Nick Hornby

Over-Refined Funk

Living in America - The Soul Saga of James Brown

By

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Cynthia Rose’s extended essay on James Brown is welcome not because it is particularly wonderful, but because I would as soon read an intelligent book about soul music as almost anything else. There are precious few of them: Nelson George’s The Death Of Rhythm and Blues and Where Did Our Love Go (readable, if a little overburdened with fussy detail) and Peter Guralnick’s brilliant Sweet Soul Music are three that spring to mind, but for the most part it is a musical genre that seems to attract more than its fair share of cranks and illiterates.

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