Friday, January 05, 2007

The Godfather of Soul

Having just got a mention on Robert Elms' show (on BBC London Radio) for suggesting the Hoochie Coochie Man to add to his list of singers/musicians with epithetical names, a game inspired by the late great James Brown, seems like a good moment to reflect on the Godfather of Soul...

'Please Please Please' was just playing on the show and it really struck me how much Van the Man owes to Mr Dynamite in terms of the repetition and incantation of the words to the point where they take on a mantra-like rhythm and transcend their literal meaning.

Van plays a cracking version of It's a Man's World on his 'Live in San Francisco' record (featuring Pee Wee Ellis i think??) and often dropped a few bars of it into other songs during his live shows throughout the 90s, maybe still does.

So for that alone we owe the Godfather our heart-felt thanks.

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