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The One: The Life and Music of James Brown Hardcover – Bargain Price, March 15, 2012
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Top Customer Reviews
The One (which actually refers to the way that he emphasized the upbeat rather than the downbeat in his music) focuses on Brown's career path, as it should, but manages to get inside the man's head in a way that helps explain where much of his chronic reckless behavior originated. James Brown, like all of us, was the product of his environment, his deeper culture, and his upbringing. Unfortunately for those around him, he often embraced the worst elements of all three, making life for his several wives, his children, and his employees miserable, at best - and unsustainable, at worst.
Smith documents Brown's troubled life in great detail. The failed marriages, the thousands of women who kept him company on the road, the children (most of whom he hardly knew), the drug abuse of his later years, the susceptibility to physical violence he could not always control, his mental abuse of band members - it is all there.Read more ›
Let me start by saying that I personally have never been a fan of funk or soul music. I think that had I grown up in the era of their inception, I actually would love the music. So, in all honesty, I knew very little about James Brown going into this book. Many of the songs mentioned were unfamiliar to me. So, this book was really an introduction to the Godfather of Soul. And what a comprehensive introduction it was.
I felt like the book did a great job of establishing Brown's humble upbringings. I was pulled in at the very start, learning about his childhood. Being unfamiliar with the musical history of the South, I was fascinated to read about the wealth of talent to come from Georgia. I loved hearing how James Brown met Little Richard.
Similarly, I was really enthralled to read about the impact of the Civil Rights Movement on Brown. It was fascinating to learn the impact of the ever chancing sociopolitical situation, and how Brown both affected it and was affected by it. However, the middle section of the book was very heavy handed with details about the music, changes in band line up, and the ever elusive "One". To a music aficionado, or a huge Brown fan, I am sure this section of the book is interesting, but to me, I was a little lost.Read more ›
This is a difficult read for anyone who might ever have thought that Mr. Brown "walked on water" in spite of the ups and downs which started somewhere around 1975. In this book, Mr. Brown is portrayed as a rough, coniving, even paranoid individual who puts every so-called friend, employee and acquaintance to the test, with his conflicting opinions and routine. He is ruthless, immensely talented, unpredictable and fascinating. It hurts to hear stories of Mr. Brown wielding a gun and fireing shots in a nightclub.
I think the kindest chapter is #24, called "The Dancer." If you are a fan of JB, and you know someone who never was, let them read this one simple chapter. It presents, with great imagination, a stunning profile of a great man.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It was a very good book from the beginning to the end it was a great biography about James Brown I really enjoyed the book.Published 8 months ago by Kindle Customer
I met James at a black radio station in 1963 in Shreveport Louisiana. We all ordered fired shrimp from Freeman and Harris cafe.They had the best food in town. Read morePublished 8 months ago by John McGuire
Good start, boring middle. I tried to continue then wondered why put myself through it. Quit reading it which is very unusual for me.Published 12 months ago by Jean
Wow. I don't know how true this book is, but it doesn't paint a pretty picture of James Brown at all.Published 13 months ago by yulanda sedgwick
There are plenty of words/reviews written here. Let me say that if you're looking for THE book on James Brown, this is "The One".Published 14 months ago by G. Whiz