Top positive review
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on 9 January 2015
Revolution Of The Mind features a selection of tracks from live performances recorded at shows spanning a 3 day period at the Apollo Theater in New York during July 1971, presented on the album as a single concert.
The re-ordering of the setlist is a little obvious at the start with Brown's voice sounding hoarse and worn-out for the opening track (It's A New Day), before switching to full-power with the next (Bewildered). That aside, the rest of the CD flows so well that it's not obvious it's a patchwork selection. It sounds like one performance from start to finish, with the band and James Brown on fire throughout, burning their way through a Funk heavy setlist.
The mastering of the disc is excellent. This title has never been given a remaster since its original CD release in the early 1990's, so managed to avoid any "loudness war" issues. Consequently you can crank up the volume with pleasure.
1971 was clearly a peak year for James Brown as a live performer, so a comparison with the Love Power Peace CD recorded the same year is unavoidable, and it really is a toss-up as to which release is superior. Revolution Of The Mind has more of a high-octane Funked-up tracklist, whereas Love Power Peace is permeated with ballads. But Love Power Peace has the benefit of a good mix which gives a full punch to all the instruments, whereas Revolution Of The MInd serves more to showcase Brown's vocals at the expense of the band, unfortunately leaving the rhythm section somewhat in the shade. I would argue that given a remix to bring up the drums and bass and drop the vocals a little, Revolution Of The Mind would be THE killer James Brown live CD, no contest.
So to sum up, I'll give it a solid 4 star rating, held back from a 5 only by the mix.