When it comes to James Brown, we’re always excited to hear what unearth gems could possibly be still out there from old recordings, previously unreleased alternate takes or anything else in between. One of the things that we’ve heard about for years was his homecoming concert which we’ve never actually taken in the full performance with only bits and pieces being heard. Well the gods of the Soul Brother have shined down upon us with the complete recording from his October 1, 1969 homecoming concert in Augusta, Georgia which falls on it’s 50th anniversary.
James Brown’s roof-raising performance at the city’s Bell Auditorium was captured on tape, with the intent to make an album of the show the cornerstone of a move back to his Augusta roots. Live at Home with His Bad Self was scheduled as a 1969 holiday release. But Brown and his band, featuring saxophone legend Maceo Parker and three legendary drummers – Maceo’s brother Melvin, Jabo Starks, Clyde Stubblefield, together for this tour only – soon broke up. Soul Brother No. 1 called in a new, young group, featuring bassist Bootsy Collins, and within a few weeks they recorded the funk anthem “Sex Machine.” With the single flying up the charts and no full-length to promote with it, Brown shelved the planned Live at Home album. He instead produced Sex Machine, a 2LP set released in 1970 that included a portion of the Augusta show.
The album’s seven previously unreleased performances include two instrumentals, “Lowdown Popcorn” and “Spinning Wheel,” which were re-cut with canned applause for the Sex Machine release. Also included is Brown’s then-current hit, “World,” performed at the concert with a live vocal over a tape of the studio recording’s instrumental arrangement, an unusual move which Brown explains to the audience, while “There Was A Time” and “Mother Popcorn,” originally heavily edited on Sex Machine, are doubled in length. Other highlights include an actual live rendition of “Give It Up Or Turnit A Loose,” Brown’s influential hit from 1968, a title fans will note appears on the Sex Machine album, but may not be aware that version is a studio re-record.
James Brown: Live at Home with His Bad Self [2LP vinyl]
1. Say It Loud – I’m Black and I’m Proud
2. James Brown Thanks and Introduction to “World”*
4. Stage Dialogue*
1. Lowdown Popcorn*
2. Spinning Wheel*
3. If I Ruled The World
4. Kansas City*
1. Introduction to Startime
2. I Don’t Want Nobody To Give Me Nothing (Open Up the Door I’ll Get It Myself)
3. I Got The Feelin’*/Licking Stick-Licking Stick
4. Try Me*
5. There Was A Time **
1. Give It Up Or Turnit A Loose*
2. It’s A Man’s Man’s Man’s World
3. Please, Please, Please
4. I Can’t Stand Myself (When You Touch Me)
5. Mother Popcorn **