The Godfather Of Soul Better Known As James Brown

2300 words - 9 pages

Curatorial Project: James Brown in Michael Jackson’s Life

1. Topic Question:

Unquestionably one of the most influential musical pioneers of the last half-century, James Brown, often known as “The Godfather of Soul”, laid a musical foundation that many artists were influenced by. Ranging from Mick Jagger to Afrika Bambaataa to Jay Z, Brown’s musical characteristics can be seen in various artists. How did the music of Michael Jackson demonstrate the influence of James Brown?

2. Introduction:

“The Godfather of Soul”, better known as James Brown grew to be one of the most influential artists in Michael Jackson’s life. As a child Michael Jackson was intrigued by Brown’s flamboyant performances on stage and would soon begin to implement them into his own stage acts. By the age of five Michael Jackson was already sealed into a world of show business by his father, Joseph Jackson. Deprived of a childhood at a very young age, Michael and his siblings began a family-musical group called “The Jackson 5.” They began playing the soul hits they listened to on the radio all across the country. The band toured the Midwest extensively from 1966 to 1968, frequently performing at clubs and bars. In 1966, they won a major local talent show with renditions of Motown hits and a cover of “I Feel Good (I Got You)” by James Brown. It wasn’t until July 23, 1968 where they received major recognition by Motown owner, Berry Gordy. Gordy was reluctant to sign the “Jackson 5” but after their audition performance of the song “I Got the Feelin”, by James Brown, he changed his mind. In March 1969, “The Jackson 5”, were officially signed into Motown records. This marked a historical point in Michael Jackson’s life where his musical influences from James Brown would be noticed. Song’s from Michael Jackson that show the influence James Brown had in his life are: Don’t Stop’ Til You Get Enough, Billie Jean, Thriller, Smooth Criminal and Beat It.

3. Song List:

• Don’t Stop’ Til You Get Enough
o Michael Jackson
o Recorded in 1978
• Billie Jean
o Michael Jackson
o Recorded in 1982
• Thriller
o Michael Jackson
o Recorded in 1982
• Smooth Criminal
o Michael Jackson
o Recorded in 1987
• Beat It
o Michael Jackson
o Recorded in 1982

3. Song Discussion:

Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough

Michael Jackson’s “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough” was credited as a disco-funk song. It was recorded under Epic Records in 1978 and released on July 28, 1979 in his fifth studio album “Off the Wall”. It became Jackson’s first single to hit the United States Billboards Hot 100 in seven years. All across the world, the song placed within the top ten charts. After a few months of release, the song became gold then eventually platinum. “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough” was Jackson first solo recording in which he had total control. The lyrics of the song were confused as being a reference to sex but Jackson later clarified that it could be about whatever people wanted them to be about. Throughout the...

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