James Brown – “Rapp Payback (Where Iz Moses)” (RCA T28) (1980)

Speaking of Super Bad, here’s the man himself making a welcome appearance on 12″ at maison Asbo following the exchange this morn of 50 pence with a stall holder in Ashford. Something of a last gasp before technology rendered his style obsolete in the pop market, Soul Brother No. 1’s inevitable concessions to TK disco (for whom this was recorded), and I guess they were big ones given the man’s aesthetic in which syncopated beat had primacy, was to update his 1974 hit “The Payback” faster with a four-on-the-floor kick. Happily, this does not water down the funk one iota–it’s still pretty raw compared to most disco, and though there is acknowledgment of Funkadelic in feel, this is nowhere near as kooky as those former bandmates.

The relative scarcity of the JB twelve strikes me as odd since the nature of his singles so demands the foot-long format–I mean exactly how many of his 7″s were divvied up in the middle? The edit included on my Star Time box set only goes for 4:36; present company breaks down, then extends for another 2:24 of super badness. Even so, “Rapp Payback” was too mighty to be contained on one side and a Pt II carries on partying for another three and half minutes on the b.

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Published in: on May 1, 2011 at 10:51 am  Comments (1)  

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Used to play this a lot back in the day. As you say surprisingly gritty considering the release year. Then again, it is Mr. Brown.


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