mind power: it is what it is

Continuing on the solid roll which began in earnest with 1972\’s \”Get On The Good Foot\”, \”The Payback\” was Brown\’s critically acclaimed response to director Larry Cohen\’s decision to drop it as the soundtrack to his blaxploitation cash in, \”Hell Up in Harlem\”. On the grounds that it just wasn\’t \”James Brown enough\”.

Every inch as tightly oiled and sprung as Brown\’s superior \”Black Caesar\” soundtrack – the prequel – Cohen, clearly, must have harboured ulterior motives in declining the finished \’product\’. That, or his brain was simply addled by all that white powder stepped on up in East Harlem.

Whatever Cohen\’s underlying issue with it, the title track itself – co-written with John \’Jabo\’ Starks – more than lives up to its bad ass reputation, post mortem.

A crime scene endlessly revisited in all manner of drive-by samplings, ongoing forensics continue to yield results. PhUnk. Black Punk spits all over Legs McNeil.

A full three years earlier.

Written by James Brown, Fred Wesley and Charles Bobbit.

Recorded February to October 1973.

JAMES BROWN: MIND POWER from \”The Payback\” 2 x LP (Polydor) 1973 (US)


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