“Sad!”: The key escaped me for a while here, since the main chord, C minor, appears only as the upper part of the first chord, A♭Maj7, and then as an inversion, Cm/G. And the synth-trumpet riff doesn’t use the tonic, either. But then, lucky for us thumb-suckers always crying for our tonal blankies, the main vocal motif that starts all the stanzas is a classic “me-re-do” tonic returner. The choruses here are doubled up with no variation, the instrumental bridge is basically just the intro again, and for goodness sake, there’s only one verse! I mean, when a song is this simple, you gotta guess that the ultra-restraint was premeditated.
This album also did two things beyond Brown himself. First, it would help cement soul and funk as commercially viable mainstream music genres. Soul could be fun, loud, raucous and youthful; not just sentimental and romantic. Secondly, it demonstrated the power of a live album to make money, and assured record producers and labels alike that consumers would be willing to buy the same songs on two different albums if one was live.