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In a 1980 consumer guide to James Brown's albums following the dissolution of King Records, Robert Christgau of The Village Voice gave Black Caesar a "D+" and stated, "You listen to Brown for music, not songs, but that's no reason to expect good soundtrack albums from him. He should never be allowed near a vibraphone again."
In a retrospective review, Mark Deming of Allmusic gives the album three-and-a-half out of five stars and feels that, "like most soundtrack albums of the period, Black Caesar sounds rather scattershot, especially when the music is divorced from the film's narrative," but observed "several top-notch tracks", including "The Boss", "Make It Good to Yourself", and "Mama's Dead". Deming adds that "Fred Wesley's superb horn charts, Jimmy Nolen's percussive guitar, and Jabo Starks' dead-on-the-one drumming make even the weaker instrumental cuts worth a quick listen". Dave Thompson calls it a "kick-ass soundtrack" and "nothing short of a full frontal funk assault."
|1.||"Down and Out in New York City"||Bodie Chandler, Barry De Vorzon||4:43|
|2.||"Blind Man Can See It"||James Brown, Charles Bobbit, Fred Wesley||2:18|
|3.||"Sportin' Life"||Brown, Bobbit, Wesley||3:50|
|5.||"The Boss"||Brown, Bobbit, Wesley||3:14|
|6.||"Make It Good to Yourself"||Brown, Bobbit, Wesley||3:18|
|7.||"Mama Feelgood" (Performed by Lyn Collins)||Brown, Lyn Collins||3:29|
|8.||"Mama's Dead"||Brown, Wesley||4:47|
|9.||"White Lightning (I Mean Moonshine)"||Brown, Bobbit, Wesley||2:40|
|10.||"Chase"||Brown, Bobbit, Wesley, Jan Hammer||2:38|
|11.||"Like It Is, Like It Was"||Brown||3:51|
- Charles Bobbit – Composer
- Bob Both – Mixing, Production Supervisor
- James Brown – Arranger, Composer, Conductor, Primary Artist, Producer, Vocals
- Bodie Chandler – Composer
- Lyn Collins – Composer, Primary Artist
- Barry De Vorzon – Composer
- Jeff Faville – Redesign
- Jan Hammer – Composer
- Joseph M. Palmaccio – Digital Remastering
- Harry Weinger – Liner Notes
- Fred Wesley – Arranger, Composer
|U.S. Billboard Top LP's & Tape||31|
|U.S. Best Selling Soul LPs||2|