James Brown In the 60's- I Got This Feelin' DVD Review ~ BrooklynRocks: NYC Music Blog

Friday, November 28, 2008

James Brown In the 60's- I Got This Feelin' DVD Review

James Brown In the 60's - I Got The Feelin' DVD ReviewNew box sets (both CD and DVD) have recently hit the market to coincide with the Christmas shopping season so I wanted to take a look at some of the more recent releases.

James Brown In the 60's is a strong winner that is facinating from both a musical and a historical perspective.

The first disc in this three disc set is the director's cut of the film "The Night James Brown Saved Boston". The film premiered this year at SXSW and is a fascinating look at the role that Brown played in the civil rights movement and the aftermath of the assasination of Dr. Martin Luther King. The film combines performance footage with personal narrative from Dr. Andrew Young, former Boston mayor Kevin White, Rev. Al Sharpton and many others. The primary focus of the film is lead-up to and the concert that James gave in Boston the day after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King.

The film goes on to cover James' fight "for the Black America...to become American" and his adoption of MLK's message of non-violence. The film touches on some of the benefit shows that James played after Boston (he played Washington, D.C. at the the request of President Johnson) and his message was "learn, don't burn" and that violence "wasn't the way to go". On a personal level, I don't think that I realized that James Brown was such a voice for the previous generation. The film wraps up by touching on James' work in the 70's, which included co-hosting the Mike Douglas show and writing the Black Power anthem, "Say It Loud - I'm Black and I'm Proud".

The second disc, "James Brown Live at The Boston Garden", is the actual concert, which was broadcasted live that night on Boston PBS station WGBH. The first disc in this set describes Mayor White's plan to broadcast the concert live in an attempt to keep people off the streets. This plan was evidently so successful that WGBH aired the concert a second time that night.

James plays a high energy set and, toward the end of the set, members of the audience start climbing on stage. It is somewhat amazing to watch James' control of a potentially high-tension situation. After the police toss one person off the stage, James waves the police off and says that he will handle it. He successfully negotiated (not by pleeding, but as a generation spokesman) with the crowd to climb back down and let him finish the show.

Some of the bonus content on this disc include audio from the radio simulcast of the concert and an interview with WGBH’s Director and Producer of the concert (who mentions that he had never been to a rock concert prior to the James Brown show).

The final disc is "James Brown Live at The Apollo '68". This show was filmed in color and was originally aired on TV as "James Brown: Man To Man". It compiled from a series of shows that James performed at the Apollo in March '68. The set starts a bit slower than the show at the Boston Garden as James performs the first two numbers, "If I Ruled The World" and "That's Life", seated. He then gets on his feet and the tempo of the set picks up with "Kansas City". The show ends strong with a lengthly medley of "Cold Sweat/Maybe The Last Time/I Got You (I Fell Good)/Please, Please, Please/I Can't Stand Myself."

The real gems on this disc are the bonus tracks which include "Out of Sight" (from The T.A.M.I Show), "I Got You (I Feel Good)" (from Paris, 1968) and "It's A Man's, Man's, Man's World" (from Paris, 1969).

Click on the DVD cover to go over to Amazon where this set is on sale for $34.99.