Dating from 1967, Live at the Garden was one of James Brown's less auspicious releases, which is why it's taken so long to be reissued in this expanded format. In the first place, it wasn't actually recorded at Madison Square Garden, or even Kew, but at the Latin Casino, a New Jersey supper-club. To approximate the ambience of the larger venue, faked crowd noise was liberally ladled all over it, including a version of "Let Yourself Go" taken from an after-hours rehearsal. To squeeze the 150-minute show on to a 40-minute album, several of the best performances were either truncated or left off entirely, most notably a storming nine-minute version of "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag", which captures the Godfather on the cusp of his new funk sound, with Clyde Stubblefield and Jabo Starks's double-drum alliance locking into an ingenious syncopated propulsion of the kind that would, just a few weeks later, produce the seminal "Cold Sweat"; and an extended "It's a Man's Man's Man's World" – though the microphone placement on the strings is so bad they're left buried in the back of the mix. Both are restored on a second disc that also dispenses with the fake crowd noise, leaving one better able to track the lock-tight changes of rhythm, and appreciate the interlocking rhythm guitars of Chank Nolen.
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