James Brown, Maceo & the Macks, and Above Average Black Band presented by Steve

26 10 2011

James Brown – The Payback Polydor 1973.

A classic James Brown track starts off this trio of tracks linked to ‘the Godfather’. As previously mentioned, The album ‘The Payback’ was originally intended as the soundtrack to the film ‘Hell Up In Harlem’, but ended up being recorded by Edwin Starr, as JB’s contribution was said to be ‘not funky enough’ by the film’s producers. What!!! #1 US R&B, #26 BB Hot 100.

Maceo & the Macks – Cross The Tracks (We Better Go Back).
One of James Brown’s leading sidemen, the saxophonist Maceo Parker dipped in and out of the JBs many times and had only just rejoined them when ‘the Payback’ was recorded. Eventually, in the early ‘90s he left for a final time to pursue a successful solo career. If you listen to the JBs ‘Hot Pants Road’ you’ll hear James Brown giving Maceo a sound check and it just so happens the the next track…

A.A.B.B. – Pick Up The Pieces One By One Identify Records US 1975.

As a repost to the success that the Average White Band had enjoyed, James Brown released this track under the pseudonym A.A.B.B., which stood for ‘Above Average Black Band’. Obviously, James Brown and the JBs were piqued for a second time when they released ‘(It’s Not The Express)It’s The JB’s Monorail’ after BT Express’s success too. I have to say, in both cases they were inferior to the ‘original’ hits they were meant to ‘show up’. If you listen closely to this AABB track, you’ll hear some audio bleeding from the horns on the original track from which it was recycled ‘The JBs – Hot Pants Road’.

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