“There It Is” by James Brown - album review

features in: Album Chart of 1972Album Chart of the Decade: 1970s

TJR says

I guess this is why they call him the godfather? This is a screamer from start to finish with an irresistible groove at every second turn, whether it’s hard driven or quietly insistent. The album’s highlight is the socially conscious “King Heroin”, where the band sets mood music to Manny Rosen’s chilling poem while Brown raps the story. He added an intro to start the piece off, referring to heroin as “one of our most deadly killers in the country today” and, towards the end, he noted “This is a revolution of the mind” – referring to the title of his 1971 live concert album recorded at the Apollo Theatre in New York. Delights are to be found all over this LP – check “Talkin’ Loud, Sayin’ Nothing” as JB chants down his loud-mouth black critics. The breakdown at 5:24 where Brown orders all the band members to temporarily stop playing, while he and Bobby Byrd maintain the song’s rhythm using their voices alone, is truly inspired; a million and one soul brothers were encouraged hereon to break it down mid-flow. It’s simplistic genius. The album’s closer “Never Can Say Goodbye” is another highlight, channelling Isaac Hayes version of the Clifton Davis song, but heavily reworking it (so much so that Brown credits himself as sole writer) with a meaner, cooler bassline, a sweetly repetitive rhythm guitar, and a laid-back talk-vocal. It’s way ahead of its time – and serves as an excellent finale to a brilliant album.

The Jukebox Rebel

A1 [05:50] 7.7.png James Brown - There It Is, parts 1 & 2 (James Brown, St. Clair Pinckney) Disco / Funk
A2 [03:58] 9.3.png James Brown - King Heroin (James Brown, David Matthews, Manny Rosen, Charles Bobbit) Soul Ballad
A3 [07:06] 8.3.png James Brown - I’m A Greedy Man [1971 version, parts 1 & 2] (James Brown, Charles Bobbit) Disco / Funk
A4 [04:59] 4.7.png James Brown - Who Am I (Johnny Terry) Soul Ballad
B1 [07:49] 7.2.png James Brown - Talking Loud And Saying Nothing (James Brown, Bobby Byrd) Disco / Funk
B2 [05:06] 7.4.png James Brown - Public Enemy No. 1, part 1 (James Brown, Charles Bobbit, Henry Stallings) Soul Ballad
B3 [05:09] 7.5.png James Brown - Public Enemy No. 1, part 2 (James Brown, Charles Bobbit, Henry Stallings) Soul Ballad
B4 [03:31] 7.4.png James Brown - I Need Help (I Can’t Do It Alone) (Teddy Brown) Disco / Funk
B5 [03:02] 8.7.png James Brown - Never Can Say Goodbye (James Brown) Soul

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