musicology #96

sixartist, sixtune, sixweekspecial #19

(Curtis Mayfield – Mighty Mighty Spade & Whitey)

this week it’s all about the king … Curtis Mayfield.

the cat was first introduced to me as a 2 year old in 1971 and the two albums that are burned into my consciousness are Curtis and the album this cut is taken from..Curtis Live.

my dad, (respect is always due), was a BIG Curtis fan and was responsible for introducing me to music that has always been a constant source of inspiration.

along with Bobby Womack, Bill Withers and Marvin Gaye, Curtis ran ‘tings down in Circus Street. there were many others who made an apearance but, (subjectively), these three are an integral part of themusicologist’s upbringing.

lyrics as hard as nails, music as tough as old boots and vocals full of integrity. I could do four different Curtis sets, producer, songwriter, singer and inspiration, such has been his impact on music. without Curtis Soul would have travelled a different path as would the music of Jamaica and his impact on UK music is most apparent in another of the six/six/six artists Paul Weller, (the other major player in the themusicologists personal growth)

the lyrics to this one are, for me, as good as it gets so now ladies and gentlemen themusicologist is proud to present…Curtis Mayfield

listen tune…


9 thoughts on “musicology #96

  1. that was amazing!…brilliant instrumentals, brilliant lyrics “if your cut your gonna bleed”!..and his voice makes the sinews move..
    he points out in fine style the old adage ‘united we stand, divided we fall’…ride on


  2. unfortunately not enough people listened/took action in 1970. too busy pleasing and isolating themselves and the time for action passed.

    there was another stab at ‘revolt’ with punk but as Billy Bragg so eloquently wrote in ‘Take Down The Union Jack’ the time for change passed

    “sometime in the 80’s when the great and the good gave way to the greedy and the mean”

    is there any music out there today that pushes for the people to unite and ‘take responsibility’? .. not as far as I know..

    p.s united we stood, divided we fell. sad but true.


  3. “united we stood, divided we fell”

    True, and you can also add “sold-out to the money lenders” to that. But maybe – and yes, it’s a big maybe – we are entering a new age… an age of transparency and shared information and, consequently, shared gain and responsibilities of same.

    An age where music sits comfortably with politics/society. It could happen. We are on the cusp. It will go one way or another soon… very soon!


  4. the ‘age of transparency’…for me it’s another example of rhetoric in the ‘information’ age.

    Knowledge, rather than mis/information is what we need to make progress.

    lets face it there is a LOT of information out there and more appearing everyday. In my opinion Information has no value, only knowledge and the ‘Holy Grail’…Wisdom.


  5. Information…. woods an’ trees. Knowledge…. distinguishing the differences.
    Wisdom… recognizing the inherent value of each.

    “how can we trust the validity of words to properly describe reality when people use them to prove themselves right and others wrong? Words are just representations of fragmented ideas that can be used any way we choose”

    For example, Chuang Tzu compares words to the meaningless peeping of birds. But clarity of mind can help us make sense of things. The wise man doesn’t waste time in choosing sides between right and wrong, but looks on it all with “the light of Heaven.” He sees every opposite as embodying the seed of its companion, and mental clarity alone becomes “the hinge of the way.

    Things are “good” or “bad” because we choose to perceive them so. This is the central point. So much of the experience of our lives depends on perception. But if we see the wholeness of things rather focusing on their fragmented opposites we can achieve the broad, large and passive view of the world. The wise man sees that things are fragmented into opposites and these opposites constantly changing in their relation/proximity to each other, but these things are fluctuating in a closed, ultimately balanced system. The whole is what the wise man calls the Constant.

    “The Constant is the useful. The useful is the passable. The passable is the successful; and with success all is accomplished”

    So judgments about events and experiences should be based on their usefulness and how they relate to the whole. This enables one to “pass” through these experiences instead of becoming caught up in them. When we are in control of how the external world affects us, this is success, this is freedom.

    But one cannot come to this state of mind by effort. One cannot seek it but must instead become passive to allow it to arise. And one has to develop this passive view in parallel to the average view of life.

    A hard, hard, road!!!!!!!!!!!!


  6. Ed.
    Paragraph 3 line 4 should read “rather THAN focusing”…. sorry, I got a bit carried away. The fingers(?) were haphazardly flying!!


  7. for me wisdom is the application of knowledge. having no true value until utilised to help facilitate learning.
    knowledge represents or highlights ‘mistakes’ whereas wisdom to me is learning from them.

    The only ‘Constant’ in life is Change. Nothing stays the same so to live in fear of it is a ‘mistake’ fighting change with effort is the hardest road.

    nice piece…appreciated


  8. ta…. it was a worthwhile effort. Even so, I’m still not too sure of myself and all this “eastern” stuff.

    For example, can you expand upon “Nothing stays the same so to live in fear of it is a ‘mistake’ (and here comes the puzzling bit for me) fighting change with effort is the hardest road”.

    Answer not necessary now (it wouldn’t be appreciated). Unfortunately, my head’s currently full of materialistic shit… I think it’s called survival.

    Some other time would be nice though.


  9. Pingback: musicology #314 «

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