James Brown

Get Up Offa That Thing

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During the disco era of the late '70s, James Brown didn't have as many major hits as he enjoyed in the 1950s, 1960s, and early '70s. But he was still coming up with some captivating funk grooves, and his late '70s output should not be ignored. Although 1976's Get Up Offa That Thing falls short of essential, it's a focused, rewarding LP that has a lot going for it. The title song, a sweaty funk gem, became a hit, and almost as appealing are "I Refuse to Lose" and "Can't Take It With You." These tracks follow the funk principle that Brown perfected in the 1960s: find an addictive groove and work it to death. Meanwhile, the romantic "You Took My Heart" is closer to smooth northern soul than the type of raw southern-style soul Brown is best known for. And "Home Again" is a 12-bar blues number with jazz leanings; the tune would have been perfect for a Jimmy Witherspoon session. Again, this LP isn't quite essential, but it's easily recommended to seasoned Brown fans.

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