The 5 Songs That Will Get You Hooked On James Brown
via Live 8 / Youtube
One of the most dedicated singers of his generation, James Brown broke barriers of race, age, and religion with his vocal delivery. His potential to “scream” without being offkey, sing soulful slow ballads and up-tempo songs that were electrifying and evocative of both the human voice and instrumental accompaniment, and blend the vocal styles of gospel and country made Brown one of the greatest vocalists of the 20th century. Inside his well-celebrated career, Brown’s name has been associated with an incredible number and variety of memorable songs, 5 of which will be discussed below.
“Say It Loud – I’m Black and Proud” – A Soulful Christmas (1968)
“People called ‘Black and Proud’ militant and angry,” Brown recollected. “But, if you listen to it, it sounds like a children’s song. That’s why I had children in it, so children who heard it could grow up feeling pride.”
“Please, Please, Please” – Please, Please, Please (1956)
“Please, Please, Please” features a vocal that would be considered a career highlight. However, since it was Brown’s first move into music, it made sense that first times aren’t always the best ones. The song grew more meaningful and impactful with each cadence and chord.
“Living in America” – Rocky IV (1985)
No doubt, James Brown lets the arrangement revved up and play in this song’s production, which results in a blasting result fun melody. It’s a great piece that gets better and better every time you’d take listen to it.
“I Got You (I Feel Good)” – I Got You (I Feel Good) (1965)
If you’re a fan of the great James Brown, then it’s textbook knowledge that you know this song by heart. The wildness of the vocal was enhanced thanks to the power of horns, making the song stand out. However, instead of relying solely on a beautiful arrangement, this song was more of a showcase for Brown’s magnificent, loud voice.
“Something” – Single (1973)
George Harrison was particularly fussy when it comes to artists covering his gems, but he’s had massive respect for James Brown when the singer gave a fantastic cover to Harrison’s “Something.” Do you want to know how the former Beatle felt about it? He regularly listened to Brown’s cover and even wrote a section about it in his autobiography, I, Me, Mine.