Song of the Day: “Cold Sweat”

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James Brown is known for creating a thing called funk, but it was the song “Cold Sweat,” co-written with his bandleader Pee Wee Ellis and released in 1967, that truly encapsulated this new genre of music. The track exploded all kinds of boundaries. Without a distinct melody, it treated every piece as a rhythm instrument. In the two-part version lasting over seven minutes, Maceo Parker’s sax solo shines, and Brown yells, “Give the drummer some,” which leads into a solo by drummer Clyde Stubbefield. Over the years, DJs and producers have sampled “Cold Sweat” repeatedly, for good reason.


Read more of Max Gray at Big City Sasquatch or follow him on Twitter @City_Sasquatch. His fiction and nonfiction have appeared in Encounters, Mount Hope, Conte, tNY.press, and English Kills Review. He co-hosts the etymology podcast Words For Dinner and is a graduate of the Rutgers-Newark MFA program. More from this author →