wed 24/07/2024

Charles Bradley, 'Top Boy' soulman | reviews, news & interviews

Charles Bradley, 'Top Boy' soulman

Charles Bradley, 'Top Boy' soulman

Singer gets record deal after decades of trying

Soul kitchen: Bradley worked for decades as a full-time chef photo: Manfred Werner - Tsui

Not only was Channel 4's Top Boy a brilliant slice of TV drama, but it delivered a neat little pay-off over the closing credits with Charles Bradley's track "The World (Is Going Up in Flames)".  An anguished chunk of classic soul, sung by Bradley in a gutsy James Brown-style rasp, it sounded at least 40 years old, but in fact it was only released in 2007 on Daptone Records' subsidiary, Dunham.

Bradley's story could make a thrilling TV biopic of its own. Born in Gainesville, Florida in 1948 and raised in Brooklyn, Bradley experienced a miserably impoverished childhood, but yearned to get into music after seeing James Brown perform at the Apollo in Harlem in 1962. Instead, he ended up becoming a chef, working all over the States and in Canada while playing music on the side. He finally got a chance at a record deal when he was spotted by Daptone's Gabriel Roth while he was doing James Brown routines in Brooklyn clubs under the pseudonym Black Velvet. It seems the death of Bradley's brother in a shooting incident served as a catalyst to help unleash his songwriting skills, which had lain dormant until he was in his fifties. The eventual result was Bradley's debut album, No Time for Dreaming, released earlier this year. Read all about it on Bradley's website.

Watch a video of Charles Bradley singing "The World (Is Going Up in Flames)"

The death of Bradley's brother in a shooting incident helped to unleash his dormant songwriting skills

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Loved this track from the second I heard it, so much that I cut up two copies of it on the last mix I did, you can hear that here: Charles' track starts at about 6:30 min. Much love to Mr Bradley!

Hate to disappoint you but this is not the track that plays over the closing credits of Episode 4 of Top Boy. Great track though and rest of the album's pretty good too.

This person is correct. The video and song you wrote about is absolutely not the closing track to Top Boy, Season1, ep. 4

Top Boy episode 1.4 at the end you man walks up stair case onto rooftop over looking city track is playing "where did we go wrong tear this city down build it up to tear it down " can anyone tell me who sang this song .

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