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Friday, March 4, 2016

Some Live James Brown for the weekend compliments of Brian

(SCOTT)-often I am fairly in the dark on the non-rock stuff people submit to me (which of course I love,
because it gives me the chance to learn something, however, my wife, BigCarla66, has LONG been a fan of The Hardest Working man In Show Biz, Mr. James Brown... I enjoy his stuff as well, down to having a fab vinyl copy of the great "Live at the Apollo"... .my wife will be thrilled with this post, I don't think she has ALL of these, so great thing there, and for everyone else, this is some good stuff, in particular I always REALLY liked that "Live at the Apollo" set....... thanks to Brian for another killer submission, you guys will like this one!
It is heartening to see so many people download The Original Disco Man from my Disco post awhile ago. Some good tracks on that, huh? And a lot of people regard that as one of J.B.'s low points! Screw critics, I say...

Anyway, listening to that album inspired me - how about some live James Brown? He released several of the greatest live albums ever made, and many are here here. This post covers his peak years, from 1963 to 1971, during which he changed black popular music at least twice: from Rhythm & Blues into Soul, and then on into what became Funk music.

And his band was killer!!! Really, the tightest band in the land, and they could turn on a dime! Members went on to be influences on their own, like Maceo Parker and the one and only Bootsy Collins. And Brown himself was a hell of a bandleader, rivaling people from the Swing days like Cab Calloway or Duke Ellington when it came to having a well-tuned machine up on stage. 

I won't walk you through each album, since it would quickly become redundant. The Famous Flames, the band featured on Live At The Apollo 1 and 2, was a fiery soul machine. By the time they got to Sex Machine in 1969, the group was transitioning into The J.B.'s. Admittedly, Sex Machine is a mixture of real live tracks and studio tracks (with canned applause), but that doesn't mean it's any less awesome!

Revolution Of The Mind: Live At The Apollo Vol. 3 is the summation of this live era, where the band could deliver both lightning fast snippets of songs, as well as twisting, extended jam versions. And J.B. still had the audience in the palm of his hand...

A recording that only just came to light in the last 10 years or so, Love Power Peace: Live At The Olympia, Paris 1971 is also an essential live album of The Godfather's. Recorded a few months before Revolution Of The Mind, it's the only recording of the original J.B.'s in concert (for example, Bootsy was gone by ROTM). And in comparison to it's somewhat tinnier-sounding siblings, it is a full-throated, dynamic sounding live album! According to the liner notes, the gig got so jumping that a French woman got onstage and started stripping. That beats Ellington at Newport, I think...

Good stuff here. And not to take away from Brown's studio albums, but the live shows just smoked! The bonus link for the post is two albums by one of the best black comedians from back in the day. It fits well with all this 70's soul and funk, I think.




    LIVE AT THE APOLLO 3 (Revolution Of The Mind)




  2. A live JB comp? MUST include this one! A historic event, many folks unaware it is available.


  3. Been listening to JB, Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett, among other soul, r&b and funk performers a lot lately. Thanks!