This past February 18, funk pioneer and renowned James Brown drummer Clyde Stubblefield passed away. To coincide with this month’s tribute to the innovator [page 44], we asked our social media followers to name the tracks they think stand out from Stubblefield’s career. Although Brown’s “Funky Drummer” and “Mother Popcorn” were certainly well-represented, “Cold Sweat” and “I Got the Feelin’” proved to be the most popular by a healthy margin. Here are some of the comments.
Check out the James Brown album In the Jungle Groove. It’s a great introduction to Clyde. Jabo is on the album too, and you can hear some of their best work. It’s a must-have album in general.
I love all of Stubblefield’s performances, but my favorite track is “Cold Sweat.” Clyde’s groundbreaking groove is the foundation of so much that followed in terms of having syncopated backbeats in popular music. Many people consider “Cold Sweat” to be the first real funk record. And it contains the immortal phrase “Give the drummer some.”
“Cold Sweat,” because it changed everything for me when I first heard it. It’s still my favorite drumbeat of all time.
“I Got the Feelin’” and “Mother Popcorn.” Stubblefield’s syncopated snare and bass drum interplay is crazy.
Of course the “Funky Drummer” break has to be mentioned. But my favorite is the groove in “Super Bad.” It’s so simple and it drives the whole song.
Another vote for “I Got the Feelin’.” Clyde’s drum part works so well with the horns and the bass line. Genius-level work.
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