Thursday

James Brown

Live In Zaire - 1974

In the half-century career of James Brown there are multiple highlights, of which this 1974 show in Zaire as part of the buildup for the Rumble in the Jungle is unquestionably among the top few. Rightly christening himself The Minister of the New Super Heavy Funk somewhere around the recording of 1973's The Payback or Hell the following year, JB had pushed his grooves to the outer reaches and his cultural relevance to the brink. Frankly, with an output as overwhelming as his was around this time, releasing 45s and double LPs of new material on a seemingly weekly basis, JB was arguably spreading himself pretty thin. Professionally recorded (though never officially released) and arguably superior to any of his live LPs aside from Live at the Apollo (1963), this concert captures it all at its frothy peak just as the wave was about to break and the Godfather's career began its slow decline. This was a man on a mission to bring it all back to the Motherland at the peak of the Black Power movement, and he did not disappoint. Despite tremendous sound quality, the widely bootlegged version that appears here contains a mildly annoying gap between tracks and a few questionable edits that break the overall flow of the show. Other than that, this is the document of the master of funk at the peak of his powers.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Awesome. Thanks as always!

Loggins said...

Good stuff. Thanks. But Love Power Peace will always be my favorite of his live albums.

Anonymous said...

Just to remind us what a GOD he was!
This is amazing I'm unable to type this... I'm bouncing around the room!
Thank you once again!
HAd an afternoon of your Velvets post yesterday and this is a perfect balance today ..
Keep up the stupendous work!
GOMA SOMA III

Anonymous said...

Hmmm... Better than "Love Power Peace" & "Say It Live And Loud" ?
I'm eager to ear that !

JR HeatWarp said...

Glad to see this one is being enjoyed! And yes, better than those AND Revolution of the Mind: Live at the Apollo Vol. 3 ... but keep in mind, my opinion is a bit skewed.

Willard said...

Hey,
This DOES sound good.
Thanks again, JR.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting this !

goinsidemyhead said...

...this is like opening up a giant can of super-bad funky whupass goodness...my lord...

Anonymous said...

WOW!!!

Just his version of "For The Love Of Money" is worth "the price of admission"! That has always been one of my favorites since the O-Jays first put it out, but when I heard the JB band's intro, I was like "whoa"! They used the identical arrangement, but played it with so much life. The rest of the set is great too. Thanks so much!!

later,
John (Tenney)

Vincent the Soul Cef said...

I'm sorry I'm a little late in saying thanks for this tremendous share, but I had to drop by and say that this is definitely one of the better JB live sets, even with the "questionable edits". Great sound quality and even better playing by the band. Great job as always, and thanks once again for the blogroll link. I will always welcome your readers with open arms.

Peace and blessings.

Ko Ket said...

thanks heaps for this!
great blog, keep it up

Anonymous said...

ermm, the massmirror link is dead...a re-up, perhaps, please?

JR Heat Warp said...

Link fixed. Enjoy.

Anonymous said...

thank you for the re-up!

-the above anonymous guy

Anonymous said...

Truly is James Brown's personal peak, but man did the whole band take off as a whole a few years later, with Fred Wesley and Maceo Parker, the band's sound as a whole really took off. Read more about it at www.doyouliketunes.com

Anonymous said...

cool