Monday, February 4, 2013

40 Year Itch : Paid The Cost To Be The Boss

Following in the funky footsteps of Issac Hayes ( SHAFT), Curtis Mayfield (SUPERFLY) and Marvin Gaye (TROUBLE MAN), James Brown ( and Fred Wesley) finally contributed a soundtrack album to a blaxploitation picture. Sold as the Godfather of Harlem, Black Caesar stars Fred Williamson as a black member of the Mafia who goes to war with the rest of the city while bedding down with pretty lady Gloria Hendry.

    It seemed natural to have the Godfather of Soul work on the soundtrack to a movie about the Godfather of Harlem. There are some decent cuts on the soundtrack ( released in February of 1973) -- most notably the opener "Down And Out In New York City" and "The Boss". Both feature great funk instrumentation and lyrics gangsta rappers of the 80's and 90's would envy. The rest of the album, made up mostly of Wesley instrumentals, isn't so inspired. The "Dean", Robert Christgau, gave the album a D+ and suggested Brown "should never be allowed near a vibraphone again".

James Brown and Fred Wesley would return later in the year with another soundtrack, Slaughter's Big Rip-Off, which featured one of the great tag lines in film history :"The mob put the finger on Slaughter …so he gave them the finger right back curled around a tight trigger."

1 comment:

  1. Qué bueno JB, tanto con su voz como con su especial forma de bailar. Un genio brutal al que imitaron posteriormente los nuevos músicos.
    [Como el JB de quince años...JB (James Browm) gana con los años :)) ]
    Breves saludos