Although there's much good music on this two-CD compilation -- and much music period, with each disc containing over 70 minutes of material -- it falls short of being a wholly admirable anthology of Curtis Mayfield
's solo work. It's not certain whether the intention was to craft a best-of for his post-Impressions
material, but if so, it misses out on too many important tracks (particularly from the early 1970s) to qualify on that count. To be fair, the back sleeve blurb does spell out that the collection spans the years 1972 to 1990. That, unfortunately, eliminates numerous fine 1970-71 recordings from the running order, including the original version of "Move on Up," the hit "(Don't Worry) If There's a Hell Below We're All Going to Go," and such interesting items as "Check Out Your Mind," "Stone Junkie," and "Mighty Mighty (Spade and Whitey)." The most popular cuts from the classic Superfly
soundtrack are here, but a bunch of subsequent '70s hits aren't. So we're left with a selection that is neither a hits-focused comp nor a survey of Mayfield
's best overlooked solo work, although it does leave the path clear for inclusion of some good underexposed songs, like the quite appropriately titled "After Sex," "Get a Little Bit (Give, Get, Take and Have)," and the small 1977 hit "Do Do Wap Is Strong in Here." The 1987 synth-overladen live version of "Move on Up" is depressingly inferior to the classic original (as is the 1985 remake of the early-'70s single "We Got to Have Peace"), and there are too many relatively inessential cuts from his later years, when he moved toward a more mainstream (and sometimes disco-fied) sound in both material and arrangements.