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James Brown: Studio 54, New York City

Roy Trakin, Melody Maker, 17 April 1980

Despite the recent hip upsurge in his popularity, James Brown has for over a year studiously avoided playing a live gig in Manhattan. Pity that, since the legendary Godfather still manages to live up to his rep as the "hardest working man in show-business." With an active repertoire of leg-splits and lightning quick dance steps, Brown always puts on a yeoman performance, featuring a healthy dose of his greatest hits like ‘It’s Too Funky In Here’, ‘Gonna Have A Funky Good Time’, ‘Cold Sweat’, ‘Get On The Good Foot’ and a ‘Remember 1965’ medley of ‘Poppa’s Got A Brand New Bag’ and ‘I Feel Good’. In terms of dynamics and non-stop action, James Brown could probably even teach the current, but recently retired, funk torchbearer, George Clinton, a thing or two about live performance.

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