Guardian - Page 2

Say It Loud: It’s The Worst Music Article Of The Year!

Brian Raftery | January 8, 2007 2:05 am
Brian Raftery | January 8, 2007 2:05 am

There was little doubt that James Brown’s death on Christmas was going to inspire some posthumous re-appraisals (the guy was no angel, after all). But we didn’t expect anything like this piece from the U.K. Guardian, in which writer John Harris tries to be contrarian, but winds up coming off like an ill-informed turdsmith:

…let’s say it loud: funk is the worst musical genre ever invented, a big old stain on Brown’s CV and the cause of at least four decades of grinding misery.

This, I will allow, is less a matter of such trailblazing proto-funk Brown pieces as Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag, Sex Machine and I Got the Feelin’, as the ongoing nightmare of chronic indulgence and musical slop they undoubtedly spawned. If you doubt this, listen to the supposed high points of the genre: anything by the likes of Tower of Power, pre-disco Kool and the Gang, Cameo before they discovered pop music, or the woeful Ohio Players. And before anyone mentions the peak-period work of George Clinton, I say only this: hats off for the UFO, onstage fancy dress and occasional pearling tune, but did everything have to be so long? (I have a friend who saw Funkadelic in Manchester in 1975 – a six-hour performance, he says, that amounted to an experiment involving the limits of human endurance.)

And that’s just the beginning. Some more painful examples after the click-through.

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