Skip to content

The Impressions “One By One” Reviewed

A busy 1965 for The Impressions, there was album # 5, People Get Ready, album # 6 Greatest Hits,  and album # 7, this one, One By One. The biggest interest on Greatest Hits is that it misses “People Get Ready,” though it includes all the biggies from “Gypsy Woman” to “It’s Alright” to “Amen”. However, those first three albums must be listened to completely to appreciate where Curtis was at so, yeah, I see why but not for me.

Album # 7 followed the death of perhaps the single greatest figure in 60s jazz, the crossover jazz superstar and television personality, Nat King Cole. The Impressions cover  three Nat King Cole masterpieces and if you want to know everything you need to know about One By One, listen to Johnny Pate and Curtis failure to do them duty. “Mona Lisa” is aided by providing Curtis  a little room to sing it, but both “Nature Boy” and especially “Answer Me, My Love” are nowhere nearly good enough. None of them cut it but what is worse is “My Prayer” and “I Wanna Be Around,” here for some ridiculous reason, Mayfield doesn’t sing lead and the album flops around and dies. nearly is bad is a three piece harmony on “It’s Not Unusual”.

One By One was Johnny Pate padding their catalog, and this is a Johnny Pate record. The arrangements are excellent over the course of the record, the way the three original Mayfield songs morphed into this context is brilliant. It is also them reaching back to that whole post-Mills brother thing. The opening track, “Twilight Time,” was gorgeous although very irrelevant. The entire record is very irrelevant. And for history, its only importance is Curtis  being a very relevant voice, he had just done “People Get Ready” and on some level how do you follow that up? You can’t doit. This record comes out and “People” is still being played on the radio. You can’t write “PGR 2”. This album was a place holder, and while I really enjoy hearing Curtis sing these songs, what a beautiful vocalist he was, as good as any of those guys, great singing and  really wrapping himself around a lyric, it’s great, but when the others take the lead,  then it’s like “eh”, you only get to do that because you are in the Impressions but  you’re not Curtis, and it is not a unique enough sound to make any difference.Finally, Curtis doesn’t play a lick of guitar and the entire rhythm section is absent. This makes no sense at all, except that it is what Pate wanted and Curtis was just picking up a check.

Nothing here belongs in the Mayfield upper echelon but maybe you could except  “Falling In Love With You,” which though over arranged is a fine song. Consider One By One a must have for historians, the rest of you take a pass.

Grade: B-

Leave a Comment


Support Let Me Help Inc by shopping at

US Top Ten Singles Tracking 9-23-22 – 9-29-22

By Iman Lababedi | October 4, 2022 |

at the top of the singles charts and at the top of the movie box office

Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – November 1978 (Volume 10, Number 6) 

By Steve Crawford | October 4, 2022 |

I’m not taking the band QUITE as seriously as I once did

Rocky Kramer’s Rock & Roll Tuesdays Presents “Rocktober” On Tuesday October 4th, 2022 7 PM PT on Twitch

By admin | October 3, 2022 |

Rocky Kramer will be hosting “Rocktober” on this week’s episode of Rocky Kramer’s Rock & Roll Tuesdays on Twitch. Tune into Twitch on Tuesday, October 4th, at 7 PM PT for this amazing show. Rocky Kramer is a guitar virtuoso, often being compared to the greatest guitar players in the world. Rocky has performed on…

Stories of SURRENDER — The Book Tour With, Yes, Bono

By admin | October 3, 2022 |

“In these shows I’ve got some stories to sing, and some songs to tell…”

Best Of 2022: Albums by Artist In Alphabetical Order Through September 30th

By Iman Lababedi | October 3, 2022 |

heavy metal all killa

US Top Ten Albums Tracking 9-23-22 – 9-29-22

By Iman Lababedi | October 3, 2022 |

a scary 87K EAUs

Sneak Peaks: Upcoming Album Release 10-7-22 – 10-13-22

By Iman Lababedi | October 3, 2022 |

don’t let her father distract you

Kevin Morby At The Belasco Theatre, Saturday October 1st 2022

By Alyson Camus | October 3, 2022 |

his sonic landscape largely exceeds his simple roots in folk

The globally streamed 6 hour concert presented by Fenix360 and WOWtv for the “Let Me Help Foundation” (a 501c3 charity) for “Children of the World”, Saturday, October 1st, 2022, Reviewed

By Iman Lababedi | October 2, 2022 |

between the needs of charity, the needs of empathy

Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – October 1978 (Volume 10, Number 5) 

By Steve Crawford | October 2, 2022 |

pretty heavy drama

Scroll To Top