Brown: Love, Power, Peace (Polydor #513389)
Mr. Brown is - undoubtedly - one of the key influences
upon almost all great contemporary Western musics, to
be sure... And, his peak era live recordings are - again,
undoubtedly - by far the best way for current audiences
to first encounter said influence. Yet his most influential
period is - currently - not understood via this medium.
But the reason for this is simple...the live album that
he (undoubtedly) recorded so as to represent his most
awesome funk outfit at its height never came out at the
time...since the key members of same left his embrace
before it could be released. Consequently, these recordings
were only issued decades later - and have thus never reallly
garnered the attention they undoubtedly deserve...
...because, this happens to be the ULTIMATE extant James
Brown live set...
The year was 1971, the place was Paris, and the night
was hot. It began at around about the same peak as the
highpoint of James previous best - the awesome Live
at the Apollo Vol. II - only to (almost immediately) jack
things further up...w/a brilliant rhythm guitar break/segueing
into a further song - and then turning the heat up yet
...but, this is merely the start...
And, as a long-term fan of James Brown - well familiar
with the (awesome) studio cuts of the period, not to mention
the live recordings - Id have to say that I had
no idea that this particular live peak was actually attainable...
Because, by my estimation - starting at about track three
- the awesomely driven physical groove delivered so far
exceeds that offered by those well-known singles that
we - literally - have no extant critical vocabulary capable
of dealing with its high points. So...all I can say to
you - here - is listen...
Cause this thing cooks well beyond anyones kinda
To be sure, James still drops in those awesomely controlled
transitions between hardcore funk grooves & smoothly-driven
soul balladry - just like he did in the old days - but,
still...theres no doubting that the sheer hardness
of what moves here sheerly kills the singles. Just try,
for example, this version of Sex Machine...and,
theres no contest. Harder, faster & much, much
more savage...theres simply no comparison.
If you buy no other James Brown...buy this album.
No other can compare...
John Henry Calvinist