Over the past couple of years, Brooklyn-based soul singer, Charles Bradley has not only become a JOVM mainstay, the “Screaming Eagle of Soul” has become a national and international sensation with the release of a documentary about his life, Charles Bradley: Soul of America and the release of his critically praised and commercially successful first two albums, No Time For Dreaming and Victim of Love. Bradley has also developed a reputation for an incredibly heartfelt and powerful live show that has lead him to playing Bonnaroo, Coachella, Glastonbury, Primavera Sound Festival, The Apollo Theater, The Beacon Theatre and countless other venues of adoring fans across the globe.
April 1 2016 will mark the release of Bradley’s third full-length album Changes named after his popular and achingly soulful cover of Black Sabbath‘s “Changes” with Daptone Records labelmates The Budos Band, which was initially released as a Record Store Day 45 a couple of years ago. And with the forthcoming release of Changes, it’ll mark the first time that Bradley’s rendition of the song will be available digitally, as it’ll also appear on the album. As Bradley noted in press notes “I think about the lyrics very closely when I sing “Changes” and get emotional. It makes me think of my mother and the changes in my life since she passed away.” With that in mind, the song has an even deeper sense of ache — and a profound sense of loss that the original version doesn’t have.
Interestingly, the emotions at the heart of Bradley’s cover are what eventually lead to the final cut of the music video. Initially, the video was supposed to be shot in Times Square and feature the Screaming Eagle of Soul singing along to the track; however, the video’s director, Eric Feigenbaum of Remedial Media was drawn to take of Bradley looking straight at the camera and telling the story of the song (and of his life, really) with his eyes — and reacting in the moment to the song. As Feigenbaum mentioned in press notes, “We only did that once. By the end of the take, everybody in the room was holding back tears.”
Check out how Charles Bradley’s cover compares to Black Sabbath’s legendary song, below.