Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Tribute to the Godfather: Let a Man Come In!

James Brown - Let A Man Come In And Do The Popcorn

JB's late '60s recordings probably reflect the legend at his most fertile creative period. By that time, James was basically keeping King Records afloat with his hits, which seemed to come out every other week or so. One of the more curious phenomena of this period is that he was recording so many multi-part jams that sometimes King would release the parts as separate singles. ("World," which was covered in a post some time ago, received such a release - it should be noted, however, that the promo copies of that single presented the whole thing on one two-part 45.)

A continuation of what was becoming a James Brown "Popcorn" franchise, Part 1 of "Let A Man Come In And Do The Popcorn" was a #2 R&B hit in 1969, but for some reason it is under-recognized as one of Brown's funk masterpieces (of course, when a man has over 100 singles in his discography, something has to be left out). The guitars and horns slip and slide around each other so loosely that the arrangement sounds almost haphazard, but JB's equally-unfocused lyrics rise to the occasion and make the whole thing a nice funky 45. The 45 was backed with the ballad "Sometime," which is pretty good. Part 2 of "Let A Man Come In," listed on the label as "Part Two (Let A Man Come In And Do The Popcorn)" was released later that year, coupled with Part 2 of "Get a Little Hipper"(!) and, amazingly, it was also a hit - quite a testament to James Brown's hitmaking power at the time. The full version as presented here originally appeared on the King LP It's a New Day - Let a Man Come In.

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