People Get Ready

  (Redirected from People Get Ready (song))

"People Get Ready" is a 1965 single by the Impressions, and the title track from the People Get Ready album. The single is the group's best-known hit, reaching number-three on the Billboard R&B Chart and number 14 on the Billboard Pop Chart. The gospel-influenced track was a Curtis Mayfield composition that displayed the growing sense of social and political awareness in his writing.

"People Get Ready"
People Get Ready single.jpg
Single by the Impressions
from the album People Get Ready
B-side"I've Been Trying"
Released1965
Format7-inch single
Recorded1964
Genre
Length2:38
LabelABC-Paramount 10622
Songwriter(s)Curtis Mayfield
Producer(s)Johnny Pate
The Impressions singles chronology
"Amen"
(1964)
"People Get Ready"
(1965)
"Woman's Got Soul"
(1965)

Rolling Stone magazine named "People Get Ready" the 24th greatest song of all time and also placed it at number 20 on their list of the 100 Greatest Guitar Tracks. The song was included in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll. "People Get Ready" was named as one of the Top 10 Best Songs Of All Time by Mojo music magazine, and was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1998. In 2015, the song was selected for preservation in the National Recording Registry due to its "cultural, historic, or artistic significance".[1] Martin Luther King Jr. named the song the unofficial anthem of the Civil Rights Movement and often used the song to get people marching or to calm and comfort them.[2]

Various artists have covered the song, including Bob Marley and the Wailers in 1965 and 1977, and Rod Stewart and Jeff Beck in 1985. The Australian group Human Nature had a minor hit in Australia with their version in 1997.

CompositionEdit

The gospel-influenced track was written and composed by Curtis Mayfield, who was displaying a growing sense of social and political awareness in his writing. Mayfield said,

That was taken from my church or from the upbringing of messages from the church. Like there's no hiding place and get on board, and images of that sort. I must have been in a very deep mood of that type of religious inspiration when I wrote that song.

The song is the first Impressions hit to feature Mayfield's guitar in the break.[3]

"People Get Ready" is in a long tradition of Black American freedom songs that use train imagery, such as "Wade in the Water", "The Gospel Train", and "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot". The imagery comes from the Underground Railroad, not a real train but an escape route North to freedom for fugitives from the American slavery system, with conductors such as Harriet Tubman going back time and again to the South to show people the route of the "railroad". Images of mobility have been consistently linked to liberation from oppression in African American music including trains, highways, rivers, marching and space travel.[4]

Reception and legacyEdit

The single reached number 3 on the Billboard R&B Chart and number 14 on the Billboard Pop Chart.

Rolling Stone magazine named "People Get Ready" the 24th greatest song of all time and also placed it at number 20 on their list of the 100 Greatest Guitar Tracks. The song was included in The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll. The song was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1998, and selected as one of the ten best songs of all time by a panel of 20 songwriters, including Paul McCartney, Brian Wilson, Hal David, for Britain's Mojo music magazine in 2000.[5]

Cover versionsEdit

The song became a classic that has influenced a wide range of artists from country singers through British, American and Australian pop and rock artists to reggae star Bob Marley who recorded an interpretation of "People Get Ready" as "One Love/People Get Ready" in 1965 and again in 1977.[6] Others who have recorded the song include the Blind Boys of Alabama, Al Green, Aretha Franklin and the Staple Singers.[7]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "New Entries to National Recording Registry | News Releases - Library of Congress". Loc.gov. Retrieved September 29, 2016.
  2. ^ Erickson, Brad (2018) People Get Ready. Library of Congress. National Recording Registry
  3. ^ Robert Pruter, Curtis Mayfield & The Impressions, The Anthology, 1961-1977, liner notes
  4. ^ Erickson, Brad. (2016). George Clinton and David Bowie: The space race in black and white. Popular Music and Society, 39(5), 563-578.
  5. ^ Gregg, Jonathan (July 12, 2000). "So, What Are Your Ten Best Songs of All Time?". time.com.
  6. ^ "Song Inspired by March on Washington Carries Enduring Message". npr.org.
  7. ^ W. K. McNeil, ed. (2013). Encyclopedia of American Gospel Music. Routledge. p. 368. ISBN 9781135377076.
  8. ^ Marquse, Mike (January 4, 2011). Wicked Messenger: Bob Dylan and the 1960s; Chimes of Freedom. Seven Stories Press. p. 123. ISBN 9781609801151.
  9. ^ Dylan, Bob; Dylan, Sara; Baez, Joan; Hawkins, Ronnie (January 25, 1978), Renaldo and Clara, retrieved February 27, 2017
  10. ^ "The Rolling Thunder Revue: The 1975 Live Recordings". bobdylan.com. June 1, 2019. Retrieved June 11, 2019.
  11. ^ https://www.billboard.com/music/jeff-beck/chart-history/RTT/song/319757
  12. ^ https://www.billboard.com/music/jeff-beck/chart-history/HSI
  13. ^ "Book Human Nature - National Feature Acts - National Names". BBC Entertainment. Retrieved July 13, 2014.
  14. ^ Hung, Steffen. "Human Nature - People Get Ready". australian-charts.com. Retrieved July 13, 2014.

External linksEdit