People Get Ready (song)

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"People Get Ready"
Single by The Impressions
from the album People Get Ready
Released 1965
Format 7" single
Recorded Chicago: 1964
Genre Soul
Length 2:38
Label ABC-Paramount
Writer(s) Curtis Mayfield
Producer(s) Johnny Pate
The Impressions singles chronology
"People Get Ready"
"Woman's Got Soul"

"People Get Ready" was a 1965 single by The Impressions, and the title track from the album of the same name. The single is today 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, and displayed the growing sense of social and political awareness in his writing.

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" has also been chosen as one of the Top 10 Best Songs Of All Time by a panel of 20 top industry songwriters and producers, including Paul McCartney, Brian Wilson, Hal David, and others as reported to Britain's Mojo music magazine, and was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1998 .

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.[1]

Human Nature version[edit]

"People Get Ready"
Single by Human Nature
from the album Telling Everybody
Released 1997
Format CD single
Recorded Australia
Genre Pop
Length 4:47
Label Sony BMG
Writer(s) Curtis Mayfield
Producer(s) Human Nature
Human Nature singles chronology
"Every Time You Cry (with John Farnham)"
"People Get Ready"

"People Get Ready" was the 5th and final single released off "Telling Everybody". [2]


"People Get Ready" debuted at #46 and climbed to #35 on 28th December 1997. [3]

Weekly Charts[edit]

Chart (1997) Peak
Australian ARIA Singles Chart 35


  1. People get Rady
  2. All Of Out Love
  3. Last Christmas


Cover versions[edit]

The most well-known other recording of the song is by Jeff Beck and Rod Stewart in 1985,[5] which gained considerable airplay on album rock and classic rock radio stations and had a popular video on MTV. The interpretation featured Beck's gospel- tinged lead guitar lines carrying the melody with Stewart's signature raspy vocal set against that. It also represented a brief reunion between the two 1960s band mates, and they would perform the song again during intermittent one- off reunions in later years.

Canadian country music singer Michelle Wright covered the song on the 1997 compilation album Peace in the Valley. Her version peaked at #49 on the RPM Adult Contemporary charts.[citation needed]

Bruce Springsteen used "People Get Ready" as the basis for his 1999/2000 songs "Land of Hope and Dreams" and "My City of Ruins" and sometimes interpolates or uses as a coda "People Get Ready" in performances of them.

Earlier recordings were by Sonny Terry and Brownie McGee on their 1973 album Sonny & Brownie and by Aretha Franklin on her 1968 album Lady Soul and by Vanilla Fudge on their 1967 self-titled album.

Boogie-woogie pianist Michael Kaeshammer and his band recorded an instrumental version of this song, which appears on his 2011 album Kaeshammer.


External links[edit]