Soul Strut 100: # 81 - The J.B.???s - Doing It to Death

RAJRAJ tenacious local 7,756 Posts
edited April 2012 in The Soul Strut 100
I will slowly be unveiling the Top 100 Soul Strut Related Records as Voted by the Strutters Themselves.

# 81 - The J.B.'s - Doing It to Death



Please discuss your reactions to this record. The thread will be archived later here.

About

"In spite of James Brown's 1974 hit "The Payback" and his future canonization in rap, 1973's Doing It to Death was, as the title now suggests, the sound of James Brown obsessing the almighty funk into commercial irrelevance. His tight circle of musicians was still creating a brand of R&B as distinct as it was influential. (You can hear it in the music of artists as disparate as Nigeria's Fela and Germany's Can.) But on his home turf, James was already competing with post-Superfly wah-wah pedal hoppers and the pre-disco Philly sound. So it's not surprising that he soaked up loose change from his pre-sold followers with cut-'n-press JB's albums like this one on his indie label, People.

Though composed by bandleader Fred Wesley and a bigger hit than any single released by James under his own name that year, the talky 10-minute title cut is still pure Godfather. And the unexpectedly solid album constructed around it is every bit a classically Jamesian combination of loose lip and tight ship. The boss man's mug is missing from the sleeve, but if there's any doubt who's in charge, just listen to the way he introduces the bass solo on "More Peas," relinquishing the groove only after giving the band notice that "if he lose the funk we gotta chunk him out."

The theme song, "You Can Have Watergate Just Gimme Some Bucks and I'll Be Straight," is ironic given James' re-election endorsement of the vulnerable funky president. JB had hoped to pressure Nixon for a Martin Luther King holiday ("You can't change a house from the outside," he'd told hecklers at the Apollo). By '73, he just wanted his 40 acres. Instead, he got a call from the IRS and belated thanks "for inventing modern music" some 23 years later".

-- Peter S. Scholtes


Media



  Comments


  • All killer, no filler!!

  • batmonbatmon 27,574 Posts
    I dont own this but i have that deluxe jbs cd. I played that shit all the time when i spun out bitd.

  • DJBombjackDJBombjack Miami 1,665 Posts


    6min 55sec in... one of my most favorite moments in music ever.

  • RAJRAJ tenacious local 7,756 Posts
    DJBombjack said:

    6min 55sec in... one of my most favorite moments in music ever.

    None more fonkier.

  • RAJ said:
    DJBombjack said:

    6min 55sec in... one of my most favorite moments in music ever.

    None more fonkier.

    with respect, i have to disagree. that bass solo is one of the worst i have heard in any genre of music. fred thomas loses it after the first few seconds and then the whole thing drags and rambles until james has to "chunk him out" becasue it's so square "like a cheesebox". fred thomas was workman-like and dependable but he was no soloist.

  • DJBombjackDJBombjack Miami 1,665 Posts
    crabmongerfunk said:

    with respect, i have to disagree. that bass solo is one of the worst i have heard in any genre of music. fred thomas loses it after the first few seconds and then the whole thing drags and rambles until james has to "chunk him out" becasue it's so square "like a cheesebox". fred thomas was workman-like and dependable but he was no soloist.

    With respect - I'm not laying claim to this being the most funky or most perfect bass solo ever recorded. Just 'one of my most favorite moments in music ever'.

    The breakdown, vocals, bass and drums combine in a particular way. A case of the whole being greater than the sum of the parts. That is all.

  • CraigCraig 269 Posts
    Great LP so many classics on it, I think 'damn right I am somebody' has the edge for me. 'Blow your head' is -

    :hard_as_fuck:

  • HorseleechHorseleech 3,830 Posts
    .

  • RAJRAJ tenacious local 7,756 Posts
    crabmongerfunk said:
    RAJ said:
    DJBombjack said:

    6min 55sec in... one of my most favorite moments in music ever.

    None more fonkier.

    with respect, i have to disagree. that bass solo is one of the worst i have heard in any genre of music. fred thomas loses it after the first few seconds and then the whole thing drags and rambles until james has to "chunk him out" becasue it's so square "like a cheesebox". fred thomas was workman-like and dependable but he was no soloist.

    Spoken like a true Steely Dan fan ;) The fonk is not perfect which makes it even better.

  • DanteDante 371 Posts
    fuck, i wanted to play it, but i can't find it. it's not on the bees (for brown) nor in the jays (for jay bees). where do you file this? help me find it!

  • mattBmattB (FTB) Anywhere 673 Posts
    Dante said:
    fuck, i wanted to play it, but i can't find it. it's not on the bees (for brown) nor in the jays (for jay bees). where do you file this? help me find it!
    Long shot, but under W?
    With your Fred Wesley and the JBs records?

    b/w, this album rules.
    "Theeeeese... are the JB's!"

  • mattBmattB (FTB) Anywhere 673 Posts
    Why does every Fred Wesley solo sound pretty much the same?

  • SIRUSSIRUS 2,554 Posts
    mattB said:
    Why does every Fred Wesley solo sound pretty much the same?

    this is true. fonk or not.

  • pickwick33pickwick33 8,946 Posts
    SIRUS said:
    mattB said:
    Why does every Fred Wesley solo sound pretty much the same?

    this is true. fonk or not.

    Wesley, in his autobiography, comes off all Mr. Music School with the technical knowledge.

    Considering that he probably thought of James Brown as a backwoods simpleton, it is funny that his solos are identical. Even on the straight jazz cuts.

  • pickwick33pickwick33 8,946 Posts
    SIRUS said:
    mattB said:
    Why does every Fred Wesley solo sound pretty much the same?

    this is true. fonk or not.

    Wesley, in his autobiography, comes off all Mr. Music School with the technical knowledge.

    Considering that he probably thought of James Brown as a backwoods simpleton, it is funny that his solos are identical. Even on the straight jazz cuts.

  • DanteDante 371 Posts
    mattB said:
    Dante said:
    fuck, i wanted to play it, but i can't find it. it's not on the bees (for brown) nor in the jays (for jay bees). where do you file this? help me find it!
    Long shot, but under W?
    With your Fred Wesley and the JBs records?

    b/w, this album rules.
    "Theeeeese... are the JB's!"

    bingo! thanks!

    now, i'll play it, re-file it under the jays and look for it on the Ws next time i want to play it

  • DanteDante 371 Posts
    ok listening to it now. first word that comes to mind is 'tight'. it's the blueprint for so much stuff, and i have to say i tend to like the soundalikes more than this. it's seems too clean-ish and well done for me to enjoy it right now.

    edit: side two killed it, can't front.

  • yuichiyuichi Urban sprawl 11,329 Posts
    I got "Damn right i am somebody" and JB's "hustle with speed".

    Do I need this?

  • strataspherestratasphere Blastin' the Nasty 1,035 Posts
    yuichi said:
    I got "Damn right i am somebody" and JB's "hustle with speed".

    Do I need this?

    Yes, although Hustle With Speed is my number two favorite JB's lp followed by Food For Thought and the rest of them.

  • mattBmattB (FTB) Anywhere 673 Posts
    pickwick33 said:
    Wesley, in his autobiography
    "Hit Me, Fred?"
    A good read that one.

  • mattBmattB (FTB) Anywhere 673 Posts
    Not that anyone really cares, but Japanese original press with obi for the file:


  • Big_StacksBig_Stacks "I don't worry about hittin' power, cause I don't give 'em nuttin' to hit." 4,670 Posts
    Hey,

    "Doing it to Death" is straight heatrocks from beginning to end. After all these years, I still play this LP on the regular. Raj pretty much posted my favorite songs off this gem of an LP.

    Peace,

    Big Stacks from Kakalak
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