One of the best live soul albums I have ever heard!
(5 out of 5 stars)
"James Brown is at his peak when he performs "The Big Pay Back" and "Doin it to Death". The excitment and energy of the event and the performances gets you up and dancing. A rare find. Maybe we can get the sponsors of this event to put some more of the live performances to CD."
Can't Believe This CD Hasn't Recieved More Attention
William M. Rand | Washington, DC | 05/14/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This CD is a truly great collection of various artists. The songs on here by BB King, the Spinners, and James Brown are some great pieces of work. They're so alive and so full of energy and truly great live pieces of work. Given all of that, the "Rumble In The Jungle" song by the Fugees and the rest is a great new addition to this wonderful collection of more classic R&B. Heck this CD is almost worth the price purely for the quotes by Ali that go on throughout the piece. Ali was a great fighter but his mastery of the English language and his wit still amaze me at times. Moreover this CD is a wonderful representation of the documentary (which I feel is a must see by the way) and I can see visions of it dancing through my head."
As inspiring as the documentary...
B. Bowman | Jersey, United States | 12/08/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'm usually not a fan of movie soundtracks because of the amount of filler they seem to always contain, but this one is an exception. James Brown, B.B. King, Bill Withers, The Spinners, and the Jazz Crusaders are all captured live in Africa before an extremely enthusiastic audience. The James Brown performances are really good. The versions of "The Payback" and "Doing It To Death" are noticeably faster than the studio versions and Fred Wesley really cuts loose in his solo on "Doing It To Death". (If you haven't seen the documentary you can also check out the early 70's James Brown band in action at this show, I only wish I could have been there.) Both Spinners songs are great performances as is Bill Withers' version of his classic "Ain't No Sunshine". My favorite songs here are B.B. King's though. This version of "Sweet Sixteen" gives me chills. B.B. (as always) really brings it home with his voice and his solos. As someone who has had the priviledge of seeing him live twice, both his songs here represent how he delivers live. This disc has comments from Ali and his trainer Drew Bundini Brown in between songs, which are entertaining. A soundtrack this good should be in print. Considering some of the artists that performed at this concert in Zaire that aren't included here (like Wilson Pickett), its too bad that a second disc wasn't put out. Either way, this soundtrack to me is just as inspiring as the documentary "When We Were Kings", and if you are a fan of Muhammad Ali or any of the artists mentioned, this is a great collection to have."