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Christmas Records, Day 10: James Brown's Funky Christmas

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Matt Harvey Matt Harvey | 12:00 UK time, Thursday, 10 December 2009

jb.jpg

James Brown - Funky Christmas (Spectrum, 2001)

James Brown at Christmas, what could be wrong with that? Not much as it turns out, as this compilation drawn from his 1966 and 1972 Christmas albums proves. It's true that some of it is a bit bizarre, with JB sounding strangely like Bob Dylan on Merry Xmas Baby, and at times it veers into the cheesy, as on his version of Mel Torme's Christmas Song, but taken as a whole this is a heartfelt and soulful album. James hollers, croons and proclaims in a manner which makes one think he could be the perfect company over the Yuletide season. He expresses a social concern on Santa Claus Go Straight To The Ghetto, works the funk on Soulful Christmas and encourages us to pray for peace on Christmas Is Love. And with the 25th marking the third anniversary of The Godfather's death, this compilation could be the perfect way of remembering one of the 20th century's most charismatic performers.

You Tube: Listen to James Brown's Soulful Christmas

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