The Impressions - The Impressions (1963)

The Impressions are an American R&B vocal group originally formed in 1958.

In 1957 in Chicago, gospel singers Jerry Butler and Curtis Mayfield joined up with doo-wop group The Roosters (Sam Gooden, Richard Brooks and Arthur Brooks). By the next year they were calling themselves Jerry Butler & The Impressions, and were signed to Vee-Jay Records. They scored a big hit with the ballad "For Your Precious Love", which made it to #3 on the R&B chart and #11 on the pop chart. Butler then left for a successful solo career, and was replaced by Fred Cash (who had previously been a member of The Roosters).
Curtis Mayfield was now in charge as lead singer, songwriter and guitarist. At the same time he also wrote songs for Butler's solo career, including the #1 R&B hit "He Will Break Your Heart". In 1961 The Impressions got themselves a new deal with ABC-Paramount in New York, and scored another big hit with the flamenco-flavoured "Gypsy Woman" (#2 R&B, #20 pop). However subsequent singles failed to chart highly, and the Brooks brothers then left, reducing them to the trio of Mayfield, Gooden and Cash.
They returned to Chicago, and working with producer Johnny Pate they had their biggest chart success with the punchy 1963 single "It's All Right"(#1 R&B and #4 pop). Their first album was released the same year, featuring "Gypsy Woman", "It's All Right" and the other lesser-known singles. It was a splendid debut, showcasing their distinctive sound, characterized by light, airy vocal harmonies and Mayfield's sparse, clean guitar work.
Their next single, "Thinking About My Baby", also charted at #12, but didn't find its way onto an album until later in 1964.

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