fight the power

Where Curtis Mayfield\’s \”Pusherman\” inspires a positive rhythmic response at odds with its core message, \”King Heroin\” is unstinting in its clarity. That same theme is reprised on \”Public Enemy No. 1\” – parts one and two – but ultimately fails to engage on a similar level. Dropping all pretense at restraint, Brown strives to to find the right note twice and can\’t quite reach it. By part two, the song is mercifully engineered to a fade before it descends into pantomime.

The foot is stamping, the brow might be awash with sweat, but the performance rests on the wrong foot. Still. Giving up and turning his cheek was never seriously part of James Brown\’s reportoire. Or Flavor Flav\’s.

Arranged and produced by Dave Matthews and James Brown.

JAMES BROWN: KING HEROIN from \”There It Is\” 2 x LP (Polydor) 1972 (US) JAMES BROWN: PUBLIC ENEMY No. 1 (PT 1) from \”There It Is\” 2 x LP (Polydor) 1972 (US) JAMES BROWN: NEVER CAN SAY GOODBYE from \”There It Is\” 2 x LP (Polydor) 1972 (US)


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