Charles Bradley, you already came back strong.
September 25, 2017 4:53 PM   Subscribe

The soul singer Charles Bradley died on Saturday morning, in Brooklyn. He was sixty-eight.
Obituary at the New Yorker
Trailer for the documentary Charles Bradley: Soul of America
A live set from 2011 recorded by KEXP Radio
posted by juv3nal (28 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
He was an incredible. I saw him perform in Sydney a couple of years back with the Alabama Shakes. Such a cathartic experience. I'm so glad he found a measure of success before he died and that people got to share his talent and generosity of spirit.
posted by misterbee at 5:00 PM on September 25, 2017 [2 favorites]

posted by Fizz at 5:16 PM on September 25, 2017

Such a beautiful human being. I wish he had more years to enjoy us enjoying his talent.

posted by lumpenprole at 5:23 PM on September 25, 2017

Just one example how good he was - the way he makes Black Sabbath's "Changes" his own.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 5:27 PM on September 25, 2017 [8 favorites]

A cover of Heart of Gold
Also a live take of Strictly Reserved For You
posted by juv3nal at 6:08 PM on September 25, 2017 [3 favorites]

This post from /r/Music is maybe the best thing, and I want to believe:
I was incredibly lucky to shoot a video for Charles a few years ago. Despite being absolutely shattered by his tour, he was still brimming with energy and incredibly sweet. Halfway through the shoot, he told me about his connection to swans and claimed to "know" every swan in the world personally, which I nodded along to while not really believing him. Fast forward a few hours and we've just wrapped a sequence in a park, and he notices a pond full of swans. He goes gently down on one knee and lo and behold, they all file out of the pond towards him. He begins stroking one of the swans on the head, like one would with a cat or dog, whispering calming words to it. As we leave, he doesn't take his eye off this one swan, and it opens its wings to him as a goodbye.

I swear Charles Bradley is magic. Rest in peace, wonderful man.
posted by jason_steakums at 6:18 PM on September 25, 2017 [22 favorites]

He had a wonderful voice, and I'm not surprised to hear he had a soul to match.

posted by Gelatin at 6:46 PM on September 25, 2017

This one really hurt.

I love soul music, and Bradley was one of the best. His albums have gotten me through some stuff. I started linking to some of my favorite songs of his, and realized that all of them are really fantastic. I'm glad we got to hear what we did. Thanks Charles Bradley.
posted by furnace.heart at 6:49 PM on September 25, 2017

All the stories I've been reading about how he would go into the audience and just start hugging everyone after the show are just breaking my heart. I'm so glad he got recognized in his life, but we should have had him sooner and for many years to come.
posted by jason_steakums at 6:52 PM on September 25, 2017 [2 favorites]

+1 on changes. wow. i only recently heard of cb and was looking forward to a tour.
posted by j_curiouser at 7:15 PM on September 25, 2017

posted by aesop at 7:39 PM on September 25, 2017

I was first introduced to his music through the game Sleeping Dogs, of all things. Something about "Take It As It Come" will always make me think of driving on the left-hand side of the road down the streets of Hong Kong.

posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 9:37 PM on September 25, 2017

A remembrance from Sean Michaels (MeFi’s Marquis) at Said the Gramophone.
posted by LeLiLo at 9:49 PM on September 25, 2017 [2 favorites]

posted by droplet at 9:56 PM on September 25, 2017

CBC's George Stroumboulopoulos had him on his show last year and replayed the segment on his show last night in remembrance. Strombo does great interviews and gets fantastic dialogue and performances. Highly worth the watch.

Charles Bradley, we'll miss your life, your kindness and your soul.
posted by ashbury at 10:03 PM on September 25, 2017

posted by nestor_makhno at 10:09 PM on September 25, 2017

"No Time for Dreaming" played on my car stereo during many an early morning commute when I'd been up four times nursing the baby. Got to get on up and do my thing.

posted by Ralston McTodd at 3:04 AM on September 26, 2017

posted by filtergik at 3:22 AM on September 26, 2017

posted by dinty_moore at 4:19 AM on September 26, 2017

posted by drezdn at 4:33 AM on September 26, 2017

posted by DigDoug at 6:42 AM on September 26, 2017


We saw him play at Loufest a few years ago and it was completely amazing. It was a show during the day and he could see the audience. Periodically, he'd stop singing to tell someone in the audience to keep dancing or "Get it!!" He was so sweet and kind and his voice was amazing. A true performer and a great loss.
posted by teleri025 at 7:09 AM on September 26, 2017 [1 favorite]

I found out about him first through the Luke Cage TV series. The show's main villain was a nightclub owner as his public face, and they'd sometimes use performances on the club's stage as a pseudo-bumper between scenes. Bradley was in one and I actually paused playing the episodes to Google "who the hell was that?"

Electrifying performer, and my heart sunk when I saw the news the other day.
posted by Quindar Beep at 7:19 AM on September 26, 2017 [2 favorites]

Bradley was in one and I actually paused playing the episodes to Google "who the hell was that?"

I paused it to Google if I was right in remembering that James Brown was dead.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 7:31 AM on September 26, 2017

I have long been a fan of Charles Bradley, but I never got to see him in a live performance. I had one chance a few years ago, but I fell ill and ended up giving my ticket to a friend. Reportedly he wore a cape on stage, put on an outstanding show, and gave everyone in the small audience a hug at the end.

I finally had another chance to see him perform live about a month ago, but that turned out to be the first show he canceled owing to his stomach cancer. Cancer is stupid.

posted by Hot Pastrami! at 8:16 AM on September 26, 2017 [1 favorite]

Requiem aeternam dona ei, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat ei. Requiescat in pace.

I don't know how I came across the link, but I first encountered Bradley in a video for “Why Is It So Hard” shot during a SXSW performance in 2011. I've been a fan ever since.

Matt Miller interviewed Bradley last summer where he said, "I want people to know what I've been through, and the love and the honesty that I have kept inside me. I just open my heart and let my heart go free."

I'm really going to miss him.
posted by ob1quixote at 12:34 PM on September 26, 2017 [2 favorites]

"No Time For Dreaming" was an album that I've long had bookmarked in [streaming music service of the moment], always intending to give it a serious listen... one of these days. Like too many other records, really.

I may be late to the party. But that record lives up to the hype. Wow.

It hasn't even been a year since Sharon Jones died. I feel like we're losing the musicians we need the most, just when we turn out to need them the most.
posted by Western Infidels at 2:00 PM on October 2, 2017

“Remembering Charles Bradley”—Daptone Records, 01 October 2017
posted by ob1quixote at 3:53 PM on October 2, 2017 [1 favorite]

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