James Brown

Talking Loud and Saying Nothing

Song Review by

Add James Brown's "Talking Loud and Saying Nothing" to the list of soul singles whose lyrics were (construed to be) aimed squarely at the Watergate-embattled President Nixon. Another entry would be Lamont Dozier's "Fish ain't Bitin'." Angry was his state of mind of when Brown began writing the song; he wasn't just angry about the political state of the country, but a lot of his own personal problems. It was originally recorded with local musicians at King Studios in Cincinnati with bandleader Dave Matthews. Then the song was re-recorded with Brown's new band lineup, which included bassist William "Bootsy" Collins and his brother, rhythm guitarist Phelps "Catfish" Collins, at Bobby Smith's studio in Macon, GA, around September 1970. It was originally scheduled to be issued as a King Records single, but was bumped from the release schedule in favor of "Soul Power." "Talking Loud and Saying Nothing" didn't see the light of day almost two years later, when it was issued as the fourth single of Brown's new deal with Polydor Records. Co-written by Brown and longtime bandmate Bobby Byrd, "Talking Loud and Saying Nothing" went to number one R&B and number 27 pop in spring 1972. By the time of its release, the Collins brothers had long left Brown's camp to forge funk/pop careers of their own.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
There It Is 1972 Polydor 7:49
No Image 1977 Polydor 0:00
Nothing But Funk, Vol. 2 197?
Various Artists
Funky People / Polydor
In the Jungle Groove 1986 Polydor / Universal 0:00
Billboard Hot Soul Hits: 1972 1995
Various Artists
Rhino 3:15
40th Anniversary Collection 1996 Polydor 3:23
Blueprint 2001 Blueprint 5:05
20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: Best of James Brown, Vol. 2 2002 Polydor / Uptown / Universal 0:00
Supa Funky, Vol. 2 2003
Various Artists
Universal International 5:26