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Media Format: Compact Disk
Release Date: 17-JUN-2003
The True Source of All Funk to Come
doomsdayer520 | Pennsylvania | 07/17/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"James Brown's most groundbreaking period, 1968-72 or so, has always been a little under-appreciated and the world is still learning how important his work at that time truly was. Of course, during these years James was almost single-handedly inventing funk, with some of the most relentless and tightest bands the world has ever seen. Even the unreleased outtakes were still extremely influential to large chunks of the music world. This is a remastered reissue of a compilation that was put together in 1988, which in turn collected outtakes from the funk years. Here we can see the building blocks of all funk to come, as later musicians built entire empires on the ideas that James starts here.For JB collectors one of the most interesting cuts here is "Since You've Been Gone," a strong duet with mainman MC Bobby Bird, featuring almost the same riff and rhythm as "Give It Up or Turn It a Loose." Sax god Maceo Parker goes nuts on the lost instrumental jam "Funk Bomb," while "You Got to Have a Mother For Me" is an enlightening ancestor of the famous "Mother Popcorn." Two later tracks show clearly how JB kept in tune with the revolution that he started. "People Get Up and Drive Your Funky Soul" (1973) features R&B/soul-inflected grooves that anticipate the entire Parliament-Funkadelic delivery that they perfected a few years later; while the twelve-minute monster "Bodyheat" (1976) is a big syncopated chicken-scratch groove of the type practiced by Ohio Players and their ilk. This is a fascinating collection both for JB collectors and lovers of the super heavy funk."
RARE JB !!!
Eddie Landsberg | Tokyo, Japan | 05/08/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"At the time this CD originally came out, most of JBs classic funk albums were long out of print, and it was impossible to forsee that they'd ever see the light of day again... Fortunately, Polydor hadn't totally forgotten the funk side of JB... THE FUNKY PEOPLE anthology was out (the tapes were always on my walkman) followed by IN THE JUNGLE GROOVE... fortunately, JUNGLE GROOVE along with MOTHERLODE were and are among the funkiest JB collections ever released and I'll explain why... In his bio, JB complained that he was frequently upset because the labels were always watering his stuff down. LISTEN to JB's albums, and you'd have to ask: WHERE??? But listen to JUNGLE GROOVE and MOTHERLODE and you'll see how much badder JB could actually get. (It seems also that the label weren't as vigilant with his PEOPLE label releases, so they tended to be harder edged than his own releases as well... even though you can tell that they could just the same have been released under his name!)
Truth is, JB throughout the 70s especially was famous for some pretty ambitious (sometimes double LP) releases but between the hard funk tracks, he did have some corny tracks too... (Like his heart rendering version of WHEN THE SAINTS GO MARCHING ON on HELL... what the ??? and how about his SALSA version of PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE ?) This album though not only cuts past the schmaltz, but goes right to the source... the VAULTS in search of the funkiest of JB... and it definitely succeeds ! Not only that, the tracks were purported approved by JB himself as well ! ! !
*P.S. If you like this one, be sure to get the two SOUNDTRACKS that JB did in the 70s... BLACK CEASAR and SLAUGHER'S BIG RIP OFF - - some of his best work of that era. Also... let us not forget the last of his CLASSIC FUNK ERA recordings SOUL SYNDROME ! ! !
Now what I'm hoping and praying for is that one day his instrumental albums (featuring him on the Hammond Organ) from the SMASH label find themselves back in issue... now THAT would be a dream !"
Now you're talkin'....
p. silverman | USA | 06/30/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It appears that this great collection has never been reissued until today! Totally unique in the JB record catalogue, let's assume something was lacking in radio station or record company promotion support. Originally, the vinyl and cassette issue contained all unknown songs or unknown versions of songs and the CD added a remix or two of familiar tracks. "Motherlode" was surely the right title for the collector and serious fan; for the new fans inspired by three or four golden oldies on radio it was a solid conversation piece.
Naturally, today we look for extended versions and previously unreleased Bonus tracks on reissues. We get that here in a few places: "You Got To Have A Mother For Me" (the forerunner- variant of "Mother Popcorn" has the JB countdown); "Can I Get Some Help" is much longer and unedited; and the one I was waiting for - "You've Changed", a bluesy funk based somewhat on an excellent earlier Marva Whitney tune. This is prime James Brown from a very creative period.
We ride sky high with that Track Twelve only to descend gently to earth for a supposed more "commercial" entry: the easy to find "Bodyheat". Although the mix brings out the voices and horns from the backyard to the front porch and it runs to 11:53 (the longest pressing out there to my knowledge) one can only dream of still unthawed chunks of "Soul Power", "Get Involved", "Hot Pants", etc., etc. live from the Apollo which could have ensured a true CD-bin perennial."
Raise Up! Get Yourself Together! Drive your funky Soul!
Andre M. | Mt. Pleasant, SC United States | 06/30/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Long before James Brown was dismissed by many as a bad joke, these rare tracks demonstrated just how good the Godfather was at getting on the good foot! These are mostly unreleased tracks from the peak of his career (1968-1973). The live version of "There It Is" is spectacular even without the visuals of JB doing his thing. The section where JB himself jams on the organ is worth the price of admission alone. The Untitled Instrumental became the basis for the late 1980s all-star rap Anti-violence tune "We're All In the Same Gang." One can only wonder why a great tune like "Can I Get Some Help" was not released at the time. But the real MOTHER LODE here is the 9 minute version of "People Get Up and Drive your Funky Soul" (the chorus is where the title of this review comes from). This is a TOUR DE FORCE of funk and not a minute is wasted. Fred Westly (according to his bio) doesn't think much of his work with JB, but this song is the trombonist's masterpiece in my opinion. Either way, your JB collection is not complete without this and I would strongly recommend it for you."
For the true James Brown connoisseur
gioconda la felice | sherman oaks, ca United States | 08/20/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've been collecting James on vinyl since I was a tiny kid and my neighbor gave me the soundtrack for "Ski Party" which I played everyday for at least a year! Drove my mother nuts. Later on when I could ride a bicycle, I would get up at 7AM on Saturday mornings [and I was always up late, still am!] to go to record "swap meets" to buy more JAMES BROWN vinyls. I was obssessed! They are my most treasured possession to this day.
So, in my humble obsessive opinion, "Motherlode" is simply fantastic. It sounds kinda like jams where the fellas were writing the songs and working out some ideas grooving away in the studio. Very loose, very beautiful, very swinging. Maceo does one solo that gives me goosebumps every time I hear it. Oooo eeeee!
It's true, this set does not have the standard JB chart classics, so if you are new to this genius, you'd do better with "Startime" or one of the more standard compilations. Another James B fanatic sent me a copy of Motherlode from Italy, and I did not take it out of my car CD player for 2 weeks. Highly recommended for the dreaded drive to work on Monday morning. Makes the time whiz right by."