Friday, January 7, 2011

James Brown - The Payback

Continuing with yesterday's theme, and similarly short on time, I give you James Brown's landmark double album The Payback. One can make the argument that soul and funk were almost exclusively singles-based forms until around this time, when expanding song length, thematic continuity, and sustained groove began to overtake radio readiness and the three-minute cap as artistic parameters. Either way, this is definitely Brown's first real Album, a collection of hard-driving, one-or-two-note riffs, a gaggle of back-up singers, and some cinematic experimentation. This shift also brought somewhat to the forefront Brown's burgeoning social conscience and identification with the Black Power movement, as evidenced by the cover art and the tagline “We got a right to the tree of life”.
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