Black Caesar (album)

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Black Caesar
Soundtrack album by James Brown
Released February 1973
Genre Funk[1]
Length 36:17
Label Polydor
Producer James Brown
James Brown chronology
Get on the Good Foot
Black Caesar
Slaughter's Big Rip-Off
Singles from Black Caesar
  1. "Down and Out in New York City"
    Released: 1973

Black Caesar is a soundtrack album recorded by James Brown for the film of the same name and released in 1973. The album also features The J.B.'s and Lyn Collins.[2]

Critical reception[edit]

In a 1980 consumer guide to James Brown's albums following the dissolution of King Records, Robert Christgau of The Village Voice gave Black Caesar a "D+" and stated, "You listen to Brown for music, not songs, but that's no reason to expect good soundtrack albums from him. He should never be allowed near a vibraphone again."[3]

In a retrospective review, Mark Deming of Allmusic gives the album three-and-a-half out of five stars and feels that, "like most soundtrack albums of the period, Black Caesar sounds rather scattershot, especially when the music is divorced from the film's narrative," but observed "several top-notch tracks", including "The Boss", "Make It Good to Yourself", and "Mama's Dead". Deming adds that "Fred Wesley's superb horn charts, Jimmy Nolen's percussive guitar, and Jabo Starks' dead-on-the-one drumming make even the weaker instrumental cuts worth a quick listen".[4] Dave Thompson calls it a "kick-ass soundtrack" and "nothing short of a full frontal funk assault."[1]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Down and Out in New York City"   Bodie Chandler, Barry De Vorzon 4:43
2. "Blind Man Can See It"   James Brown, Charles Bobbit, Fred Wesley 2:18
3. "Sportin' Life"   Brown, Bobbit, Wesley 3:50
4. "Dirty Harri"   Brown 1:29
5. "The Boss"   Brown, Bobbit, Wesley 3:14
6. "Make It Good to Yourself"   Brown, Bobbit, Wesley 3:18
7. "Mama Feelgood" (Performed by Lyn Collins) Brown, Lyn Collins 3:29
8. "Mama's Dead"   Brown, Wesley 4:47
9. "White Lightning (I Mean Moonshine)"   Brown, Bobbit, Wesley 2:40
10. "Chase"   Brown, Bobbit, Wesley, Jan Hammer 2:38
11. "Like It Is, Like It Was"   Brown 3:51


Credits for Black Caesar adapted from Allmusic.[5]

  • Charles Bobbit – Composer
  • Bob Both – Mixing, Production Supervisor
  • James Brown – Arranger, Composer, Conductor, Primary Artist, Producer, Vocals
  • Bodie Chandler – Composer
  • Lyn Collins – Composer, Primary Artist
  • Barry De Vorzon – Composer
  • Jeff Faville – Redesign
  • Jan Hammer – Composer
  • Joseph M. Palmaccio – Digital Remastering
  • Harry Weinger – Liner Notes
  • Fred Wesley – Arranger, Composer


Chart (1973) Peak
U.S. Billboard Top LP's & Tape[6] 31
U.S. Best Selling Soul LPs[7] 2


  1. ^ a b Thompson, Dave (August 1, 2001). Funk. Hal Leonard Corporation. p. 210. ISBN 0879306297. 
  2. ^ "James Brown – Black Caesar". Retrieved 21 September 2011. 
  3. ^ Christgau, Robert (June 9, 1980). "A Consumer Guide to James Brown". The Village Voice (New York). Retrieved January 19, 2013. 
  4. ^ Deming, Mark. "James Brown: Black Caesar > Review" at AllMusic. Retrieved 21 September 2011.
  5. ^ "Black Caesar - James Brown : Credits". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved January 19, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Top LP's & Tape". Billboard: 58. April 14, 1973. Retrieved January 19, 2013. 
  7. ^ "Best Selling Soul Singles & LP's". Billboard: 23. April 28, 1973. Retrieved January 19, 2013.