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TURN-ONS AND TURN-OFFS IN CURRENT HOME ENTERTAINMENT RELEASES : Excellent Good Fair Poor : VIDEOCASSETTES

July 29, 1986|DENNIS HUNT | Terry Atkinson

"James Brown Live in London." Sony. $29.95. Taped last year, this 56-minute concert is just a C-minus effort for Brown, who can still be a passionate, riveting performer. It's basically a greatest hits show, with songs like "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag" and a speeded-up, chaotic version of his gem "Please, Please, Please." There are annoying lulls as the singer endlessly stretches some of the ballads. That old Brown groove is crackling on some numbers but creaking on most others. Normally powerful and robust, his band has a frail, tinny sound, probably due to faulty sound recording. Brown and his band were just caught on an off night.

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