8 Songs, 32 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

For more than three decades the Impressions were Chicago’s most venerable musical institution, less a group than a full-fledged soul dynasty. Like the great gospel outfits of the ‘40s and ‘50s, the Impressions passed through countless incarnations, serving as a sort of finishing school for aspiring soul vocalists, producing solemn, lovelorn doo-wop under the direction of Jerry Butler, eloquent songs of love and protest with Curtis Mayfield, and bracingly progressive funk with Leroy Hutson. And thanks to the astonishing depth of their catalogue, there are still relatively undiscovered gems lurking in the Impressions’ discography. Finally Got Myself Together is among the best of these. Produced by Ed Townsend, the architect of the achingly beautiful sound of Marvin Gaye’s Let’s Get It On, Finally Got Myself Together is filled with brilliantly conceived, gospel-inflected funk. Lead vocalist Fred Cash may lack the commanding vocal presence of his predecessors Mayfield and Butler, but Ed Townsend draws extra pathos from Butler’s performances with his painterly sonic flourishes. Finally Got Myself Together is one of the Impressions’ finest post-Mayfield outings and proves that they could still hold their own in the gritty Superfly-struck musical landscape of the mid ‘70s.

EDITORS’ NOTES

For more than three decades the Impressions were Chicago’s most venerable musical institution, less a group than a full-fledged soul dynasty. Like the great gospel outfits of the ‘40s and ‘50s, the Impressions passed through countless incarnations, serving as a sort of finishing school for aspiring soul vocalists, producing solemn, lovelorn doo-wop under the direction of Jerry Butler, eloquent songs of love and protest with Curtis Mayfield, and bracingly progressive funk with Leroy Hutson. And thanks to the astonishing depth of their catalogue, there are still relatively undiscovered gems lurking in the Impressions’ discography. Finally Got Myself Together is among the best of these. Produced by Ed Townsend, the architect of the achingly beautiful sound of Marvin Gaye’s Let’s Get It On, Finally Got Myself Together is filled with brilliantly conceived, gospel-inflected funk. Lead vocalist Fred Cash may lack the commanding vocal presence of his predecessors Mayfield and Butler, but Ed Townsend draws extra pathos from Butler’s performances with his painterly sonic flourishes. Finally Got Myself Together is one of the Impressions’ finest post-Mayfield outings and proves that they could still hold their own in the gritty Superfly-struck musical landscape of the mid ‘70s.

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