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Thursday, July 2, 1998

Review - Dead On the Heavy Funk 1975-1983

Artist: James Brown

Posted on Thu, Jul 2, 1998 at 4:00 AM

James Brown's kingdom of soul was collapsing by 1975. His record sales were down, the original JB's were gone, and disco had stolen his backbeat. So what did the hardest-working man in show business do? He proclaimed himself the Minister of the Heavy Funk and made some of the nastiest tunes of his career.

Culled from over a dozen albums, this collection features that older but still masterful Brown. "Sex Machine" is slower than the original 1970 version but still packs a wallop. "For Goodness Sakes, Look at Those Cakes" celebrates posterior glories with a mean horn riff. "Eyesight" meets disco head-on with a bubbling bassline and a snakey trumpet.

This collection should quiet critics who have dismissed Brown's late '70s/early '80s oeuvre as lackluster. There's enough sweat on "Dead on the Heavy Funk" to make any dance floor slick.

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