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Funk Power 1970: Brand New Thing
James Brown
Funk Power 1970: Brand New Thing
Genres: Pop, R&B
  •  Track Listings (10) - Disc #1

The short-lived first incarnation of the JB's, with future Parliament-arian bassist Bootsy Collins, brother Catfish Collins on guitar, Jabo Starks and/or Clyde Stubblefield on drums, this is the edgiest, meanest, leanest l...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: James Brown
Title: Funk Power 1970: Brand New Thing
Members Wishing: 1
Total Copies: 0
Label: Polygram Records
Original Release Date: 6/4/1996
Release Date: 6/4/1996
Genres: Pop, R&B
Styles: Classic R&B, Funk, Soul
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 731453168428, 0731453168428, 731453168442

Synopsis essential recording
The short-lived first incarnation of the JB's, with future Parliament-arian bassist Bootsy Collins, brother Catfish Collins on guitar, Jabo Starks and/or Clyde Stubblefield on drums, this is the edgiest, meanest, leanest lineup maestro James Brown ever assembled, and the music they made in this single year is still among the freshest, most soul-stirring funk on earth decades later. Check out James's pleas for tenor saxophonist Robert McCollough to "blow me some 'Trane, brother!" Expansive, incisive. This compilation, prepared and ideally notated by Harry Weinger and one-time JB manager Alan Leeds, is so full of groove it could doubtless sub for a faulty pacemaker. --John Corbett

CD Reviews

Absolutely relentless grooves
m_noland | Washington, DC United States | 09/09/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"By this point the story is well-known: in 1970 James Brown's band quit en masse, and he recruited a group of unpolished kids featuring the 18 year old Bootsy Collins to be his backing band. He would hold this band together for a year before Collins et al. would quit.This band was not without its weaknesses. The horn section was no match for Maceo Parker and the other 1960s veterans who had quit. The call-and-response was reduced to James and longtime sideman Bobby Byrd. But, heavens above, what grooves. They are absolutely relentless. If this music can't get you up, you'd better call the undertaker. Working with the resources at hand, pushing Bootsy's bass to the front, JB maximizes what he's got. The high point is a previously unreleased 15 minute version of "Talkin' Loud and Sayin' Nothing" in which JB goes into a rant on self-respect, race relations, taxes, drugs, and whatever else came into head that night -- "I don't want a cat tryin' to drive a plane who hasn't been to school!"If I wanted to explain to someone what America was, I'd hand 'em a copy of this CD. It's a true cultural artifact. It ought to be in the Smithsonian. It ought to be required listening in public schools. They ought to put JB on a postage stamp. Next time we send one of those vehicles into deep space we ought to broadcast this to anyone who's listening and help them get a groove on. Get on up! Get into it! Get involved! Get involved! Get involved!"
Talkin' loud and sayin' somethin'
katja_r | 10/19/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Wow! James Brown and little else. The music on this CD enhanced my appreciation of the legend. Long-time associate, Bobby Byrd, is the link between JB and the talented crew of uninitiated musicians, chief among them William "Bootsy" Collins. Bootsy would go on to become a legendary funk pioneer of his own with George Clinton so, it is interesting to hear him in his formative year with JB. The notes written by Alan Leeds, who worked for JB during this period, fill in the background. It's an exciting story, but I won't spoil it for you by repeating it here. Leeds describes the young band as "everything the classic Brown Bands were not -- loose, unpolished, occasionally out of tune and SMALL." All of this puts more pressure on Soul Brother No. 1. Adversity only increased the determination of the Hardest Workin' Man in Showbiz. THERE WAS A TIME is characteristic of the best of this collection. The band locks into a solid groove that makes me move. It is simple stuff which provides a platform for the rap of James Brown, which is awesome. How he maintains interest for over 7 minutes in this loose format is a tribute to his innate sense of performance. The longest track is nearly 15 minutes, TALKIN' LOUD AND SAYIN' NOTHING, yet, I am disappointed to hear it end. Five minutes into the song, in a demonstration of supreme confidence, James Brown does "something funny"; he stops real quick; then, he and Bobby Byrd engage in an unaccompanied call and response for a full 20 seconds. That is heartstopping funk. When the band starts up, again, the song is completely rejuvenated. At 7 minutes, James Brown has fun with his own mistake. "Shape, shape, shape, shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhape, shape, shape, (it's hard for me to say it sometimes), shhhhhhhhhhape. Shape up your thang, don't worry 'bout mine." Then, for a brief minute, I feel transported into JB's living room as he jokes with Bobby Byrd, which includes the Minister of Soul preaching a message of self-reliance before he seamlessly segues back into the song. If you are interested in the brief period when Bootsy Collins worked for James Brown, or if you want to hear incredible funk by a virtuoso performer, this CD will interest you."
Rump Shakin' Funk At It's Best!
dubeaumarchaix | Columbus, Ohio | 01/07/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"If this CD doesn't make you want to get up and dance, you are surely not among the living. The JB's are a rawer, looser band than the Famous Flames--James Brown's band prior to this recording. This CD includes the full versions of classic JB tracks like "Super Bad" and "Soul Power." The band is in full-on funk mode, with the rock-solid Bootsy Collins providing the bottom end that will shake a million bottom ends. Jump back, I wanna kiss Polydor for re-issuing this monumental, classic music. This one is for anyone who likes it on the one."