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Wednesday, 8 December 2010

~Winter Wassailing~#5: 'Let's Make Christmas Mean Something This Year prts1&2' by James Brown

A Selection Of Seasonal Songs In The ~Streetlamp~ Stylee!

Okay, okay....
I know it must seem odd, but that's exactly why I am doing these unusual Christmas Blogs....and I bet you never thought you'd find me writing about James Brown on here now, did you?
Not because we don't like James Brown(we do), or that we look down disparagingly on Soul Music(we certainly don't), it's just that when we started the ~Streetlamp~, our sole purpose was to write about music that we were PASSIONATE about, and while all three of share a fondness for good Soul Music, it's just not something we could ever find ourselves shouting from the rooftops about, or getting all giddy and babbling like madmen whilst eulogising it's myriad wonders.

No....this is a more poignant Blog and one I really want to share with you all.

It used to be a bit of a sicko Christmas tradition amongst us to try and guess which celebrity would die on Christmas Day, thus just like the Christmas Number One, gaining a footnote in Christmas lore. Charlie Chaplin, Dean Martin, W.C Fields, Nicolea Ceausescu(not technically a celebrity!!) and Eartha Kitt all passed away on Christmas Day of course, as did in 2006, James Brown.
I remember Griff phoning me that day(we always phone each other on Christmas Day) and us both sharing our shock and sadness at the passing of such a great musical icon; a man who was to Black Music what Elvis was to White Music(if there really is such things as Black and White music!!).
Later on that day as myself and my then-girlfriend-now-wife Elizabeth did the rounds of visiting our relations on Christmas Day, a particularly savvy radio DJ(I wish I could remember who it was but it was on a station that I never usually listened to) played 'Let's Make Christmas Mean Something This Year prt 1&2' instead of something overly familiar like 'Papa's Got A Brand New Bag' or the career low 'Living In America'. It was already twilight even though it was only after 3:00p.m, and as I sat in the car, already mellowed from a couple of sherries and at least one Single Malt looking at the pink/purple sky over the frozen landscape, I felt an almost instant affinity with this amazing song, this amazing performance that was flowing from the speakers. I felt almost teary, but at the same time so warm, glowing and fulfilled, and I knew it wasn't the alcohol on the empty stomach. It's an extraordinary track, sounding like the backing music complete with the amazing female backing vocals had been pre-recorded and they just let James do his stuff over the top of it.
It's not really a song as such, more a Christmas message delivered with much passion and, of course, Soul. It's almost like James' Christmas Address To The Nation, and I love the way he times it to perfection that the backing vocalists come in just in the nick of time, every time.
What a magnificent piece of music!

This Christmas Day, when it gets to about 3:00 in the afternoon and that pampered, saggy jowled parasite who appears on our stamps and coins shows up on your television to give her patronising blather about horrible anuses or whatever it is she talks about, why not turn your TV down(or better still, off!!) and put this track on and have that as your Christmas Day message!

The Godfather, and the ~Streetlamp~ expects!!


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