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What were the 80 most important musical recordings, artists, trends, events, and performances of 2008? What were the eight things this year that broke our hearts—or, at least, our ears? We’re happy to announce 80 ’08 (and Heartbreak), Idolator’s year-end overview. The list is below the jump.
You want a Great Pop Moment? James Brown playing Boston Garden right after MLK’s assassination, having it broadcast live on TV, and having the city respond by largely staying home and not destroying the city—that’s one for the ages. Which makes it kind of odd that no one thought to write a book about it until now.
This past weekend I picked up I Got the Feelin’: James Brown in the ’60s, a three-DVD set on Shout! Factory featuring a documentary about Brown’s legendary Boston concert the night of Martin Luther King’s murder, footage of that same show, and Man to Man, a 1968 TV special shot in concert at Harlem’s Apollo Theater, with which Brown had some familiarity. The latter occupies the third disc of the set, which also includes a version of “Out of Sight” Brown performed for the 1964 film The T.A.M.I. Show.
My post on James Brown’s “Living In America” reminded me of a sorta-sketched-out theory I have about the evolution, and devolution, of recent years’ musical landscape: There are few musical icons from the glory days of rock and pop who didn’t make at least one indescribably awful career choice during the 1980s. (Some of the artists haven’t even recovered yet.) Evidence for this theory after the jump, along with one striking exception who leads me to believe that the product of an idle mind forced to hear one too many Rod Stewart covers while waiting on line in Walgreens might actually be fact.
Yes, the cape worn by James Brown in Rocky IV–from which the tragic-in-countless-ways “Living In America” was spawned–is now up for sale on eBay. The details: “This amazing piece of soul history features plush blue and white stripes with the famous bull embroidered on the back. More »
Last week’s auction of James Brown’s belongings at the auction house Christie’s sounds like it was a pretty depressing affair, with a few C-list sightings (Paul Shaffer, Nicky Hilton, DJ Shadow) and a lot of malaise. The sale had been projected to bring in some $2 million, but all the items wound up fetching half that–$857,688, according to The New York Times. Brown’s children Yamma and Larry told the Times‘ Guy Trebay that the auction marked a “sad day” for the family, thanks to every item on the bill being forcibly sold no matter what price was offered and the likelihood of one collector buying up all the items and making them the cornerstone for a James Brown Memorial Museum being slim to none. There were, however, a few items that brought in surprisingly high dollar amounts.
A South Carolina judge has given the go-ahead to this Thursday’s auction of James Brown’s possessions. So, who wants to start passing the hat for an Idolator-reader bid on the blue cape pictured at right? More »