Monday, June 08, 2015

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-James Brown

Artist:James Brown
Song:My Thang

The reason James Brown had such a long career was his ability to change with the times and reinvent himself. He started out in the 50s and in the 60s he became Mr. Dynamite. And by the late 60s he became Soul Brother No. 1. In the early 70s he needed to reinvent himself again as The Godfather of Soul. This was because of the rise of funk and jazz rock fusion. He knew that if he didn't keep up with musical trends, he would fade away. This began when most of his road band quit over money in 1969. Brown formed his new band around Bootsy Collins and his brother Catfish Collins. Bobby Byrd remained and so did Fred Wesley and the JBs. The first thing Brown did was record Sex Machine. Not only was this record a big hit but it took Brown in a different direction and set the stage for his success over the next few years. Then he finally left his long time record label King for the much larger Polydor label and a more lucrative contract. The Collins brothers left in 1971 over money and Bootsy's LSD use. Bootsy would soon join Parliament/Funkadelic. St. Clair Pinkney and John Starks replaced them. Then he brought in supporting players like Lyn Collins, Vicki Anderson and Hank Ballard. After a hiccup when Brown's support of Richard Nixon for President caused a boycott of his music, Brown returned to the #1 spot on the R & B charts with The Payback. The album topped the Billboard Hot 200. This was followed by the album Hell and the first single My Thang topped the R & B charts in 1974. By this time, Brown was known as The Godfather of Soul. And jazz musicians like Miles Davis acknowledged him as an influence. And Hell was recorded in New York City with his usual group augmented by jazz musicians like Joe Beck on guitar, Jon Faddis on trumpet and David Sanborn, Joe Farrell and Pee Wee Ellis on saxes. After one more number one R & B hit, Papa Don't Take No Mess, Brown faded in the late 70s. But then he reinvented himself in the 80s. This 2CD comp covers Brown's entire career and it's available as a budget release. Here's James Brown performing My Thang on Soul Train 1974.

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