#shfl11: James Brown – Soul Power Pt. 1

Well, after the obscurity of yesterday’s #shfl11 entry comes a song that I know very well, and love even more. James Brown was, arguably, one of the two or three most influential musicians of the last 50 years, if not the entire 20th Century. He essentially created a new genre, funk, and did for black music what Elvis did for, well, black music actually.

Soul Power Pt. 1 is probably one of the purest expressions of his late 60s/early 70s phase, when he’d moved away from the more classic R&B sound of his early years, and was starting to become the true Godfather of Soul. Like much of his best work it’s a pretty simple thing, sampled to death by a million and one artists, with lyrics that are unlikely to win any awards. But if there’s one thing you should never do it’s underestimate James Brown, and he it’s worth mentioning that by the time he released Soul Power Pt. 1 he’d already penned I’m Black & I’m Proud.

Because whether he was giving voice to the nascent black power movement, or laying down moves that every singer cum dancer would be ripping off for the next 40 years, James Brown had true soul & his songs always had power.

#shfl11 is a self-set challenge to write a post every day in 2011 about whatever song pops up 1st on shuffle on my iPod.

Soul power by Lunchbox Photography on flickr

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