Today In Music History: Curtis Mayfield triumphs over paralysis with "New World Order"

September 27, 1996: Curtis Mayfield triumphs over paralysis with his final album, New World Order

He is undoubtedly one of the most important artists of the second half of the twentieth century, and the King of Conscious Soul. Curtis Mayfield pulled few punches in his thoughtful, insightful soul music in the 60s and 70s, addressing issues of race, class and justice while at the same time delivering the grooves.

September 27, 1996: Curtis Mayfield triumphs over paralysis with his final album, New World Order

He is undoubtedly one of the most important artists of the second half of the twentieth century, and the King of Conscious Soul. Curtis Mayfield pulled few punches in his thoughtful, insightful soul music in the 60s and 70s, addressing issues of race, class and justice while at the same time delivering the grooves.

After a tragic stage accident left him paralyzed, Mayfield was considered by many to be permanently gone from the music business. But in a triumph few could have expected, he found his way back to the studio, slowly and painfully (recording while laying on his back, often trying to catch his breath) creating perhaps his greatest album, the Grammy Award nominated New World Order, released on September 27, 1996.

The album’s title was a turn of the phrase used by George H. W. Bush during his term in the White House, and, as with most of Mayfield’s work, told transcendent truths about life in America. Against all odds, New World Order was both a critical and commercial triumph, wining a Grammy nomination for album of the year, and serving as a fitting coda to Mayfields’ incredible career. He died three years later at age 57.

 
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