Tuesday, May 01, 2007

The Northern Soul of James Brown?!?

James Brown - Why Did You Take Your Love From Me

The phrases "James Brown" and "Northern Soul" generally never intersect in a discussion of the latter phrase, unless the thought is "the Northern Soul crowd preferred uptempo Motown-styled dancers over the raw sound of southern soul or James Brown," but JB's massive catalogue is one chock full of surprises, and today's selection provides the lone intersection point.

It's only fitting, then, that such an abnormality as "Why Did You Take Your Love From Me" appeared as an album cut on JB's I Can't Stand Myself (When You Touch Me), which stands more as a testament to the growing funk sound that JB was cooking up, as the classic title track and "There Was a Time" were hot hits for Brown at the time. "Why Did You Take Your Love From Me" features a driving piano groove (think "Shhhhhhh (For a Little While)") and an interesting vocal from JB, in which he really works the choruses and uses the verses to do some pretty desperate pleading.


yoni said...

I've been playing this as Northern Soul in Tel Aviv for a while... never heard it played in England. An album-only track, isn't it? That might explain it. "Time after time" off the same album also sounds Northern enough to my ears - even more mysterious and non-JB like.
The one James Brown track I know that's often played as Nortern SOul is "Money won't change you". --Yoni

rb said...

thanks for posting this one. I have not heard Mr. Brown in this mode before.

Really cool track.

Rob The Buzz said...

This is stunning. Thanks for the info. I'm gonna have to hunt that album down now.