The interlocking drum and bass brilliance of "Funky Drummer," the exactly synchronized horns of "Cold Sweat," and the socially conscious "I'm Black and I'm Proud" all have one thing in common: repetitive perfection. The Godfather of Soul may have let loose with raw squeals, doo-wop moans, plaintive wails and commanding grunts, but the bands he led never missed a note. Intense raw energy has never been compressed as succinctly as the vacuum-sealed package making up James Brown's band. Over the years, Brown has served as a university for many of the tightest performers around -- his musical graduates include Maceo Parker, Clyde Stubblefield, Bernard Purdie, Jimmy Nolen, Fred Wesley, Bobby Byrd, Pee Wee Ellis and Bootsy Collins. His songs have crucially influenced genres like jazz (Herbie Hancock, Miles Davis), reggae (Lee Perry, Sly and Robbie) and hip-hop (hasn't every DJ sampled James Brown at one point or another?). Music hasn't been the same since. James Brown died in Atlanta, GA on Dec. 25th, 2006, at the age of 73.
James Brown Concert Films
Legends in Concert
Runtime: 58 minOne of the greatest entertainers of all time and the most influential black artist of the 20th century, Mr. James Brown appears here in one of his legendary live shows. This concert, recorded during the glory days of the great man's career at Chastain Park Amphitheatre in Atlanta, includes a live selection of Brown's monster hits. So get ready to go back, way back to 1985 and take your exclusive seat to see the Godfather of Soul perform!
Live at Montreux
Runtime: 1 hr 11 minSoul Brother No.1, The Godfather Of Soul, Mr Dynamite. All titles that have been applied to James Brown over the years. A hugely influential figure in black American music he was a driving force in the development of soul music in the early sixties and funk in the early seventies. He has had more R n B hits in the US than any other artist and has charted singles in countries around the world.
Mr. Dynamite: The Rise Of James Brown
Runtime: 1 hr 60 minDirected by Oscar and Emmy winner Alex Gibney, and co-produced by Mick Jagger, Mr. Dynamite: The Rise Of James Brown digs into the career of one of music and culture's towering figures, using fresh interviews with band members and contemporaries, extraordinary historical interview footage, and rare archival. Film running time is 120 minutes. Bonus features include an essay by Mick Jagger, 27 minutes of additional interviews, commentary, photo gallery and Soul Train performances.
The Lost Tapes
Runtime: 1 hr 16 minIn 1979, James Brown made a memorable comeback performance featuring an unbelievable 20 minute version of 'Sex Machine'. This performance is available after years of being 'lost'.
The Night James Brown Saved Boston
Runtime: 1 hr 14 minApril 5, 1968. It is the day after one of the most catastrophic moments in the history of the civil rights movement. Backstage at the Boston Garden, the mood is somber, appropriately funereal. Just 24 hours ago, Martin Luther King, Jr., the most important and beloved African American leader in America, has been assassinated, and though James Brown is booked that night for a show, nobody really wants to go onstage and play: On April 4, 1968, the leader of the nonviolent resistance movement, Martin Luther King, was assassinated in Memphis; On April 5, 1968, James Brown sang, and the city of Boston didn't burn down. This film tells the story of the pivotal role that James Brown-and that particular James Brown concert-played in the political, social and cultural history of the country, focusing on 1968, a defining year for America. Using actual performance footage and the personal recollections of James Brown's band members, friends like activist Reverend Al Sharpton, personal manager Charles Bobbitt, Princeton University Professor Dr. Cornel West, Boston citizens, those who attended the concert, politicians (such as former Boston Mayor Kevin White) and Newsweek's David Gates, The Night James Brown Saved Boston tells the compelling story of an artist at the absolute peak of his powers using his artistry for the greater good.
James Brown Top Tracks
Up Close & Personal
Runtime: 60 minHe gained fame in the late 70's with hits like "I Wanna to Be Your Lover" & "Why You Want to Treat me So Bad'". His rise to stardom was gradual, but inevitable. His passion for music has allowed him to sell over 100 million albums worldwide. In 2004, he was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Prince was one of the hardest working men in show business.
Live at Montreux
Runtime: 1 hr 42 minIsaac Hayes is one of the most influential and respected figures in Black American music. In a career that dates back to the start of the sixties he has had top selling singles, released ground breaking albums, composed the Grammy and Oscar winning film score for "Shaft", supplied the voice of Chef in "South Park" and written innumerable hit songs for other artists. Isaac Hayes has made several appearances at Montreux but this one, his most recent appearance from 2005, undoubtedly captures him at his very best with trademark performances of all his best-known tracks.
Live in Amsterdam 1976
Runtime: 52 minThis concert was recorded live on Marvin Gayes first European tour in 1976. Filmed in Holland at the Edenhalle Concert Hall in Amsterdam before a sell-out audience, this show, preserved now for posterity, was one of his rare live performances captured on film.
Runtime: 1 hr 16 minStill Bill is an intimate portrait of soul legend Bill Withers, best known for his classics "Ain't No Sunshine," "Lean On Me," "Lovely Day," "Grandma's Hands," and "Just the Two of Us." With his soulful delivery and warm, heartfelt sincerity, Withers has written the songs that continue to resonate deeply within the fabric of our times. Filmmakers Damani Baker and Alex Vlack follow Withers and offer a unique and rare look inside the world of this fascinating man. Through concert footage, journeys to his birthplace and interviews with music and sports legends, his family and closest friends, STILL BILL presents the story of an artist who has written some of the most beloved songs of our time and who truly understands the heart and soul of a man.
Gospel According to Al Green
Runtime: 1 hr 36 minGOSPEL ACCORDING TO AL GREEN looks at Green's transition from hugely successful soul singer to gospel artist and fundamentalist preacher. Filmed in concert in Washington, D.C., in rehearsal in his recording studio, in a service at his Memphis church, and in an extended interview, Green reveals himself to be an electrifying performer, whether singing love songs to women or spiritual ones to God.
Legends in Concert
Runtime: 59 minFor more than forty years the temptations have been wooing audiences around the globe and selling millions of records in the process
A collection of 16 classic songs by the soul band that has been going strong for over forty years. Includes hits such as 'My Girl', 'The Way You Do The Things You Do' and 'Papa Was a Rolling Stone'.
Live in France 1961: Antibes Jazz Festival
Runtime: 1 hr 28 minBy 1961 Ray Charles had established himself at the forefront of popular music. He had several R&B hit singles on Atlantic Records in the fifties and crossed over into the mainstream with his hit “What’d I Say” in 1959. He then moved from Atlantic Records to ABC and had further success throughout the sixties. The concert was filmed at the Antibes Jazz Festival in July of 1961 when Ray Charles was at the peak of his powers.