"Make It Funky, Pts. 3 & 4" - Fred Wesley

"Make It Funky, Pts. 3 & 4" (PDF) from the James Brown album, Get On the Good Foot.
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Like the Han Shot First debacle, and the botched restoration of Elias Garcia Martinez's Ecce Homo fresco painting, another historical piece of culture has been marred by a careless attempt at preservation.

The history of the James Brown tune, "Make It Funky" goes back to the year 1971, when a twelve-minute studio version was recorded to be released as a single.  Due the time constraints of 45 RPM records, only the first half of the recording was used and split onto side A and B of the single release, labeled as "Pts. 1 & 2" respectively.  The second half of the long jam was eventually released as its own single in 1972, using the same method, and appropriately labeled "Pts. 3 & 4."  Makes sense, right?

For the album, Get On the Good Foot, the inclusion of "Make It Funky, Pts. 3 & 4" simply could have been to fill space on the long-play format, assuming perhaps that the second single was not as widely distributed or available.  But at this point, the history of this album version seems to be unclear.  I could not locate an original release of the album, and I instead purchased a digital version from the iTunes store.  Upon the first listening of "Make It Funky, Pts. 3 & 4" it was clear that this version had been edited, due to the obvious fade-out and fade-in in the middle of the track.  I assumed that the digital version had be compiled from the 45 RPM release, which would explain the fading, until I noticed that Fred Wesley's trombone solo ends in the first half of the track and begins in the second.  For the album version, "Pts. 3 & 4" had been unknowingly swapped and mislabeled.

It boggles my mind as to how this may have happened, since it could even appear on the first vinyl pressing of the album, and it frustrates me as to why it has never been corrected.  Therefore, I can not recommend the purchase of the edited album version of "Make It Funky, Pts. 3 & 4."

Just to drive the point home, here is a YouTube video of the complete, unedited version of "Make It Funky."

Recommended Reading: Hit Me, Fred: Recollections of a Sideman by Fred Wesley Jr.  Published by Duke University Press.