Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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James Brown: The Original Disco Man [Polydor, 1979]
In which Brown relinquishes the profit-taking ego gratification of writing and producing everything himself. Those credits go to Brad Shapiro, Millie Jackson's helpmate, who thank god is no disco man himself. Sure he likes disco tricks--synthesized sound effects, hooky female chorus, bass drum pulse--but he loves what made JB, well, the original disco man: hard-driving, slightly Latinized funk patterns against the rough rap power of that amazing voice, which may have lost expressiveness but definitely retains its sense of rhythm. Plus: disco disc of the year, "It's Too Funky in Here." And a renunciation of "It's a Man's, Man's, Man's World." A-