31 August 2007

Coming clean about the Godfather of Soul

Forgive me. I respect James Brown. I have all his most famous songs committed to memory simply by pervasive osmosis.

I have respect James Brown as a prolific singer, songwriter, bandleader, and record producer. I recognise him as a pivotal force in the evolution of gospel and R&B into soul and funk. I agree he left his mark on numerous other musical genres, too like rock, jazz, disco, dance, reggae and most certainly rap & hip-hop. I played drums on "I Feel Good" at a junior high recital. Man, I'm even down with "Santa Claus Go Straight To The Ghetto". But when James Brown comes on the radio, nine times out of ten I'll tune out; I'll see whats happening on another station.

Now, I admit James Brown is not one of my favourite singers; I sort of have an indifferent respect for the man. I feel he's beyond compare; beyond critique. However, if I were to make a list of my personal top 50, he wouldn't be on the list, yet I know all his stuff. It's quite a phenom actually. For someone to become so universally ubiquitous; such an ingrained part of the collective conscience of the world. I mean think about it... it's amazing.

When it comes to funk and soul, I just prefer other stuff... Like Sly & The Family Stone, Sam Cooke, Kool & The Gang, Stevie Wonder, The Temptations, Solomon Burke, Wilson Pickett, Otis Redding, Marvin Gaye, Edwin Starr, Joe Tex, Gil Scott-Heron, The Isley Brothers, Curtis Mayfield, The Commodores, Al Green, Chairmen of the Board, Ben E. King, The Four Tops, Percy Sledge, Sam and Dave and so on and so on.

The Doors were my first favourite band. Naturally then I also have all their songs committed to memory but if they come on the radio, I'll listen. Same goes for Elvis or The Beatles or The Stones and most all the 'essential' bands.

But for some odd reason, James Brown comes on, and I just don't wanna hear it; I know the tune, I know how it goes, I know what comes next and... I almost become angry. I just don't need to hear it and I don't know why this is. I simply have no patience for the Godfather of Soul...

and I'm finally coming clean about it.


Anonymous said...

I'm with you on this one, Justy. Fuck him.

Gotham City Insider said...

Haha! I had a feeling you might have my back on this one, B.