“Listen – James Brown – Talkin’ Loud and Sayin’ Nothin’ – MP3″
I hope the commencement of a new week finds you all well, or at least well enough for some funk (which when you take into consideration the restorative nature of funk 45s, you probably wouldn’t have to be well at all. In fact, were the listener in too good a condition, the addition of a sufficient enough dose of the funk might be too much).
The tune I bring you today is one of those odd little departures that record collector geeks like to obsess over. Most large discographies have their back alleys, and the James Brown catalog is no exception. Brown was nothing if not prolific, in his own work, as well as with those for whom he wrote and produced.
Today’s selection is one of the Godfather’s own.
Though ‘Talkin’ Loud and Sayin’ Nothin’ was a hit upon it’s release in 1972 (on Polydor), the tune goes back two years earlier. Though it never got a full commercial release – it appears to have been slated for release in 1970 and 1971 without being issued – there was a promo 45 in 1970, which once you pull down the ones and zeros, you will be hearing today.
The interesting thing – aside from the trainspotting aspect – is that the version that actually made it onto vinyl in 1970 (on the King label) is an entirely different one from what became a hit two years later.
During 1970, James Brown was working in the studio with arranger Dave Matthews (no, not the jam band guy) on what would become the album ‘Sho Is Funky Down Here’. The original version of ‘Talkin’ Loud and Sayin’ Nothin’ was recorded during these sessions.
Amongst the collectorati, this iteration of the song has become known as the “rock version”. While I wouldn’t go as far as to call anything JB was working on during this period “rock”, there is a slightly ragged finish to things that came closer to Funkadelic than the JBs.
The tune opens with a distorted guitar, and JBs challenge “How do you like me now?”, before the band comes in with a sound that is freer and much less polished than you’d expect to hear coming out of a James Brown 45. The overall feel is a little looser than his other work at the time, playing down the prominence of the groove. ‘Talkin’ Loud’…’ is structurally no looser than ‘Ain’t It Funky Now’ from the same period, yet the prominence of the guitar and organ in the mix give the record a distinct flavor.
Ultimately, it appears that Brown didn’t see the “rock version” as a big part of his musical future, since it never saw a full release, and aside from ‘Sho Is Funky Down Here’ there’s not much like it in his catalog before or since.
I hope you dig the tune, and I’ll be back later in the week.
PS The Asbury Park 45 Sessions returns this Friday October 3rd with the AP45 Crew and guest selectors TBA. Come on down to the World Famous Asbury Lanes. What the hell else have you got going on?