People Get Ready (song)
|"People Get Ready"|
|Single by The Impressions|
|from the album People Get Ready|
|The Impressions singles chronology|
"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.
It has been covered by many musicians, including:
- Alexander Zonjic
- Al Green & Heather Headley
- Alicia Keys
- Aretha Franklin on her album Lady Soul (1968)
- Barbara Dickson (1976)
- The Blenders, Minnesota-based a cappella/soul quartet
- Blind Boys of Alabama
- Bob Marley (as "One Love/People Get Ready")
- Bob Dylan with The Band in a Basement Tapes session (unreleased). See note at bottom of page.
- Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, as an intro/coda for their song, "Land of Hopes and Dreams"
- The Chambers Brothers
- Christian band NewSong have also done their own version of the song, with slightly modified lyrics
- "Craven" Tj Jeter
- Christian band Curt and Roland on their album with the same name
- Dandy Livingstone
- Digna Janssen
- Dionne Warwick
- Dolly Parton and Cher (1978, television special)
- Dusty Springfield
- Ed Motta
- Eva Cassidy
- The Everly Brothers
- George Benson
- George Lynch
- Glee Cast
- Glen Campbell on his 1970 album Oh Happy Day
- Greg Lake, 2012 tour
- Hanaregumi, mixing original English and Japanese-translated lyrics
- Hed PE
- Human Nature
- Jackson Greenhorn
- James Booker
- Jeff Beck and Joss Stone
- Jeff Beck and Rod Stewart (1985, #48 in the US)
- Jeff Beck and Sting (2009)
- Jeff Beck and Roger Taylor (2011)
- Jimmy Little
- John Denver
- John Mayer (as Waiting on the World to Change
- Johnny Rivers
- John Oates
- Jonathan Edwards
- Joss Stone and Lyfe Jennings
- Kenny Rankin
- Kevin Max
- Kruger Brothers
- Ladysmith Black Mambazo (with Phoebe Snow)
- Larry Norman
- Liz Longley
- Maceo Parker
- Margaret Becker
- Michael Kaeshammer (as an instrumental from the album 'Kaeshammer')
- Michelle Wright
- Neville Brothers
- Oficina G3
- Patrick Yandall
- Paul Carrack
- Petula Clark
- Phil Collins
- Pops Staples
- Rod Stewart
- Purple Soul
- Ryan Shaw
- Shawn Lane
- Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee
- Steve Perry
- Susan Alcorn as a pedal steel instrumental
- Tatsuro Yamashita while performing his song from 1988 (Sobo)... which is largely based on most Gospel style songs.
- Take 6.
- Taylor Hicks
- Terry Callier
- The Blind Boys of Alabama (with Ben Harper)
- The Chambers Brothers Flip side of "Time"
- The Doors
- The Everly Brothers
- The Guys All-Star Shoe Band
- The Housemartins on their album London 0 Hull 4
- The Idea of North
- The Meters
- The Roots
- The Walker Brothers
- Tony Carey
- Trin-i-tee 5:7
- Trijntje Oosterhuis
- U2 (starting on The Joshua Tree Tour)
- Vanilla Fudge
- Ziggy Marley
Bob Dylan has recorded three different known versions of the song in three different decades. Dylan recorded the song with The Band in 1967 during the famed Basement Tapes Sessions. This version has never been officially released, but is widely available on the various bootlegs of The Basement Tapes. He recorded a second version in 1975, which was released in 1978 on a four song promotional record for his film Renaldo and Clara. That version was one of the 42 rarities on the iTunes anthology of Dylan's output. Dylan recorded a third version in 1988 for the film Flashback.
At the 25th anniversary Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Concert, Jeff Beck and Sting performed a cover version of "People Get Ready." Sting sang lyrics that were more Universalist than the original version.
Country band Exile did a cover on an EP in 2010 entitled People Get Ready. The EP is a remastered version of a download only EP released on their website in 2008 titled Reunion.
The piano melody of the song was also sampled in the Macklemore song "Same Love".
- Robert Pruter, Curtis Mayfield & The Impressions, The Anthology, 1961-1977, liner notes
- Discogs - Jeff Beck And Rod Stewart – People Get Ready
- "Southbound overview". Allmusic.com.
- "Contempo June 2001". SmoothVibes.com.
- "Jon Bon Jovi, Queen Latifah go gospel for "Day"". Reuters. March 27, 2009.
- "People Get Ready: Song Inspired by March on Washington Carries Enduring Message" for NPR's series, The March on Washington: The 40th Anniversary
- "So, What Are Your Ten Best Songs of All Time?", TIME, July 12, 2000
- Live cover by Roger Taylor and Jeff Beck on YouTube
- Various artists on YouTube
- Full lyrics of this song at MetroLyrics