On October 24, 1962 James Brown & The Famous Flames recorded a live show in the Apollo Theatre in Harlem, New York. It was a bit of a gamble because Brown’s record company had no interest in recording and releasing a live album, so he paid for it himself. It took six months, but Brown was finally able to convince his label to release the album the following spring.
Although he was already famous, ‘Live At The Apollo’ made James Brown an established superstar. The album sold so quickly that most record stores could not keep it in stock. Radio DJs would play each side of the album in it’s entirety without any commercials because they were only 15 minutes long. The whole album clocks in under 32 minutes.
In addition to being a commercial success, ‘Live At The Apollo’ influenced lots of up-and-coming musicians and changed the idea of what a live album could be. It is generally regarded as the best live album ever recorded. And, without it, most of the iconic live albums released in the 1970’s like ‘Kick Out The Jams’ (MC5), ‘Live At Leeds’ (The Who) and ‘Frampton Comes Alive’ (Peter Frampton) would never have been recorded.
I own a copy of ‘Live At The Apollo’ on both vinyl and CD. If you don’t own this record, or you have never heard it before, I recommend you check out this week’s playlist and listen to the ‘Hardest Working Man In Show Business’ during one of the early peaks of his powers.
Back in the old days (before children) I used to post monthly podcasts. For a while, I did a series called Soul Kitchen. Around this time back in 2012, I posted podcast number 27 in the series. This week’s playlist is a few of the tracks from that playlist.
During a normal year, all of the big clubs in Ibiza would be holding their closing parties this month. Although I have been to Ibiza three times, I never went to any of the nightclubs. I did, however, spend lots of time on Sunset Strip in San Antoni. My favourite spot on the strip is Café Del Mar, which has now been open for 40 years! If I was ever given the chance to DJ on Sunset Strip, my set might sound a little something like this…
Hip Hop began as a musical culture in New York in the early 1970’s, when DJs played Disco, Funk and Soul records at block parties. They quickly realized the best part of the songs being played were the breaks, so they started using multiple turntables and techniques like mixing and scratching to extend the breaks. Next, MCs were introduced to excite the crowds by rhyming and boasting over the music, which evolved into rapping.
Fast forward to the late 70’s and early 80’s. Artists began to blend Hip Hop culture with Disco music and created a flurry of amazing records that brought Hip Hop into the mainstream and popular music charts. The week’s list includes some of my favorite tunes from that period of time.