Nothing like waking up and beginning the day with Soul Brother No. 1 - Mr. James Brown. Today's Funky Friday selection is "Sex Machine." Released in 1970, "Sex Machine" is one of James' finest moments. This song is a perfect combination of drum, bass, guitar, and two voice call and response. In fact, rock critic Robert Christgau believes, "that when James modulates to the bridge it's like the Spirit of God moving upon the face of the waters. After that he could describe his cars for three sides and get away with it." "Sex Machine" is a perfect funk song.
Now, one can't talk about "Sex Machine" without mentioning Led Zeppelin's "The Crunge." Released in 1973, "The Crunge" was originally a drums and bass workout for John Bonham and John Paul Jones. Robert Plant added some lyrics paying homage to the James' "Sex Machine" funk vibe, throwing in a bunch of references to other artists such as Wilson Picket and Otis Redding, and one of his most famous ad-libs, in his best Masterpiece Theatre accent, "Where's that confounded bridge?" Long before I discovered James Brown I used to dismiss this song. Simply put, I hated this song. After I found James and realized it was ok to like "black music" I circled back to "The Crunge" and understood it's beauty and the bit about the bridge.