I’m not usually a fan of tribute albums, but I recently acquired A Tribute to Curtis Mayfield from 1994. I enjoyed Steve Winwood’s version of “It’s All Right” and the Repercussions and Curtis Mayfield singing “Let’s Do It Again.” Whitney Houston belts out “Look Into Your Heart” and The Isley Brothers perform a soulful rendition of “I’m So Proud.”

Rod Stewart had a hit with “People Get Ready” and I liked Phil Collins’ “I’ve Been Trying.”

Mayfield was paralyzed from the neck down after lighting equipment fell on him during a live performance at Wingate Field in Flatbush, Brooklyn, New York, on August 13, 1990. He died from complications of type 2 diabetes at the age of 57 on December 26, 1999. GRADE: A


All songs written by Curtis Mayfield except “Amen”, by Mayfield and John W. Pate, Sr.
Choice of Colors” – Gladys Knight – (3:52)
It’s All Right” – Steve Winwood – (4:21)
Let’s Do It Again” – Repercussions and Curtis Mayfield – (4:55)
“Billy Jack” – Lenny Kravitz – (6:18)
“Look Into Your Heart” – Whitney Houston – (3:54)
“Gypsy Woman” – Bruce Springsteen – (3:34)
“You Must Believe Me” – Eric Clapton – (4:28)
“I’m So Proud” – The Isley Brothers – (4:57)
“Fool for You” – Branford Marsalis and The Impressions – (3:45)
“Keep On Pushin'” – Tevin Campbell – (3:21)
“The Makings of You” – Aretha Franklin – (4:26)
“Woman’s Got Soul” – B.B. King – (3:49)
People Get Ready” – Rod Stewart – (5:01)
(Don’t Worry) If There’s a Hell Below, We’re All Going to Go” – Narada Michael Walden – (5:09)
“I’ve Been Trying” – Phil Collins – (5:01)
“I’m the One Who Loves You” – Stevie Wonder – (3:58)
Amen” – Elton John and Sounds of Blackness – (4:41)


  1. Jeff Meyerson

    No “Freddie’s Dead”?

    Jackie loves tribute albums. We have several – The Beach Boys, Jim Croce, Levon Helm (one of the best – the 2 CD live tribute, LOVE FOR LEVON), Joni Mitchell,. When she gets up I will check for others. I think I had this one too, but I know she isn’t a fan.

  2. Deb

    My favorite Curtis Mayfield song is “Gypsy Woman.” As much as I love the Boss, I gotta say Brian Hyland’s incredibly melancholy version from 1970 gets me every time.

    Another favorite Mayfield song is the brass-heavy “Move on Up,” which, sadly, is only remembered today because Kanye West sampled it (in “Touch the Sky,” iirc).

    1. george Post author

      Deb, I have to admit that Bruce Springsteen’s version of “Gypsy Woman” is one of the weakest cuts on this CD. Like you, I prefer Brian Hyland’s incredible rendition of “Gypsy Woman.”

  3. Jeff Meyerson

    Common Threads: Songs of the Eagles is another one she has.

    I shouldn’t have mentioned this because now she is scouring the Amazon listings.

      1. Jeff Meyerson

        So true. Every night no matter what we’re watching, there is some point where I look up and she is scanning Amazon listings. Last night it was place mats!

  4. Steve Oerkfitz

    Except for the Springsteen and Rod Stewart I have not heard any of these versions. Mostly good performers although I have no fondness for Phil Collins (bland) or Whitney Houston (who tends to over sing everything).

    1. george Post author

      Steve, you’re right about Whitney Houston’s over-singing songs. But her version of “Look Into Your Heart” is powerful. I just re-listened to Whitney Houston singing “The Star-Spangled Banner” at Super Bowl XXV. Nobody has done it better in my opinion.

  5. Deb

    Slightly o/t, but I think I mentioned that one of our girls signed up for the Spotify Family Plan so that all of us can now create our own playlists. Anyway, I’ve been having fun scrolling through the offerings and I came across two Peter Gabriel albums: SCRATCH MY BACK (where Gabriel covers other artists’ songs—the best being his take on David Bowie’s “Heroes”) and AND I’LL SCRATCH YOURS (where other artists cover Gabriel’s songs—the best being David Byrne’s version of “I Can’t Remember”). I like cover/tribute albums when they bring something new to the party. A note-for-note duplication of the original does nothing for me.

    1. George Kelley

      Deb, it won’t surprise you to learn I have a dozen “cover” CDs ready for review in 2021. I’m with you on the “bringing something new to the Party” concept. Simply recreating the song note-for-note is dull.

  6. wolf

    One of the heroes of R&B/Rock …
    It says a lot that so many singers performed his songs, many of them British even.

    Rather OT: (6pm now)
    Here in Europe the first sounds of fireworks are heard – and the barking of the poor dogs which are left outside and have to listen …
    Officially fireworks are restricted this year, but …
    Wish you all the best for the New Year, especially health!

  7. George Kelley

    Wolf, most of our celebrations for New Year’s Eve are on hold. Diane and I will stay up to watch the ball drop in New York City on TV,, toast the New Year with some champagne, and sleep in tomorrow morning! Happy New Year to you!

  8. Jeff Smith

    We generally get together with friends at an expensive restaurant, often with a very late seating that has us still eating dessert at midnight, when the diners and staff all celebrate together. Or something similar. Tonight, as usual for this sucky year, it will be the two of us sitting home alone. We rarely see the ball drop on tv; I guess we will tonight.

    King Crimson did a nice version of “Heroes,” though it is pretty close to the original — Robert Fripp was the guitarist on the Bowie version.


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