfield photos

Photo credit: bing photo images

Superfly was a FLY hit and was released in the Summer of July 1972, it was HOT and this song was burning up the chart. Curtis Mayfield is a prolific writer with a smooth soft voice that makes the listener feel as though they just stepped into a movie screen. This has always been ONE of my many favorite Curtis Mayfield songs! He titled this song Super Fly, but just didn’t have any idea how Super and Fly he was! “Trying to get over, trying to get over, trying to get over! WOW!

Super Fly is the third studio album by American soul musician Curtis Mayfield, released on Curtom Records. It was released as the soundtrack for the Blaxploitation film of the same name. Widely considered a classic of 1970s soul and funk music, Super Fly was a nearly immediate hit. Its sales were bolstered by two million-selling singles, “Freddie’s Dead” (number 2 R&B charts, number 4 Pop charts) and the title track (number 5 R&B, number 8 Pop). Super Fly is one of the few soundtracks to out-gross the film it accompanied.

Super Fly, along with Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On (1971), was one of the pioneering soul concept albums, with its then-unique socially aware lyrics about poverty and drug abuse making the album stand out. The film and the soundtrack may be perceived as dissonant, since the film holds rather ambiguous views on drug dealers, whereas Curtis Mayfield’s position is far more critical. Like What’s Going On, the album was a surprise hit that record executives felt had little chance at significant sales. Due to its success, Mayfield was tapped for several film soundtracks over the course of the decade.

Release –

Super Fly was originally released in 1972 on Curtom Records in both LP and eight-track formats. It also featured distribution in countries outside of the United States, including Italy, Germany, France, Canada, and the United Kingdom On November 11, 1997, Rhino Records released a 25th Anniversary collection of the album with a bonus disc of demo versions of songs, radio spots, and interviews. In 1999, Rhino Records reissued the album with two bonus tracks. On December 11, 2001, the British record label Charly Records re-released the album with several bonus tracks.

Critical reception –

Music critics lauded Super Fly. Rolling Stone’s Bob Donat was favorable of Mayfield’s anti-drug and self-liberation themes, and called Super Fly “not only a superior, imaginative soundtrack, but fine funky music as well and the best of Curtis Mayfield’s four albums made since he left the Impressions”. In a 2004 review of the album, Rolling Stone gave Super Fly five out of five stars and cited it as Mayfield’s “creative breakthrough”. Rock critic Robert Christgau of The Village Voice gave the album an A- and lauded Mayfield’s songwriting. Christgau also wrote that “these songs speak for (and to) the ghetto’s victims rather than its achievers (cf. ‘The Other Side of Town’, on Curtis), transmitting bleak lyrics through uncompromisingly vivacious music. Message: both candor and rhythm are essential to our survival”. John Bush of AllMusic praised the album’s lyrical substance and sound, calling it a “melange of deep, dark grooves, trademarked wah-wah guitar, and stinging brass”. On its significance, Bush concluded by stating:

Super Fly ignited an entire genre of music, the blaxploitation soundtrack, and influenced everyone from soul singers to television-music composers for decades to come. It stands alongside Saturday Night Fever and Never Mind the Bollocks Here’s the Sex Pistols as one of the most vivid touchstones of ’70s pop music.

Super Fly – Song Lyrics –

Darkest of night
With the moon shining bright
There’s a set goin’ strong
Lotta things goin’ on
The man of the hour
Has an air of great power
The dudes have envied him for so long

Oh, superfly
You’re gonna make your fortune by and by
But if you lose, don’t ask no questions why
The only game you know is do or die
Ah-ha-ha

Hard to understand
What a hell of a man
This cat of the slum
Had a mind, wasn’t dumb
But a weakness was shown
‘Cause his hustle was wrong
His mind was his own
But the man lived alone

Oh, superfly
You’re gonna make your fortune by and by
But if you lose, don’t ask no questions why
The only game you know is do or die
Ah-ha-ha

The game he plays he plays for keeps
Hustlin’ times and ghetto streets
Tryin’ ta get over
(That’s what he tryin’ to do, y’all)
Taking all that he can take
Gambling with the odds of fate
Tryin’ ta get over
Tryin’ ta get over
Tryin’ ta get over
Tryin’ ta get over
Woo, superfly

The aim of his role
Was to move a lot of blow
Ask him his dream
What does it mean?
He woudn’t know
“Can’t be like the rest”
Is the most he’ll confess
But the time’s running out
And there’s no happiness

Oh, superfly
You’re gonna make your fortune by and by
But if you lose, don’t ask no questions why
The only game you know is do or die
Ah-ha-ha
Superfly
Superfly
Superfly
Superfly

Tryin’ ta get over
Tryin’ ta get over
Tryin’ ta get over
Tryin’ ta get over
Tryin’ ta get over
Tryin’ ta get over
Tryin’ ta get over
Tryin’ ta get over
Tryin’ ta get over

Songwriters: CURTIS MAYFIELD

© Warner Chappell Music, Inc.

Credit: LyricFind

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “Curtis Mayfield – “Super Fly”