I’m halfway there…to the end of the work day that is . Afterwards, it’s all about the bike, the breeze and, unfortunately for some, the spandex. I’m passing this afternoon at Corporate Hell with a little wewantthefunk by the way of James Brown‘s ‘Sex Machine‘ album.
‘Sex Machine’ is the 1970 double album by the Godfather of Soul, showcasing the original J.B.’s lineup featuring Bootsy and Catfish Collins (not to mention Fred Wesley, Maceo Parker, and Bobby Byrd), and includes the definitive 11-minute rendering of the album’s title song.
The album purports to be a live recording in Brown’s hometown of Augusta, Georgia. But, actually, only about half of it was, in 1969, with Brown’s ’60’s band. The other half was cut with Bootsy and Catfish in 1970, after the breakup of the old band, and festooned with fake applause to make the performances sound live.
No matter though, it’s great stuff, the absolute peak of Brown. Every move is calibrated, the band(s) are at their best, yet the whole thing is utterly insane, sheer will driving a music in the most heroic way. The long version of the title track cuts the more well-known, sped-up version (made in Nashville, actually). ‘I Don’t Want Nobody To Give Me Nothing‘ is ferocious, on the truly “live” material he charges through songs like a lion tamer dancing in a cage (well, a pretty big cage), and ‘Mother Popcorn‘ sounds like the marriage of James Brown and Albert Ayler.
Definitely a funky jump start to the afternoon.
Four hours and counting….