Impressions ( The ) - PEOPLE GET READY

First performance: 16/01/1991


Coverinfo

Bruce performed the song 6 times:
 
He also incorporated lines from "People get ready" into live performances of Land of hope and dreams and occasionally into live performances of The Promised Land during the Magic Tour. ( at 58:39) . Lines from People get ready were also used in the studio version of Land of hope and dreams . "My city of ruins" can also been seen as a tribute to the song because it features a very similar melody to "People Get Ready." 
 
 
1991-01-16 - WALDORF-ASTORIA HOTEL, NEW YORK CITY, NY
Springsteen attends the sixth Annual Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Awards, with The Impressions (Curtis Mayfield), Wilson Pickett, The Byrds and Ike & Tina Turner the evening’s key inductees. Bruce does not give any induction speech but takes the stage alongside Jackson Browne, Don Henley, and Chaka Khan to perform “People Get Ready” and then participates in the closing jam, trading lead vocals with John Fogerty on "In The Midnight Hour".

1991-08-04 - CHEERS, LONG BRANCH, NJ (The Outcry)
With The Outcry. a New Jersey band.
 
1994-03-01 - RADIO CITY MUSIC HALL, NEW YORK CITY, NY (Grammy Awards)
36th Grammy Awards. A Curtis Mayfield medley with various artists and Bruce presenting Curtis with a special "Legend" Grammy award. With Steve Cropper, B.B. King, Bonnie Raitt, Vernon Reid, Steve Winwood, Tony! Toni! Toné!, Narada Michael Walden, Don Was, and others. Bruce sings lead on "Gypsy Woman" and takes the first line of "People Get Ready". Mayfield and The Impressions (including Jerry Butler) are onstage for "Amen".
The medley included snippets of six songs written by Curtis Mayfield:
 
 
 
Bruce performed the song also together with the wallflowers   
 
 
 
With The Wallflowers. Bruce was present for the soundcheck, which included the under- mentioned numbers, and is reported to be very prominent on them, singing and playing with a lot of energy. Jon Bon Jovi also joins on "Bring It On Home To Me". Only known performances of "God Don't Make Lonely Girls", "Brand New Cadillac", and "Bring It On Home To Me".
 
 
1999-03-15 - WALDORF-ASTORIA HOTEL, NEW YORK CITY, NY (Rock & Roll Hall of Fame)
Bruce is finally inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. The E Street Band support. The song is performed in a closing Jam with Bono, Billy Joel, Paul McCartney, Eric Clapton, Lauryn Hill, Nils Lofgren, et al. 
 
2005-10-17 - WACHOVIA CENTER, PHILADELPHIA, PA (U2)
Bruce and Patti Scialfa join U2 during the first encore of their show in Philadelphia. Bono introduces Bruce by saying they need an extra guitar player, much like he did in the same city in 1987 when Springsteen joined for "Stand By Me".
 
 

2008-10-16 - HAMMERSTEIN BALLROOM, NEW YORK CITY, NY (Change Rocks Barack Obama Benefit)
"Change Rocks" benefit show for Barack Obama's presidential campaign. Bruce first backs John Legend for a song, and then does a pair of solo acoustic songs. John Legend and India Arie also guest on "Spirit In The Night", "The Rising", and "People Get Ready", plus Stevie Wonder's classic "Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours" with Barack Obama.
 

Songinfo

"People Get Ready" is a 1965 single by the Impressions, and the title track from the People Get Ready album. The single is the group's best-known hit. The gospel-influenced track was a Curtis Mayfield composition that displayed the growing sense of social and political awareness in his writing. Mayfield said:
 
"That was taken from my church or from the upbringing of messages from the church. Like there's no hiding place and get on board, and images of that sort. I must have been in a very deep mood of that type of religious inspiration when I wrote that song."
 
The song is the first Impressions hit to feature Mayfield's guitar in the break. "People Get Ready" is in a long tradition of Black American freedom songs to use the train imagery - other examples are "Wade in the Water", "The Gospel Train", and "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot".  The imagery comes from the Underground Railroad, not a real train but an escape route North to freedom for escaped slaves in America pre-civil war, with conductors such as Harriet Tubman going back time and again to the South to show people the route of the "railroad." Images of mobility have been consistently linked to liberation in African American music including trains, highways, marching and space travel.
 
 
 

Other cover versions

 

Bruce on the artist

The Impressions were an American music group originally formed in 1958. Their repertoire includes doo-wop, gospel, soul, and R&B. Mayfield left the group after the release of the "Check Out Your Mind " LP in 1970 and began a successful solo career. Mayfield stayed a  great inspiration to Bruce :  
 
 
 
  • 01.03.94 Grammy Awards, after "The Curtis Mayfield Medley"
"Curtis, on behalf of all the musicians gathered here on stage and in the audience, we wanna thank you for the lasting soul and the deep beauty of the music that you´ve made… you´ve been an inspiration to all of us and it´s an honor to be up here with you tonight and I´m glad to present you with the Grammy Legend Award, we love you…"
 
" There's a beautifully socially–conscious soul of Curtis Mayfield and the Impressions, "We're a Winner," keep on pushin'. Just great, great records that just filled the airwaves at a time when you couldn't have needed them more. You just couldn't have needed them more. "A Woman's Got Soul," what a beautiful, beautiful record to women. "It's All Right." It was the sound track of the Civil Rights Movement. And it was here, amongst these great African–American artists, that I learned my craft. You learned how to write. You learned how to arrange. You learned what mattered and what didn't. You learned what a great production sounds like. You learned how to lead a band. You learned how to front a band. "
 
  • Bruce also covered a song (Gypsy Woman) on a compilation album of various artists, celebrating the music of Curtis Mayfield. While many tribute albums are recorded after an artist has passed, this album was completed five years before Mayfield's death : released 1994. ( A Tribute to Curtis Mayfield )
 
 
 
 

Lyrics

People get ready, there's a train a-comin'
You don't need no baggage, you just get on board
All you need is faith to hear the diesels hummin'
Don't need no ticket, you just thank the Lord

So people get ready for the train to Jordan
Picking up passengers coast to coast
Faith is the key, open the doors and board them
There's hope for all among those loved the most

There ain't no room for the hopeless sinner
Whom would hurt all mankind just to save his own, believe me now
Have pity on those whose chances grow thinner
For there's no hiding place against the kingdom's throne

So people get ready, there's a train a-comin'
You don't need no baggage, you just get on board
All you need is faith to hear the diesels hummin'
Don't need no ticket, you just thank the Lord