James Brown - I Lost Someone

James Brown

I Lost Someone

King Records

Release Date: November 28th, 1961

Words by: Whaley Big Jesus
February 26th, 1962

As Eddie Murphy put it: 'No one can understand what the f*** James is saying.'

Imagine my surprise then, when I stumble over this early James Brown track and am blown away not just by the power of his voice, but also by the sentimental lyric.

James Brown's music was always about wearing his heart on his sleeve. He always delivered with his own unique brand of shrieks and grunts, but quite often what he was actually saying was lost somewhere in translation.

James Brown - I Lost Someone

However, that's simply not the case with 'I lost someone'. We are drawn in by the clarity of lines like, 'I need someone who don't let my heart bleed,' whilst still being bowled over by the the out-and-out power of the man's voice.

In following the peaks and troughs of this tune, it's also notable how James's voice – when at full stretch – seems to clip the decibel limit of the old 58′ vocal mic, which gives the recording a nice natural distortion and tape warble.

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