Charles Bradley – Listen to the Previously Unreleased Song “Can’t Fight the Feeling”

Black Velvet Due Out November 9 via Dunham/Daptone

Oct 18, 2018 Photography by Isaac Sterling
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Modern soul legend Charles Bradley passed away in September 2017 due to cancer at age 68. Back in September 2018 the labels Dunham and Daptone announced a final Bradley album, Black Velvet, and shared a video for its first single, "I Feel a Change." Black Velvet is due out November 9, which is four days after what would have been his 70th birthday. Now another song from the album has been shared, "Can't Fight the Feeling." Listen below.

Black Velvet features 10 studio recordings "never before included on any album." Bradley's longtime producer, co-writer, and friend Tommy "TNT" Brenneck put together the album and re-discovered "Can't Fight the Feeling," a track recorded around 2007 and featuring Menahan Street Band.

Brenneck had this to say about the song in a press release: "For some reason I always thought we hadn't finished the vocal track but, to my surprise, not only was it finished, it was a powerful performance by Charles and the band is on fire to boot... Why it didn't make No Time for Dreaming? I have no idea."

A previous press release described the album in more detail: "Though chronologically the material spans Charles' entire career, this is no anthology, greatest hits or other shallow rehashing of the songs that already made him famous. Rather, this album is a profound exploration through the less-travelled corners of the soulful universe that Charles and his longtime producer, co-writer and friend Tommy 'TNT' Brenneck created in the studio together over their decade-long partnership."

The album includes never before heard new studio songs recorded during the sessions for his previous albums ("Can't Fight the Feeling," "Fly Little Girl," and "I Feel a Change"). There are rarities, including LaRose Jackson duet "Luv Jones," "(I Hope You Find) The Good Life," and the alternate full band electric version of "Victim of Love." Then there are covers, including Nirvana's "Stay Away," Neil Young's "Heart of Gold," and Rodriguez's "Slip Away." The title track, "Black Velvet," is a Menahan Street Band instrumental to which Bradley was never able to record a vocal for.

In the previous press release, producer Brenneck had this to say about "I Feel a Change," which was recorded during the Victim of Love sessions: "Horns and organ were recorded later adding a haunting beauty to the otherwise a cappella intro. The lyrics are 100% Charles. Personal yet abstract. Directly from the heart. He truly loved the expression 'going through changes' and this was a few years before we would record our rendition of Sabbath's 'Changes' with the Budos. Sadly Charles never got to hear the finished version of this beautiful song."

Bradley became a successful musician late in life. 2011's debut album, No Time for Dreaming, was released when Bradley was 62. Soul of America, Poull Brien's documentary on Bradley, followed in 2012. Bradley then released two more albums, 2013's Victim of Love and 2016's Changes.

All throughout he was a tireless and energetic performer, still channeling James Brown (whom he once impersonated), but now with his own music. Performing to his limit in his 60s garnered him respect and acclaim. Bradley also had a special bond with his audiences. As he told us in an interview in 2016: "When you look at the expressions on the people's faces, and you can see some of your own life in their faces and the changes that some people are going through. That's why sometimes I like to go into the audience and just hug them, especially when I see someone hurting. People come to the front of the stage, and they whisper in my ear and tell me about their personal lives."

Bradley sometimes performed with label-mate Sharon Jones, another modern soul legend who also found success late in life and passed away due to cancer in 2016.

Read our 2016 interview with Bradley about Changes.

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Acacia hary
October 18th 2018
8:54pm

The song “Can not resist the feeling” very well. I have heard many times. I love listening
happy wheels

New Year Quotes
October 19th 2018
3:45am

Great article. I’m dealing with some of these issues as well..