After an unsuccessful attempt to market himself as "The Original Disco Man" at the end of the 70s, James Brown appeared in the movie "The Blues Brothers" in 1980. Still, neither the quality of his records nor the sales figures did live up to his work in the early years of the previous decade.

Meanwhile, the Rap DJs had begun to spin his records at the popular block parties in New York, years before the actual sampling of his grooves became popular. Afrika Bambaataa was the first artist to show honour and respect for James Brown by recording the single "Unity" with the Godfather in 1984. Two years later, James Brown enjoyed his biggest chart success since 1965 with the single "Living in America", the theme song from the movie Rocky IV. The album "Gravity" featured The Uptown Horns and Maceo Parker, Steve Winwood on organ , Stevie Ray Vaughan on guitar and T.M. Stevens on bass and backing vocals. In January 1986 James Brown was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. While the Rap artists had begun to extensively sample his 70s work without paying any royalties, his personal life came apart in 1988. Arrested on assault and drug possession charges, he was sentenced to a six-year prison term. James Brown was released in 1991. Unfortunately, he was not able to regain any of his former glory until today.

Recommended Listening:

Gravity 1985

Selected Album Discography:

Live In New York 1981

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