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Funky Christmas

December, 21 2015 | Terminal West

Brown, who died on December 25, 2006, recorded three Christmas-themed albums during his creative peak: 1966’s James Brown Sings Christmas Songs, 1968’s A Soulful Christmas and 1970’s Hey America It’s Christmas. The best tracks from each are collected on this fantastic set. The Godfather was re-inventing rock & roll in his own funk-revolutionary image throughout the late Sixties, so it’s no surprise that he injected some soul-power into the holly, jolly time of year. There’s bent-knee R&B balladry (“Merry Christmas Baby” and “Please Come Home for Christmas”), smokin’ groove workouts (“Go Power at Christmas Time,” “Soulful Christmas”) and shots of gritty social consciousness (“Santa Claus Goes to the Ghetto,” “Let’s Unite the Whole World at Christmas”). Like Santa himself, Mr. Dynamite has something in his bottomless gift bag for every girl and boy the world over: On the blazing title track from 1970’s Hey America It’s Christmas, he implores, “White or black, blue or green/ Even a man I’ve never seen/Let’s get together!”

-Rolling Stone

 

Side 1:

1. Intro/Brother Rapp/Ain’t It Funky
2. Santa Claus Go Straight to the Ghetto
3. Christmas Is Love
4. I Got the Feelin’
5. Lets Unite the World at Christmas
6. Sweet Little Baby Boy
7. Back Door Santa
8. The Christmas Song
9. Hot Pants Road
10. Doin It To Death
11. Up For the Downstroke
12. House Party
13. Kid Charlemagne
14. Until You Come Back To Me
15. You’re All I Need To Get By

Side 2:

16. That’s What Christmas Means to Me
17. Let
18. Merry Christmas Baby
19. There Was A Time
20. Yield Not To Temptation
21. Give It Up, Turn It Loose
22. Rock Me Again & Again
23. Fopp
24. Superbad
25. Down and Out in NYC
26. Cold Sweat
27. Let’s Dance
28. Walk On By
29. Man's World
30. Fool For You
31. You've Got A Friend
32. Get Up Offa That Thing
33. This Christmas