When James Brown was exalted as the "Hardest Working Man in Show Business," it wasn't just some empty hype that a publicist dreamed up -- few singers in any genre were more workaholic or perfectionist. The Godfather of Soul demanded a lot from himself and a lot from his musicians, on whom he could be notoriously hard. Those who were lucky enough to see him live usually got what they paid for and then some, and he certainly goes that extra mile on Say It Live and Loud: Live in Dallas 08.26.68. Though a few of these performances had come out on various 1990s anthologies, most of them remained in the can until the release of this CD in 1998. The Godfather is in excellent form on sweaty versions of 1960s hits like "Say It Loud (I'm Black and I'm Proud)" (which had just come out as single), "Cold Sweat," "I Got the Feelin'," and "There Was a Time," as well as a medley of his '50s classics "Try Me," "Lost Someone," and "Bewildered." Brown was at his creative and commercial peak, and his five-star band boasted such dynamos as guitarist Jimmy Nolen, trombonist Fred Wesley, and saxmen Maceo Parker, St. Clair Pinckney, and Alfred "Pee Wee" Ellis. It's too bad that most of these red-hot performances went unreleased for 30 years.
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AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson