Reality (James Brown album)

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James Brown Reality.jpg
Studio album by
ProducerJames Brown
James Brown chronology
Sex Machine Today
Singles from Reality
  1. "Reality"
    Released: 1975
  2. "Funky President (People It's Bad)"
    Released: 1975

Reality is the 39th studio album by American musician James Brown. The album was released in 1974, by Polydor Records.[1][2]


Reality was released in late 1974.[1] It charted on the Billboard 200 for 10 weeks, peaking at number 56.[3]


Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic1.5/5 stars[1]
Robert ChristgauB-[4]

In a contemporary review, the NME reviewed both Reality and Breakin' Bread, stating that the album were "pretty much up to the standard of his last few [records]." which he found was both positive and negative noting that there has been no major progression in his music since 1972. The review concluded that both albums were "very well produced, exceedingly exciting and irresistible for dancing, but who needs James Brown & The J.B.'s when you can have The Fatback Band or B.T. Express?"[5]

AllMusic gave the album a negative review, noting that Brown's "insane schedule was catching up to him" and that it found him "at an artistic impasse."[1] The reviewer noted that "it was foolish to expect a "fun" album from Brown during this time. He seemed to view America as a doomed nation, and considered the gas shortage, Watergate, and unemployment lines as signs of the coming apocalypse. A hint of sadness and ennui cloaks over the album."[1] The review critiqued "The Twist" as Brown hitting a writer's block and that the cover of "Don't Fence Me In" was another sign of his "desperation". The review noted that the album contained "his worst ballads on record".[1]

Track listing[edit]

Track listing adapted from vinyl of Reality.[6]

All tracks are written by James Brown, except where noted.

Side one
1."Reality"James Brown, Fred Wesley, Gertrude Wesley4:41
2."Funky President (People It's Bad)" 4:28
3."Further On Up the Road"Bob Mack4:14
4."Check Your Body"Brown, F. Wesley4:31
5."Don't Fence Me In"Cole Porter3:57
Side two
6."All for One"Brown, F. Wesley6:38
7."I'm Broken Hearted" 4:28
8."The Twist"Hank Ballard4:09
9."Who Can I Turn To (When Nobody Needs Me)"Anthony Newley, Leslie Bricusse4:05


Credits adapted from back cover of Reality.[6]

  • James Brown – producer, arrangements
  • Fred Wesley – arrangements, production supervisor
  • Dave Matthews – arrangements on "The Twist"
  • Bob Both – engineer, production supervisor
  • David Stone – assistant engineer
  • Major – assistant engineer
  • Don Brautigam – illustration


  1. ^ a b c d e f Elias, Jason. "James Brown - Reality". AllMusic. Retrieved December 19, 2016.
  2. ^ "iTunes - Music - Reality by James Brown". Retrieved 2015-06-28.
  3. ^ "James Brown". Billboard. Retrieved December 19, 2016.
  4. ^ Christgau, Robert. "James Brown". Retrieved December 19, 2016.
  5. ^ Fisher, Bob (April 5, 1975). "James Brown: Reality and Breakin' Bread". NME. Retrieved December 19, 2016.
  6. ^ a b Reality (Media notes). James Brown. Polydor. 1974. PD 6039.CS1 maint: others (link)