This is your Tuesday morning wake up call. Because if you don’t get up after this, you might as well be dead.
Shake your moneymaker, indeed.
I don’t know which movement James Brown was on at this point, having redefined R&B several times over the last half of the sixties. All I know is, he had one heck of an interrupted run of R&B hits from “Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag” to “Cold Sweat” to “The Payback” or even “Get Up Offa That Thing” or “Living In America” if you really want to stretch things out. The truth is, from about 1965 to 1976, Brown lit up the R&B listings like firecrackers light up the sky on the Fourth of July. He was a force of nature. All of his nicknames fit (Mr. Dynamite, The Hardest Working Man In Show Business, Soul Brother No. 1 and The Godfather Of Soul, among others) and if he isn’t on the Mount Rushmore of R&B greats, then he carved the mountain so that the other four faces could be placed there. And that’s nothing to say of his influence in hip hop.
“Sex Machine” (to shorten that lengthy title) isn’t all that much—a repetitive groove, combined with a killer bridge, some tasty piano work by Brown and that famous call and response with Bobby Byrd—but the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. And it features one of the greatest Brown mid-song grunts in history at around the 1:10 mark of the song. And while I say it isn’t all that much, it is so much more. This is one of the first songs he cut with the “new JB’s”, which included William “Bootsy” Collins on bass, which represented a new era for Brown and that band.
Plus it’s funkier than five cans of shaving powder. It’s also Tuesday’s morning groove. Get into something while it plays. And thanks, as always for listening and reading.