Soul on Top | EW.com

Music

Soul on TopThis 1969 recording of Soul on Top -- James Brown fronting drummer Louis Bellson's big band -- is no novelty. It's a signpost at the crossroads of...Soul on TopThis 1969 recording of Soul on Top -- James Brown fronting drummer Louis Bellson's big band -- is no novelty. It's a signpost at the crossroads of...2004-07-30
James Brown

(James Brown: David Redfern / Redferns / Retna Ltd.)

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Soul on Top

Lead Performer: James Brown; Producer (group): Verve

This 1969 recording of Soul on Top – James Brown fronting drummer Louis Bellson’s big band – is no novelty. It’s a signpost at the crossroads of jazz and soul. Brown croons ”That’s My Desire” with grace, and his signature screams sound like added horns on a boogaloo version of Hank Williams’ ”Your Cheatin’ Heart.” Five extended tracks, especially ”Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag,” make this especially thrilling.

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