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James Brown: Live at the Boston Garden - April 5, 1968 (2008)

James Brown  |  NR |  DVD
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

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James Brown: Live at the Boston Garden - April 5, 1968 + The T.A.M.I. Show Collector's Edition + Stax/Volt Revue Live In Norway 1967
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Product Details

  • Actors: James Brown
  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Shout Factory
  • DVD Release Date: January 27, 2009
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001N5BDKW
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #44,639 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

This is the actual April 5, 1968, concert James Brown gave at the Boston Garden on the day following the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King. American cities were already on fire, and the mayor of Boston considered cancelling the performance that evening. A deal was brokered for James Brown's show to be shot by Boston public television station WGBH and broadcast live to the whole city. James Brown gave the performance of his life. Contains bonus audio from the radio simulcast of the concert.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best February 20, 2009
This has got to be one of the greatest performances ever available on DVD. The incredible originality and talent of James Brown and his players are on full display in this 1968 concert. You can read elsewhere about the social setting and great contribution made by these musicians (and dancers); as well, rest assured, this is one of the greatest live performances you'll ever experience. James Brown is in his prime; totally confident, totally in sync, like his successor Prince an extraordinary singer, dancer, showman; his band is fully up to his standard. What a great DVD, and what a great price! Great crowd too.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply the best December 24, 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
My apologies to Tina Turner for stealing her song title, but there are no better words to describe James Brown in concert, and this video captures him at the very pinnacle of his incomparable talent. Just as James Brown's life had its glaring imperfections, this film, produced as it was on a public television station during an incendiary moment in American history, has some faults. The camera angles are often distracting, missing some of Brown's amazing dance moves, and the sound quality is lacking in spots. HOWEVER....the bottom line is this film, shot in black and white, captures both the unmistakable magnetic, almost hypnotic effect James Brown had on his audiences, and the aura of sheer energy and passion that succeeds in making you completely overlook any flaws. And for two hours, the film succeeds in showing James Brown somehow making the audience in Boston that night forget their angst and anger over the murder of Martin Luther King just the day before.

Throughout my nearly sixty years on Earth, I have had the good fortune of seeing literally hundreds of musical artists live, from Artur Rubenstein to Elvis Presley; Miles Davis to Bruce Springsteen, Tina to the Temptations. Most were extremely enjoyable if not memorable, but all of them take a back seat to the indelible performance I saw from James Brown on a cold winter night in February, 1969 at the Milwaukee Auditorium. Before now, the only DVD I had of James Brown live was a poor imitation shot at Montreaux in 1981 when he was clearly past his prime. When I serendipitously happened to see the Boston Concert available on Amazon, one I never knew even existed, I couldn't pull out my Visa fast enough, and was like a little kid again when the package arrived.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
While this is far from the best filmed James Brown concert technically and arguably even in terms of performance
but this film, off a rough B+W live broadcast for television has a good share of amazing moments.

It took place the day after the assassination of Martin Luther King, and cities across the US were in flames.
In an attempt to keep Boston calm, the mayor has Brown's concert broadcast live, and then re-run through the night.
It worked.

As for the concert, Brown is always a terrific performer, and especially the more bluesy numbers are great and feel heartfelt.

But perhaps more fascinating is the danger in the air, which almost comes to explosion when fans start climbing on the stage.
A very interesting historical document, and showcase of a performer going above and beyond.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
seems like every time he DROPS to one knee, and James does DROP, no punches pulled, amazed he still had knees left at the end, his pants leg all dusty, but he DROPS to one knee, the director cut to a camera in the back, as if he was going to start some Jimi Hendrix kinda of bump and grind thingie on the floor.

This is James, not Jimi; he drops, with style, and grace.

And the way they left the cameras off during his opening speech, about every time a brother is hurt in the ghetto, he feels it, because he is of the ghetto, and about how he started off as a three cent shoe shine boy and worked up to six cents, that speech needs seeing and hearing far more even than Mayor White's cry for interracial peace that night.

But the cameras were not yet on.

This is James Brown, y'all.
Ain't nothing but a party.

Okay, so it is after his huge shows, after so many of his records had become standard in the ghetto (not outside) and for years of his being king of the Apollo, but this is still James Brown.

Mostly it is just a groove show, with the best band in Rock and Roll (INCLUDING Maceo Parker!!) cooking, real tight, grooving, while Mr. Brown screams and wails, this is a tight show, ready to drop on a dime into any of his hits.

But he is not really putting up his hits like a juke box playing record after record. Mostly he sings a verse, a chorus from a hit and moves on, back into that groove. and dog it is hot, that groove, laid back, cooking.

This is what Jimi coulda been doing if he had not run off with the british boys to get his head destroyed, and then die, too.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars History On DVD March 11, 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Classic must see DVD, Master preformer with lot's of Heart.... On stage he was the Original. He put on a show that saved a city from burning!!! keep in mind, that the quality of the video is lacking. But it's the content that matters...
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Too dark
I was disappointed - I hope other material exist, which shows more of James' musicality..
On this disc, which is so dark You can hardly see the musicians let alone hear... Read more
Published 3 days ago by Mogens Jensen
5.0 out of 5 stars Get this DVD!
Fabulous early James Brown! The DVD is worth every penny just for the fact that it is James Brown doing what he does best....and that is entertain you as best as he can. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Richard E. Lyons
3.0 out of 5 stars I Love JB
I love James Brown so much!!! I was disappointed that the picture quality of this DVD was not great, and James Brown did not dance enough for me. I love watching him do the splits.
Published 6 months ago by Barbara A. King
5.0 out of 5 stars American History 101
James Brown performing on the day after Martin Luther King's death gives a snapshot of history few will ever forget. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Chris Lo Pinto
5.0 out of 5 stars REAL THING
This one is back in the day history and people should remember him on stages.The songs he made where simple outstanding.
Published 12 months ago by Jobabe
1.0 out of 5 stars An insult to the legacy of James Brown
This concert is obviously being marketed by it's historical context, taking place on the night after Dr. King's assassination. Read more
Published 14 months ago by James Martin
1.0 out of 5 stars i feel like i just threw a 50 dollar bill down th toilet ... or...
i feel like i just had a 100 dollar bill fly out of my back pocket,be gone with the wind!

the main song I wanted was I feel good...... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Russ H
1.0 out of 5 stars James is far better than this.
James Borwn, Live at Boston Garden 1966
This was filmed the day after Martin Luther King was murdered. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Don Drowty Sr.
4.0 out of 5 stars For James Brown matter what
Closely resembles a bootleg dvd but if it's sold on Amazon, I imagine the sale is legit and that the fair quality of the film is due to the technology and equipment available at... Read more
Published 15 months ago by HELEN M COLLINS
1.0 out of 5 stars Awaiting response
As I reported previously, I received the case, but the DVD wasn't in it. Please credit my account or send me my DVD!!!
Published 15 months ago by Lafayette Smith
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