James Brown Live in Paris

The Olympia 1966

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James Brown — Cantante

The Famous Flames

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What can you say about James Brown. The Godfather of Funk was a living, breathing charm machine whose musical ingenuity changed the face of modern music. The mid-60s were James Brown's marquee years, with the release of his smash hit "Papa's Got A Brand New Bag" and "It's A Man's Man's Man's World" coming out at around the time of this concert, at the mythical Olympia venue in Paris. He fronts the Famous Flames, a rhythm group that was experiencing strain at the time because of Brown's solo ambitions and questions over unfair money distribution. Yet, they are as tight as ever and deliver a blistering version of "Please, Please, Please," the group's first ever recording from a decade previous. 

In reality, no group could have contained Brown's star power, which is plain for all to see on "Prisoner Of Love," "I Got You (I Feel Good)" and more. A symbol of African-American pride and a voice for unity during the incendiary moments of the Civil Rights Era (particularly after the death of Martin Luther King two years after this performance), Brown was more than a musician and audiences knew it. It seems that the whole of Paris turned out to witness the magic, the screams, the dancing ... knowing that his this of showman doesn't come around often. 

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Thursday, February 29, 2024