After James Brown (1933–2006)


SYNOPSIS: In which we pay homage to the Godfather of Soul and by extension the caravan of made men and women who venerate and abominate him in their own pretty and diverse ways. His musical legacy is such that even when assaulted by skinny white guys from Sheffield (or some such locale), armed with cheap synthesizers and drum machines, his own personal genius of love shines right through, utterly undiminished. Anthemically speaking, we love Senor Vez’s perversion of “Say It Loud” almost as much as we love that deadpan Flying Lizards’ gyro-spin “Sex Machine,” though the former is more dance-inducing. At least the way we now are forced to dance with our canes and walkers and prostheses (not that anyone ever asks us to dance anymore anyhow, but…).

Anyhow, Uncle James is right up there with Uncle Elvis P, handing out those free anti-drug messages. Isn’t that adorable? And while we could do a whole show about songs that use samples of his famed “Funky Drummer” riff (played by Uncle Clyde), we only slip a few in, most divinely Stone Roses’ eternal “Fool’s Gold.” Isn’t it amusing to think that without James Brown, no Madchester?

Yes, we know we’re getting redundant, but….

NEXT WEEK: Sincerely (No, really — I mean it!)

HB22 Playlist

Intro: “Genius of Love” by Talking Heads (excerpt), from Stop Making Sense (Sire, 1984)

“Sex Machine” by the Flying Lizards, from Top Ten (Statik, 1984)

“Good Morning Mr. Truckdriver” by Family of God, from Exiter (Sugar Free, 2000)

“James Brown” by Cabaret Voltaire, from Micro-Phonies (Some Bizarre/Virgin, 1984)

“The Payback, Part 1” by James Brown, from James Brown: The 50th Anniversary Collection (UTV, 2003)

“L’ Elephant” by Tom Tom Club, from Tom Tom Club (Sire, 1981)

“Say It Loud! I’m Brown and I’m Proud” (Adult Mix) by El Vez, from Son Of A Lad From Spain? (Sympathy For The Record Industry, 1999)

“Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag” by Pat Boone, from R&B Classics: We Are Family (The Gold Label, 2006)

King Heroin” (Single Version) by James Brown, from Make It Funky — The Big Payback 1971-1975 (Polydor, 1996)

“This Is A Man’s Man’s Man’s World” by Residents, from Heaven? (Rykodisc, 1986)

“Fool’s Gold” by Stone Roses, from The Complete Stone Roses (Silvertone, 1995)

“James Brown is Dead” (excerpt) by Beat Dominator, from Hyper Techno Bass (Pandisc, 1999)

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