Here’s an amazing film that captures the excitement and raw energy of James Brown in his prime.
The footage was taken on March 8, 1971, during a series of concerts Brown and his band gave at the Olympia theater in Paris. It offers a rare glimpse of the original lineup of the J.B.’s, the group Brown formed in 1970, about two years after the breakup of the Famous Flames.
The lineup includes William “Bootsy” Collins on bass and his older brother Phelps “Catfish” Collins on lead guitar, both of whom would leave the band a few months later. Famous Flames founder Bobby Byrd, who essentially discovered Brown in 1952, serves as organist, backup singer and master of ceremonies. The rest of the band are: Hearlon “Cheese” Martin on guitar, St. Clair Pinckney on tenor saxophone, Darryl “Hasaan” Jamison and Clayton “Chicken” Gunnells on trumpet, Fred Wesley on trombone, and John “Jabo” Starks and Don Juan “Tiger” Martin on drums.
The film was apparently shot during one performance, even though Brown is introduced twice and wears different clothing. According to reports, Brown took a break between “Sunny” and “It’s a New Day” while Byrd’s wife, Vicki Anderson, sang two songs that were cut from the film. Audio from the concert was released in 1992 as Love Power Peace: Live at the Olympia, Paris 1971. Here’s the set list from the film version, which differs slightly from the LP:
- Brother Rapp
- Ain’t It Funky Now
- Georgia On My Mind
- It’s a New Day
- Get Up (I Feel Like Being A) Sex Machine
- Try Me
- Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag/I Got You (I Feel Good)/I Got the Feelin’ (medley)
- Give It Up or Turn It a Loose
- It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World
- Please, Please, Please
- Get Up (I Feel Like Being A) Sex Machine (reprise)
- Super Bad
- Get Up, Get Into It, Get Involved
- Soul Power
- Get Up, Get Into It, Get Involved (finale)
h/t Ryan Jetten