Are you ready for Star Time? A new James Brown release, chronicling a 50-year-old homecoming show released in full for the first time, will surely do the trick.
Live At Home With His Bad Self was in fact intended to be released not long after its recording. In the fall of 1969, Brown came to Augusta, Georgia's Bell Auditorium, hours from where Brown first sang gospel as a young man in Toccoa. He was backed by a stellar band that featured the talents of horn players Maceo Parker and Fred Wesley, and a triple-threat drumming section that included John "Jabo" Starks, Melvin Parker and the original "Funky Drummer" Clyde Stubblefield. The set was recorded with the intention to form an album for the Christmas shopping season, but was shelved.
Perhaps not coincidentally, Brown's band walked out not long after, and he constructed a new, funk-focused group, The J.B.'s, with Starks, organist Bobby Byrd, and the guitar-bass duo Phelps "Catfish" Collins and his brother William "Bootsy." Their debut single was the immortal "Get Up (I Feel Like Being a) Sex Machine," and by the autumn of 1970, a Sex Machine double album was issued, mixing extended studio jams with the new band (and overdubbed crowd noise) with edited performances from the Augusta show.
Now, the complete performance, newly mixed by engineer Peter A. Barker from the original multitracks, will be made available on CD and double vinyl October 25, just over 50 years since it was recorded. Highlights include unreleased versions of Brown's then-current single "World" (performed here as a live vocal over the original backing track), "Give It Up Or Turnit A Loose," "Try Me" and even a cover of Blood, Sweat & Tears' "Spinning Wheel" plus extended versions of "There Was a Time" and "Mother Popcorn."
Get the feelin' with this incendiary set from Soul Brother No. 1! Links and full set list are below.
Live At Home With His Bad Self (Republic/UMe, 2019)
- Say It Loud - I'm Black and I'm Proud
- James Brown Thanks and Introduction to "World" *
- World *
- Stage Dialogue *
- Lowdown Popcorn *
- Spinning Wheel *
- If I Ruled The World
- Kansas City *
- Introduction to Startime
- I Don't Want Nobody To Give Me Nothing (Open Up The Door I'll Get It Myself)
- I Got The Feelin' */Licking Stick-Licking Stick
- Try Me *
- There Was a Time **
- Give It Up Or Turnit A Loose *
- It's a Man's Man's Man's World
- Please, Please, Please
- I Can't Stand Myself (When You Touch Me)
- Mother Popcorn **
All tracks recorded live at the Bell Auditorium, Augusta, GA - 10/1/1969
* previously unreleased ** extended performance
Tracks 7, 9-10, 11(b), 13 and 15-18 released in edited/remixed form on Sex Machine (King Records KS-7-1115, 1970)
Track 1 released on Motherlode (Polydor 422 837 126-1, 1986)