Freddie’s Dead is unusual in that it was from the soundtrack of the 1972 Blaxploitation film, Superfly of which Mayfield supplied the music. BUT the soundtrack was instrumental and this is the vocal version. It reached No.2 on the US charts selling two million copies and driving the sales of the album to the extent that the soundtrack outgrossed the film, securing soundtrack work for Mayfield for the rest of the decade.
Superfly was Mayfield’s third album after leaving The Impressions, a Soul Funk classic, Mayfield’s social conscience in his lyric writing spoke to a generation of black African-American’s delivered in his dreamy soulful falsetto over wah wah’s and funky bass lines.
Tragedy struck in 199o when stage lighting fell on him at an outdoor concert in New York, paralysing him from the neck down. His last album 1997’s New World Order was recorded with him singing lying on his back. A terrible loss to music he died in 1999 from “complications of diabetes” on Boxing Day 1999.