People Get Ready

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This article is about The Impressions song. For other uses, see People Get Ready (disambiguation).
"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
10622
Writer(s) Curtis Mayfield
Producer(s) Johnny Pate
The Impressions singles chronology
"Amen"
(1964)
"People Get Ready"
(1965)
"Woman's Got Soul"
(1965)

"People Get Ready" was 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, 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" 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.

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

Composition[edit]

The gospel-influenced track was a Curtis Mayfield composition, and displayed the 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.[1]

Reception and legacy[edit]

The single reached number-three 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. "People Get Ready" 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.[2]

Cover versions[edit]

The song has became a classic that has influenced a wide range of artists from white Country singers through British, American and Australian pop and rock artists to reggae star Bob Marley.[3] Bob Dylan recorded it twice; first in 1967 during the sessions that later became The Basement Tapes, and again in 1989 for the soundtrack to Flashback.[4] One of the most well-known covers 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.[citation needed] 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.[6] 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. John Mayer's 2006 song "Waiting on the World to Change" is also based on "People Get Ready". Earlier recordings include those by The Chambers Brothers on their 1967 album The Time Has Come, Vanilla Fudge on their 1967 self-titled album, Aretha Franklin on her 1968 album Lady Soul, and Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee on their 1973 album Sonny & Brownie. Boogie-woogie pianist Michael Kaeshammer and his band recorded an instrumental version of this song, which appears on his 2011 album Kaeshammer. Human Nature released "People Get Ready" as the 5th and final single from their "Telling Everybody" album in 1997.[7] It reached #35 on the Australian charts.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Robert Pruter, Curtis Mayfield & The Impressions, The Anthology, 1961-1977, liner notes
  2. ^ Jonathan Gregg (12 July 2000). "So, What Are Your Ten Best Songs of All Time?". time.com. 
  3. ^ "Song Inspired by March on Washington Carries Enduring Message". npr.org. 
  4. ^ Mike Marquse (4 Jan 2011). Wicked Messenger: Bob Dylan and the 1960s; Chimes of Freedom. Seven Stories Press. p. 123. 
  5. ^ Discogs - Jeff Beck And Rod Stewart – People Get Ready
  6. ^ "Reviews". Billborad: 83. 22 Feb 1997. 
  7. ^ "Book Human Nature - National Feature Acts - National Names". BBC Entertainment. Retrieved 2014-07-13. 
  8. ^ Steffen Hung. "Human Nature - People Get Ready". australian-charts.com. Retrieved 2014-07-13. 

External links[edit]