'James Brown: Live in Montreux, 1981'
(James Brown, et al / 2-Disc DVD / NR / (2005) 2006 / Eagle Eye Media)
Overview: "Soul Brother No.1", "The Godfather Of Soul", "Mr Dynamite" are all titles that have been applied to James Brown over the years. A hugely influential figure in black American music, he was a driving force in the development of soul music in the early sixties and funk in the early seventies. He has had more R&B hits in the US than any other artist, and has charted singles in countries around the world.
DVD Verdict: Here is the best James Brown concert available, not for the repertoire, which has no songs (save for two non-listed interjections) not found on the many other DVD/VHS JB offers, and in fact does not contain "bonus tracks" *or* the listed "Hustle (Dead On It)" - the 1975 Disco-Soul semi-hit I'm sure was a major selling point for buyers. If it's here then it's possibly in the form of a very familiar sequeway - maybe a few notes from the tune validate its' listing.
What makes this item standout is the fine technical direction, lighting, sound, and more significantly, the chance to watch a great artist, obviously up for the occasion and in great voice. On "Please, Please, Please" he jumps into the audience (noticeably short on lady fans for some reason) and gets down deep on the classic that put him on the road.
There is some consolation for fans here in that "It's A Man's...World" incorporates "Lost Someone" and "Fever" - the only segment which collectors can really enthuse over. This is an excellent companion to the '79 Comeback show ("The Lost James Brown Tapes" aka "Bodyheat") and the '83 show with B. B. King at the Beverly Theatre in L.A., which are better musically but do not have the production values of this '81 event.