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Keep On Pushing

1964 studio album by The Impressions

Keep On Pushing is a studio album by the Impressions, released on ABC-Paramount in 1964. The album reached number 8 on the Billboard 200 chart[1] and number 4 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart.[2] The title track, "Keep On Pushing," reached number 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart[3] and number 1 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.[4]


"Amen" was an African-American spiritual arranged and sung by Jester Hairston for the 1963 film Lilies of the Field, starring Sidney Poitier. Curtis Mayfield had been inspired by the film and the song "Amen" in particular: "Of course, I'd decided to do a version of it. We put it together in the studio starting off with a musical 'swing low sweet chariot', and then we fell into that particular song with somewhat of a marching rhythm."[5]

The album cover has a photograph taken by Don Bronstein of the group pushing Mayfield's Jaguar E-Type.[6]

Critical reception[edit]

John Bush of AllMusic gave the album 4 stars out of 5, describing it as "an excellent introduction for pop audiences just waking up to the inspirational power of soul music's finest group."[7] He said, "the album featured all the hallmarks of an Impressions set: impeccably smooth harmonies, the dynamic horn charts of Johnny Pate, and many more of Mayfield's irresistible songs (each with a clever spin on the usual love lyric as well as a strong sense of melody)."[7]

Keep On Pushing was one of those displayed on the cover of Bob Dylan's 1965 album, Bringing It All Back Home.[8]Bob Marley included "Amen" and "I Made a Mistake" as part of the regular set list of the Wailers.[8]

In 2017, Pitchfork placed it at number 167 on the "200 Best Albums of the 1960s" list.[9] Evan Minsker said, "Every song is crafted just as beautifully as the title track, with Pate's expert arrangements backing the trio's earworm harmonies."[9]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks are written by Curtis Mayfield, except where noted.

1."Keep On Pushing" 2:36
2."I've Been Trying" 2:51
3."I Ain't Supposed To" 2:29
4."Dedicate My Song to You"Mayfield, Alice Beard1:57
5."Long, Long Winter" 2:51
6."Somebody Help Me" 3:17
7."Amen"Traditional African-American spiritual; arranged by Jester Hairston, Mayfield, and Johnny Pate3:32
8."I Thank Heaven" 2:44
9."Talking About My Baby" 2:34
10."Don't Let It Hide" 2:16
11."I Love You (Yeah)" 2:10
12."I Made a Mistake" 2:36


Credits adapted from liner notes.

The Impressions
  • Johnny Pate – arrangements
  • Don Bronstein – cover photography
  • Bob Ghiraldini – liner photography
  • Joe Lebow – liner design



  1. ^ ab"The Impressions - Billboard 200". Billboard. Retrieved January 26, 2018.
  2. ^ ab"The Impressions - Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums". Billboard. Retrieved January 26, 2018.
  3. ^"The Impressions - Hot 100". Billboard. Retrieved January 26, 2018.
  4. ^"The Impressions - Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs". Billboard. Retrieved January 26, 2018.
  5. ^Pruter, Robert (1992). The Anthology: 1961–1977 (liner notes). Curtis Mayfield & the Impressions. MCA Records.
  6. ^Muhammad, Idris (April 26, 2012). Inside the Music. Xlibris Corporation. p. 126. ISBN .[self-published source]
  7. ^ abcBush, John. "Keep on Pushing - The Impressions". AllMusic. Retrieved January 26, 2018.
  8. ^ abSullivan, Denise (July 1, 2011). Keep on Pushing: Black Power Music from Blues to Hip-hop. Chicago Review Press. p. 43. ISBN .
  9. ^ ab"The 200 Best Albums of the 1960s (2/10)". Pitchfork. August 22, 2017. Retrieved January 26, 2018.
  10. ^ ab"The Impressions - Awards". AllMusic. Archived from the original on July 26, 2014. Retrieved January 26, 2018.

External links[edit]


Pharoahe Monch Gives An Enticing Performance In Keep Pushing (Short Film)

Producers of the upcoming film Revolutions Per Minute, have released a prequel to the movie, titled Keep Pushing. The visual is set sometime in the early 1990s. Almost 15 minutes long, the short film follows a Bronx, New York rapper by the name of Billy da Kid.

The video starts off with Billy enlisting in the military, so that he may find another life away from the violence and drugs of New York City. While rapping with a friend, Billy is discovered by a publicist who brings him to meet DJ Dynamic, who is played by veteran MC Pharoahe Monch. Billy must then decide whether he wants to go forward with is military aspirations or pursue a career as a recording artist.

In a case of life imitates art, Jadon Woodard, landed the role after director Tim Gregory noticed him rapping on a New York City Subway. He and several characters, including Pharoahe Monch, will return in Revolutions Per Minute. It will also include Grammy winning artist Robert Glasper, Ty Hickson from Gimme the Loot and Jimmy Jean Louis from NBC’s “Heroes.” Follow the Facebook page for updates on the Revolutions Per Minute film.

Related: Pharoahe Monch Delievers Some Valentine’s Day Love With A New Compilation Album


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Keep On Pushing (song)

1964 single by The Impressions

"Keep On Pushing" is a 1964 single by The Impressions, and was the title track of the album of the same name.

Chart history[edit]

The single became the group's sixth Top 40 single, and a Top 10 Pop smash, peaking at number ten. It went to number one for two weeks on the Cash Box R&B chart.[2]

Use in presidential campaigns[edit]

Popular culture[edit]

  • The title was mentioned in-between the lyrics, by Curtis Mayfield in the Impressions rendition of the Negro Spiritual "Amen". (1964).
  • The album (cover) is one of several featured on the front cover art of the Bob Dylan's 1965 album Bringing It All Back Home.
  • It was featured in the 1995 film Dead Presidents
  • It was also heard in the 2021 biographical drama Judas and the Black Messiah.


See also[edit]


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