Main | Friday, December 29, 2006

The Big Payback

As I'm sure is the case with many of you, my love of James Brown is deep and enduring. Along with Johnny Cash, James Brown was a point of rare agreement for my father and me. My dad even did a decent impression of Brown, the high point of which was a recreation of Brown's cape schtick.

My favorite James Brown track has changed over the years. It was once 1970's Get Up ( I Feel Like Being A) Sex Machine, then Get Up Offa That Thing from 1976. But I think I have finally settled on Brown's late career hit, 1974's The Big Payback. The lyric "I don't know karate, but I know kah-razy" still makes me laugh.

Take it to the bridge. Get on the good foot. Hit it one more time, James. Listen to this track and hear the genesis of Prince. The Big Payback, Polydor Records 1974. Billboard R&B #1, Pop #26. (Download 7:14.) James Brown, Make It Funky - The Big Payback - Buy.

Trivia: James Brown holds the record for the most Top 40 records without ever hitting #1.

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