According to Billboard, “Soul” appears in its original version, as a demo, an instrumental and as the audio from MTV’s “52 Bands.”
“The song was written about James Brown — from an admirer’s perspective … someone who had truly personified everything that we are,” says lead singer Cee-Lo.
Gnarls Barkley played a 2006 show in London the same night Brown was playing, and had been offered the chance to attend by Brown’s manager. But the timing didn’t work out, and Brown died a few months later.
“It disappointed me so bad,” Cee-Lo says. “It was almost like he was about to pass a torch to me. It’s my assumption but that’s also my aspiration. When I say, ‘I lay my own soul down,’ it’s like, I will have to be my own hero. I will have to save my own soul. Therefore, it is very painful, but there’s also a silver lining.”
Having toured since April in support of its second album, “The Odd Couple,” Gnarls Barkley will stay put for the time being while plotting its next move.
“We really want people to hear this song, and hopefully this EP will carry it on,” says group member Danger Mouse.
The digital EP also includes a live performance of “Neighbors” from the 40-Watt Club in Athens, Ga., and the non-album track “Mystery Man.”