Aside from the Superfly soundtrack (which has rightfully attained legendary status), much of Curtis Mayfield's early-'70s work has been criminally overlooked. 1971's Roots is a perfect case in point. It's a compelling suite of songs that explore Mayfield's interests in socio-political issues, and there's a strong feel for romance in the sound. Horns, strings, guitars, keyboards, and complex percussion outline the landscapes that have Mayfield seeking equality for people everywhere. It should have been every bit as important and influential as Marvin Gaye's well-known classic What's Goin' On. Songs such as "Keep On Keeping On," "We Got to Have Peace," and "Beautiful Brother of Mine" offer a worthy counterpoint to (and cohesion with) Gaye's anthems of the era. This edition of the album features four bonus tracks, including a demo version of "Underground" and single edits of three of the album's best cuts. Mayfield's knowledge of the recording studio ensures that everything he touches has an eloquence rare in any age.

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