Thursday, July 2, 2009

ROCK Sex: "Fame" - James Brown > David Bowie > James Brown

ROCK Sex meets you again on the flipside.

Here's another example of one artist who inspires another artist who re-inspires the first artist, using the classic song "Fame".


James Brown upended the pop melody formula by perfecting purely rhythmic vamps into a new dance music called Funk. He emphasized driving beat, hypnotic length, and scratchy rhythm guitar:

JAMES BROWN -"The Payback (Part 1)" (1974)

David Bowie and John Lennon sparked the song "Fame" during an impromptu studio jam, built on a riff by guitarist Carlos Alomar. Carlos had toured with James Brown in '69 and the song is a sonic love letter, or payback, to James' style:

DAVID BOWIE -"Fame" (1975)

James must've felt turnabout was fair play because he used that very arrangement the following year:

JAMES BROWN -"Hot (I Need To Be Loved, Loved, Loved)" (1976)

"Fame, it's not your brain, it's just the flame
That burns your change to keep you insane"

© Tym Stevens

See Also:
-The Real History of Rock and Soul!: A Music Player Checklist

No comments: