Musical palate cleanser, ain’t it funky now edition

I’m currently reading James McBride’s excellent book on James Brown, Kill ‘Em and Leave, and what can I say?  I’m in the mood for some Godfather of Soul moves.

Here are a couple of clips from the period when I would say the man was at the height of his power, backed by his best band, the JBs.  First, from Paris in 1971 (and if you don’t own Brown’s Love Power Peace: Live at the Olympia, Paris 1971, you don’t know what you’re missing), here’s a three-minute bite that serves to show off a few members of the band.

And here are 15 glorious minutes on Italian TV.

As the dancer in the back demonstrates, it was also a time when the Afro was at the height of its power.  Enjoy.



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8 responses to “Musical palate cleanser, ain’t it funky now edition

  1. 92 grad

    Thanks for this. I’ve always wanted to hear James at his peak backed up by Tower of Power at their peak, or, Atlanta Rhythm, but TOP was seriously funky.


  2. DC Weez

    I bet these clips make Red Cup cry. James was and always will be the GOAT!


  3. Russ

    Really enjoyed the biopic from a few years back. I’ll have to check out this book.


  4. PharmDawg

    You want peak James Brown, watch his performance at the TAMI show in 1964. He was pissed off that The Rolling Stones were chosen to close the show just after his act, so he pulled out all the stops and delivered an RnB performance for the ages. Keith Richards admitted following James Brown was the worst mistake of the Stones’ career.


    • I’ve seen it. It’s an electrifying performance.

      But Brown reached his peak musical brilliance when he essentially invented a new genre – funk. And the JBs were the best backing band he ever had.


  5. steve

    See JB try to pull that mic out of the harness in tape 1? It wasn’t just because he was performing in Paris that it was stuck. Every electronic device was wired back then and constant movement in his stage show would have resulted in performers, instruments, and JB tangled up and falling a-la Twister. Same in tape 2. A tool was need to remove the mics. JB….40 yrs of coke, sex and vocal high ‘Cs’ that sounded like a mouse thrown into a window fan.
    When Ray Charles performed on campus (late 60’s, I think) he actually stood up from the piano and hopped around the stage holding his mic. A middle-aged white guy in a Sunday suit was hopping right behind him to guide him and catch him if he fell. It looked strange, but sounded great. When RC began the song ‘Georgia’, the floor tiles were blown off the concrete pad.


  6. The absolute volume of musicians on the Paris stage is astounding. Love it.