JAMES BROWN > I Got the Feeling: James Brown in the ’60s

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

This historic 3-DVD set documents-and examines-the Hardest Working Godfather of Soul #1 at work not across a decade, despite the title, but in a few crucial, dramatic weeks during 1968, in which his role as an activist and epoch-making musical creator coalesced.Label: Shout! Factory
[Rating: 4 stars]

This historic 3-DVD set documents-and examines-the Hardest Working Godfather of Soul #1 at work not across a decade, despite the title, but in a few crucial, dramatic weeks during 1968, in which his role as an activist and epoch-making musical creator coalesced. Two full James Brown shows are the centerpiece-one at the Apollo Theater in Harlem in March, just weeks before the assassination of Martin Luther King, and a second at the Boston Garden on April 5th, the night just after that loss, as violence was breaking out in cities across the U.S. The New York show is a remarkable example of James Brown the showman’s musical range and adventurousness, as he takes on Sinatra’s “That’s Life” one moment and introduces his first moves into funk the next; we’re reminded just how smooth and pointed a singer he was-whenever he wanted to be. The situation in Boston is spelled out, fascinatingly, in filmmaker David Leaf’s feature documentary The Night James Brown Saved Boston (disc 1)-the remarkable story of how Brown’s show-staged in a working truce with city authorities-calmed that city. The full concert is included (disc 2), with all of its edgy drama, as it played out on local TV. Must see stuff.

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