[R.I.P.] James Brown (12/25/06) Soul Brother #1
- Legendary Singer James Brown Dies at 73
By GREG BLUESTEIN 12.25.06, 3:10 AM ET
James Brown, the dynamic, pompadoured "Godfather of Soul," whose
rasping vocals and revolutionary rhythms made him a founder of rap,
funk and disco as well, died early Monday, his agent said. He was 73.
Brown was hospitalized with pneumonia at Emory Crawford Long Hospital
on Sunday and died around 1:45 a.m. Monday, said his agent, Frank
Copsidas of Intrigue Music. Longtime friend Charles Bobbit was by his
side, he said.
Copsidas said Brown's family was being notified of his death and that
the cause was still uncertain. "We really don't know at this point
what he died of," he said.
Along with Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan and a handful of others, Brown
was one of the major musical influences of the past 50 years. At
least one generation idolized him, and sometimes openly copied him.
His rapid-footed dancing inspired Mick Jagger and Michael Jackson
among others. Songs such as David Bowie's "Fame," Prince's "Kiss,"
George Clinton's "Atomic Dog" and Sly and the Family Stone's "Sing a
Simple Song" were clearly based on Brown's rhythms and vocal style.
If Brown's claim to the invention of soul can be challenged by fans
of Ray Charles and Sam Cooke, then his rights to the genres of rap,
disco and funk are beyond question. He was to rhythm and dance music
what Dylan was to lyrics: the unchallenged popular innovator.
"James presented obviously the best grooves," rapper Chuck D of
Public Enemy once told The Associated Press. "To this day, there has
been no one near as funky. No one's coming even close."
His hit singles include such classics as "Out of Sight," "(Get Up I
Feel Like Being a) Sex Machine," "I Got You (I Feel Good)" and "Say
It Out Loud - I'm Black and I'm Proud," a landmark 1968 statement of
"I clearly remember we were calling ourselves colored, and after the
song, we were calling ourselves black," Brown said in a 2003
Associated Press interview. "The song showed even people to that day
that lyrics and music and a song can change society."
He won a Grammy award for lifetime achievement in 1992, as well as
Grammys in 1965 for "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag" (best R&B recording)
and for "Living In America" in 1987 (best R&B vocal performance,
male.) He was one of the initial artists inducted into the Rock and
Roll Hall of Fame in 1986, along with Presley, Chuck Berry and other
He triumphed despite an often unhappy personal life. Brown, who lived
in Beech Island near the Georgia line, spent more than two years in a
South Carolina prison for aggravated assault and failing to stop for
a police officer. After his release on in 1991, Brown said he wanted
to "try to straighten out" rock music.
From the 1950s, when Brown had his first R&B hit, "Please, Please,
Please" in 1956, through the mid-1970s, Brown went on a frenzy of
cross-country tours, concerts and new songs. He earned the
nickname "The Hardest Working Man in Show Business."
With his tight pants, shimmering feet, eye makeup and outrageous
hair, Brown set the stage for younger stars such as Michael Jackson
In 1986, he was inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. And rap
stars of recent years overwhelmingly have borrowed his lyrics with a
digital technique called sampling.
Brown's work has been replayed by the Fat Boys, Ice-T, Public Enemy
and a host of other rappers. "The music out there is only as good as
my last record," Brown joked in a 1989 interview with Rolling Stone
"Disco is James Brown, hip-hop is James Brown, rap is James Brown;
you know what I'm saying? You hear all the rappers, 90 percent of
their music is me," he told the AP in 2003.
Born in poverty in Barnwell, S.C., in 1933, he was abandoned as a 4-
year-old to the care of relatives and friends and grew up on the
streets of Augusta, Ga., in an "ill-repute area," as he once called
it. There he learned to wheel and deal.
"I wanted to be somebody," Brown said.
By the eighth grade in 1949, Brown had served 3 1/2 years in Alto
Reform School near Toccoa, Ga., for breaking into cars.
While there, he met Bobby Byrd, whose family took Brown into their
home. Byrd also took Brown into his group, the Gospel Starlighters.
Soon they changed their name to the Famous Flames and their style to
In January 1956, King Records of Cincinnati signed the group, and
four months later "Please, Please, Please" was in the R&B Top Ten.
While most of Brown's life was glitz and glitter, he was plagued with
charges of abusing drugs and alcohol and of hitting his third wife,
In September 1988, Brown, high on PCP and carrying a shotgun, entered
an insurance seminar next to his Augusta office. Police said he asked
seminar participants if they were using his private restroom.
Police chased Brown for a half-hour from Augusta into South Carolina
and back to Georgia. The chase ended when police shot out the tires
of his truck.
Brown received a six-year prison sentence. He spent 15 months in a
South Carolina prison and 10 months in a work release program before
being paroled in February 1991. In 2003, the South Carolina parole
board granted him a pardon for his crimes in that state.
Soon after his release, Brown was on stage again with an audience
that included millions of cable television viewers nationwide who
watched the three-hour, pay-per-view concert at Wiltern Theatre in
Adrienne Brown died in 1996 in Los Angeles at age 47. She took PCP
and several prescription drugs while she had a bad heart and was weak
from cosmetic surgery two days earlier, the coroner said.
More recently, he married his fourth wife, Tomi Raye Hynie, one of
his backup singers. The couple had a son, James Jr.
Two years later, Brown spent a week in a private Columbia hospital,
recovering from what his agent said was dependency on painkillers.
Brown's attorney, Albert "Buddy" Dallas, said singer was exhausted
from six years of road shows.
James Brown, 'Soul Brother No. one,' dies at 73
By JPOST.COM STAFF
James Brown, known as "the Godfather of Soul," died aged 73, his
agent said on Monday morning.
Brown was a seminal force in the evolution of gospel and rhythm and
blues into soul and funk. He has also left his mark on numerous other
musical genres, including rock, jazz, reggae, disco, dance and
electronic music, and hip-hop music.
Brown began his professional music career in 1953 and skyrocketed to
fame in the late 1950s and early 1960s on the strength of his
thrilling live performances and a string of smash hits. In spite of
various personal problems and setbacks, he continued to score hits in
every decade through the 1980s.
In the 1960s and 1970s Brown was a presence in American political
affairs, noted especially for his activism on behalf of African
Americans and the poor.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
James Joseph Brown, Jr. (May 3, 1933 - December 25, 2006) was an
African American entertainer who is recognized as one of the most
influential figures in 20th century music. As a prolific singer,
songwriter, bandleader and record producer, Brown was a seminal force
in the evolution of gospel and rhythm and blues into soul and funk.
He has also left his mark on numerous other musical genres, including
rock, jazz, reggae, disco, dance and electronic music, and hip-hop
Brown began his professional music career in 1953 and skyrocketed to
fame in the late 1950s and early 1960s on the strength of his
thrilling live performances and a string of smash hits. In spite of
various personal problems and setbacks, he continued to score hits in
every decade through the 1980s. In the 1960s and 1970s Brown was a
presence in American political affairs, noted especially for his
activism on behalf of African Americans and the poor (as well as his
outspoken support for Richard Nixon).
Brown is recognized by a plethora of (mostly self-bestowed) titles,
including Soul Brother Number One, Mr. Dynamite, the Hardest-Working
Man in Show Business, Minister of The New New Super Heavy Funk, Mr.
Please Please Please, The Boss, and the best-known, the Godfather of
Soul. He is renowned for his shouting vocals, feverish dancing and
unique rhythmic style.
On December 25 2006, around 1:45 a.m. "The Godfather of Soul" James
Brown passed away. Brown was hospitalized Sunday at Emory Crawford
Long Hospital with pneumonia.
Brown was born in the small town of Barnwell in Great Depression-era
South Carolina as James Joseph Brown, Jr; as an adult, Brown would
legally change his name to remove the "Jr." designation. Brown's
family eventually moved to nearby Augusta, Georgia. During his
childhood, Brown helped support his family by picking cotton in the
nearby fields and shining shoes downtown. In his spare time, Brown
variously spent time either practicing his skills in Augusta-area
halls, or committing petty crimes. At the age of sixteen, he was
convicted of armed robbery and sent to a juvenile detention center
upstate in Toccoa from 1948.
While in prison, Brown later made the acquaintance of Bobby Byrd,
whose family helped Brown secure an early release after serving only
three years of his sentence, under the condition that he not return
to Augusta or Richmond County and that he would try to get a job.
After brief stints as a boxer and baseball pitcher (a career move
ended by leg injury) Brown turned his energy toward music.
The beginnings of the Famous Flames
Brown and Bobby Byrd's sister Sarah performed in a gospel group
called "The Gospel Starlighters" from 1955. Eventually, Brown joined
Bobby Byrd's group the Avons, and Byrd turned the group's sound
towards secular rhythm and blues. Now called The Famous Flames, Brown
and Byrd's band toured the Southern "chitlin' circuit", and
eventually signed a deal with the Cincinnati, Ohio-based King
Records, presided over by Syd Nathan.
The group's first recording and single, credited to "James Brown with
the Famous Flames", was "Please, Please, Please" (1956). It was a #5
R&B hit and a million-selling single. However, their subsequent
records failed to live up to the success of "Please, Please, Please".
After nine failed singles, King was ready to drop Brown and the
Flames until the success of their 1958 single "Try Me." While not a
big hit, it went to number forty-eight on the Billboard Hot 100,
which was enough to keep the group working Southern one-night stands.
 Nearly all of the group's releases were written or co-written by
Brown, who assumed primary control of the band from Byrd and
eventually began billing himself as a solo act with The Famous Flames
as his backup.
These early recordings, also including "I'll Go Crazy" (1959)
and "Bewildered" (1960), were fairly straightforward gospel-inspired
R&B compositions, heavily inspired by the work of contemporary
musicians such as Little Richard and Ray Charles. Yet the songs were
already marked by a rhythmic acuity and vocal attack that would later
become even more pronounced, contributing to the developing style
that would eventually be called "funk". Brown, in fact, called Little
Richard his idol, and credited Little Richard's saxophone-studded mid-
1950's road band The Upsetters as the first to put the funk in the
rock and roll beat. 
Brown's arrangements and instrumentation, initially standardized,
began to give way to more improvisational and rhythm-heavy tracks
such as 1961's #5 R&B hit "Night Train", arguably the first single to
showcase the beginnings of what today is considered the "James Brown
sound". Except for declamatory ad-libs by Brown, "Night Train" is
completely instrumental, featuring prominent horn charts and a fast,
highly accented rhythm track.
"Papa gets a brand new bag"
While Brown's early singles were major hits in the southern United
States and regularly became R&B Top Ten hits, he and the Flames were
not nationally successful until his self-financed live show was
captured on the LP Live at the Apollo in 1962, released without the
consent of his label King Records.
Brown followed this success with a string of singles that, along with
the work of Allen Toussaint in New Orleans, essentially defined funk
music. 1964's "Out of Sight" was, even more than "Night Train" had
been, a harbinger of the new James Brown sound. Its arrangement was
raw and unornamented, the horns and the drums took center stage in
the mix, and Brown's vocals had taken on an even more intensely
rhythmic feel. However, Brown violated his contract with King again
by recording "Out of Sight" for Smash Records; the ensuing legal
battle resulted in a one year ban on the release of his vocal
The mid-1960s was the period of Brown's greatest popular success. Two
of his signature tunes, "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag" and "I Got You
(I Feel Good)," both from 1965, were Brown's first Top 10 pop hits as
well as major #1 R&B hits, remaining the top-selling single in black
venues for over a month apiece. His national profile was further
boosted that year by appearances in the films Ski Party and the
concert film The T.A.M.I. Show, in which he upstaged The Rolling
Stones. In his concert repertoire and on record, Brown mingled his
innovative rhythmic essays with ballads such as "It's a Man's Man's
Man's World" (1965), and even Broadway show tunes.
Brown continued to develop the new funk idiom. "Cold Sweat" (1967), a
song with almost no chord changes, was considered a departure even
compared to Brown's other recent innovations. Critics have since come
to see it as a high-water mark in the dance music of the 1960s; it is
sometimes called the first "true" funk recording.
Brown would often make creative adjustments to his songs for greater
appeal. He sped up the released version of "Papa's Got a Brand New
Bag" to make it even more intense and commercial. He also began
spinning off new compositions from the grooves of earlier ones by
continual revision of their arrangements. For example, the hit "There
Was a Time" emerged out of the chord progression and rhythm
arrangements of the 1967 song "Let Yourself Go."
The late 1960s: "Ain't It Funky Now"
Brown employed musicians and arrangers who had come up through the
jazz tradition. He was noted for his ability as a bandleader and
songwriter to blend the simplicity and drive of R&B with the rhythmic
complexity and precision of jazz. Trumpeter Lewis Hamlin and
saxophonist/keyboardist Alfred "Pee Wee" Ellis (the successor to
previous bandleader Nat Jones) led the band; guitarist Jimmy Nolen
provided percussive, deceptively simple riffs for each song; Maceo
Parker's prominent saxophone solos provided a focal point for many
performances. Other members of Brown's band included stalwart singer
and sideman Bobby Byrd; drummers John "Jabo" Starks, Clyde
Stubblefield, and Melvin Parker (Maceo's brother); saxophonist St.
Clair Pinckney; trombonist Fred Wesley; guitarist Alphonso "Country"
Kellum; and bassist Bernard Odum.
As the 1960s came to a close, Brown refined his funk style even
further with "I Got the Feelin'" and "Licking Stick-Licking Stick"
(both recorded in 1968), and "Funky Drummer" (recorded in 1969). By
this time Brown's "singing" increasingly took the form of a kind of
rhythmic declamation that only intermittently featured traces of
pitch or melody. His vocals, not quite sung but not quite spoken,
would be a major influence on the technique of rapping, which would
come to maturity along with hip hop music in the coming decades.
Supporting his vocals were instrumental arrangements that featured a
more refined and developed version of Brown's mid-1960s style. The
horn section, guitars, bass, and drums all meshed together in strong
rhythms based around various repeating riffs, usually with at least
one musical "break".
Brown's recordings influenced musicians across the industry, most
notably Sly and his Family Stone, Charles Wright & the Watts 103rd
Street Rhythm Band, Booker T. & the M.G.'s, and soul shouters like
Edwin Starr , Temptations David Ruffin and Dennis Edwards, and a then-
prepubescent Michael Jackson, who took Brown's shouts and dancing
into the pop mainstream as the lead singer of Motown's The Jackson 5.
Those same tracks would later be resurrected by countless hip-hop
musicians from the 1970s on; in fact, James Brown remains the world's
most sampled recording artist, and "Funky Drummer" is itself the most
sampled individual piece of music.
The content of Brown's songs was now developing along with their
delivery. Socio-political commentary on the black person's position
in society and lyrics praising motivation and ambition filled songs
like "Say It Loud - I'm Black and I'm Proud" (1968) and "I Don't Want
Nobody to Give Me Nothing (Open Up the Door I'll Get It Myself)"
(1970). However, while this change gained him an even greater
position in the black community, it lost him much of his white
audience who could no longer relate to his lyrics.
The 1970s: The JB's
By 1970, most of the members of James Brown's classic 1960s band had
quit his act for other opportunities. He and Bobby Byrd employed a
new band that included future funk greats such as bassist Bootsy
Collins, Collins' guitarist brother Phelps "Catfish" Collins, and
trombonist/musical director Fred Wesley. This new backing band was
dubbed "The JB's", and made their debut on Brown's 1970 single "(Get
Up I Feel Like Being a) Sex Machine". Although it would go through
several lineup changes (the first in 1971), The JB's remain Brown's
most familiar backing band.
As Brown's musical empire grew (he bought radio stations in the late
1960s, including Augusta's WRDW, where he had shined shoes as a boy),
his desire for financial and artistic independence grew as well. In
1971, he began recording for Polydor Records; among his first Polydor
releases was the #1 R&B hit "Hot Pants (She Got To Use What She Got
To Get What She Wants)". Many of his sidemen and supporting players,
such as Fred Wesley & the JB's, Bobby Byrd, Lyn Collins, Myra Barnes,
and Hank Ballard, released records on Brown's subsidiary label,
People, which was created as part of Brown's Polydor contract. These
recordings are as much a part of Brown's legacy as those released
under his own name, and most are noted examples of what might be
termed James Brown's "house" style. The early 1970s marked the first
real awareness, outside the African-American community, of Brown's
achievements. Miles Davis and other jazz musicians began to cite
Brown as a major influence on their styles, and Brown provided the
score for the 1973 blaxploitation film Black Caesar.
In 1974 Brown performed in Zaire as part of the build up to the The
Rumble in the Jungle fight between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman.
His 1970s Polydor recordings were a summation of all the innovation
of the last twenty years, and while some critics maintain that he
declined artistically during this period, compositions like "The
Payback" (1973); "Papa Don't Take No Mess" and "Stoned to the Bone"
(1974); "Funky President (People It's Bad)" (1975); and "Get Up Offa
That Thing" (1976) are still considered among his best.
Into the late-1970s and 1980s
By the mid-70s, Brown's star-status was on the wane, and key
musicians such as Bootsy Collins had begun to depart to form their
own groups. The disco movement, which Brown anticipated, and some say
originated, found relatively little room for Brown; his 1976 albums
Get Up Offa That Thing and Bodyheat were his first flirtations
with "disco-fied" rhythms incorporated into his funky repertoire.
While 1977's Mutha's Nature and 1978's Jam 1980's generated no
charted hits, 1979's The Original Disco Man LP is a notable late
addition to his oeuvre. It contained the song "It's Too Funky in
Here," which was his last top R&B hit of the decade.
Brown experienced something of a resurgence in the 1980's,
effectively crossing over to a broader, more mainstream audience. He
made cameo appearances in the feature films The Blues Brothers,
Doctor Detroit, and Rocky IV, as well as being a guest star in the
Miami Vice episode "Missing Hours" in 1988. He also released Gravity,
a modestly popular crossover album, and the hit 1985 single "Living
in America". Acknowledging his influence on modern hip-hop and R&B
music, Brown collaborated with hip-hop artist Afrika Bambaataa on the
single "Unity", and worked with the group Full Force on a #5 R&B hit
single, 1988's "Static," from the hip-hop influenced album "I'm Real".
In spite of his return to the limelight, by the late 1980s, Brown
met with a series of legal and financial setbacks. In 1988, he was
arrested following a high-speed car chase down Interstate 20 in
Augusta. He was imprisoned for threatening pedestrians with firearms
and abuse of PCP, as well as for the repercussions of his flight.
Although he was sentenced to six years in prison, he was eventually
released in 1991 after having only served three. A new album called
Love Overdue was released that same year, with the new single "Move
During the 1990s and 2000s, Brown was repeatedly arrested for drug
possession and domestic abuse. However, he has continued to perform
regularly and even record, and has made appearances in television
shows and films such as Blues Brothers 2000. The 1991 four-CD box set
Star Time spans his four-decade career. Nearly all his earlier LPs
have been re-released on CD, often with additional tracks and
commentary by experts on Brown's music. In 1993, James Brown released
a new album called Universal James, which spawned the singles "Can't
Get Any Harder", "How Long" and "Georgia-Lina". In 1995, the live
album Live At The Apollo 1995 was released, featuring a new track
recorded in the studio called "Respect Me". It was released as a
single that same year. A megamix called "Hooked on Brown" was
released as a single in 1996. And in 1998, James Brown released a new
studio album, I'm Back, featuring the single "Funk On Ah Roll".
In 2002, James Brown released the album The Next Step, which features
the single "Killing is Out, School is In." Brown appeared at
Edinburgh 50,000 - The Final Push, the final Live 8 concert, on July
6, 2005, where he did a duet with British pop star Will Young
on "Papa's Got A Brand New Bag." He also did a duet with another
British pop star, Joss Stone, a week earlier on the UK chat show
Friday Night with Jonathan Ross. He will perform a duet with singer
Annie Lennox on the song "Vengeance" on her new album Venus,
scheduled for release in early 2007.
In 2006, Brown continued his "Seven Decades Of Funk World Tour", to
be his last, performing all over the world. His latest shows were
still greeted with positive reviews.
On November 14, 2006, Brown was inducted to the UK Music Hall of
Fame. He was one of several inductees that performed at the ceremony.
Brown was admitted to the Emory Crawford Long Hospital in Atlanta,
Georgia on December 24, 2006 after a dentist visit where he was found
to be ill. Apparently, Brown passed away the next day, on Christmas
morning, of heart failure. 
Personal life and dedications to Brown
Brown has been married four times. He and his last wife Tommie Raye
Hynie were married in 2002, but the marriage was annulled. They
remarried in 2004 and had one child together. Brown also had two
children by his first wife, Velma Warren, and three more by his
second, Deidre Jenkins. Adrienne Rodriegues, Brown's wife through
most of the 1980s and 1990s, had him arrested four times on charges
of assault, and like him had problems with drug abuse.
James Brown lived in a riverfront home in Beech Island, South
Carolina, directly across the Savannah River from Augusta. On
November 11, 1993, Augusta mayor Charles DeVaney held a ceremony
during which Augusta's 9th Street was renamed "James Brown Boulevard"
in the entertainer's honor. On May 6, 2005, as a seventy-second
birthday present for James Brown, the city of Augusta unveiled a
seven-foot bronze statue of Brown. The statue was to have been
dedicated a year earlier, but the ceremony was put on hold because of
a domestic abuse charge Brown was facing at the time. He later
forfeited bond on the domestic abuse charge.
On August 22, 2006, the Augusta-Richmond County Coliseum Authority
voted to rename the city civic center the James Brown Arena.
Illness and death
On December 24, 2006, Brown was admitted to Emory Crawford Long
Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia, for severe pneumonia. News Story On
December 25, 2006, around 1:45 a.m. (EST) (06:45 UTC) Brown died
after being hospitalized the day before with pneumonia. James
leaves behind four ex-wives, five children.
Brown was a recipient of Kennedy Center Honors for 2003, and a
scheduled 2004 unveiling of a statue of Brown in Augusta was delayed
because of James Brown's ongoing legal problems.
Brown's eyebrows are tattoos.
In December 2004 Brown was diagnosed with prostate cancer, which was
successfully treated with surgery.
Brown collaborated in the production of Soul Survivor -- The James
Brown Story with English director Jeremy Marre.
Brown holds the record for the artist who has charted the most
singles on the Billboard Hot 100 without ever hitting number one on
At around the time of his legal troubles in the late 1980s, there
happened to be a Supreme Court vacancy. Late-night talk-show host
Arsenio Hall proposed nominating Brown, because "He's black, he's
liberal... and he's familiar with the court system!"
A mistaken news broadcast reported him as dead in 1992. A sample of
that broadcast became the basis of a techno hit for L.A. Style
called "James Brown Is Dead".
James Brown Jr. was featured as a recurring character on Mad TV,
played by Aries Spears. The portrayal was an humorously exaggerated
parody of Brown's energetic performing style.
Brown is the subject of the Tom-Tom Club's 1982 hit song, "Genius of
Brown's 1976 single "Hot" (I Need To Be Loved, Loved, Loved, Loved)"
(R&B #31) was a cover of David Bowie's "Fame", not the other way
around. The funky riff was provided to co-writers Lennon/Bowie by
guitarist Carlos Alomar.
"Funky President" and "The Payback" were included in the videogame
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, playing on fictional radio station
Master Sounds 98.3.
"The Payback" was prominently played in the film Lock, Stock and Two
Brown's works have been sampled by a number of the most popular rap
artists of the 80's, 90's and 00's.
The Godfather of Soul appeared on the wrestling Pay-Per-View WCW
Superbrawl 2000, dancing alongside wrestler Ernest "The Cat" Miller.
Top ten singles
These singles reached the top ten on either the Billboard Hot 100 or
the Billboard Top R&B Singles charts.
1956: "Please, Please, Please" (R&B #5)
1959: "Try Me" (R&B #1, U.S. #48)
1960: "Think" (R&B #7, U.S. #33)
1961: "Baby, You're Right" (R&B #2, U.S. #49)
1961: "Bewildered" (R&B #8, U.S. #40)
1961: "I Don't Mind" (R&B #4, U.S. #47)
1962: "Lost Someone" (R&B #2, U.S. #48)
1962: "Night Train" (R&B #5, U.S. #35)
1963: "Prisoner of Love" (R&B #6, U.S. #18)
1965: "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag" - Part I (R&B #1, U.S. #8)
1965: "I Got You (I Feel Good)" (R&B #1, U.S. #3)
1966: "Ain't That a Groove" Pts. 1 & 2 (R&B #6, U.S. #42)
1966: "Don't Be A Drop-Out" (R&B #4, U.S. #50)
1966: "It's a Man's Man's Man's World" (R&B #1, U.S. #8)
1966: "Sweet Little Baby Boy" - Part 1 (U.S. #8)
1967: "Cold Sweat" - Part 1 (R&B #1, U.S. #7)
1967: "Let Yourself Go" (R&B #5, U.S. #46)
1968: "I Can't Stand Myself (When You Touch Me)" (R&B #4, U.S. #28)
1968: "I Got The Feelin'" (R&B #1, U.S. #6)
1968: "Licking Stick - Licking Stick" - Part 1 (R&B #2, U.S. #14)
1968: "Say it Loud - I'm Black and I'm Proud" - Part 1 (R&B #1, U.S.
1968: "There Was A Time" (R&B #3, U.S. #36)
1969: "Ain't It Funky Now" (R&B #3, U.S. #24)
1969: "Give It Up Or Turnit A Loose" (R&B #1, U.S. #15)
1969: "I Don't Want Nobody To Give Me Nothing (Open Up The Door, I'll
Get It Myself)" (R&B #3, U.S. #20)
1969: "Let A Man Come In And Do The Popcorn" - Part One (R&B #2, U.S.
1969: "Mother Popcorn (You Got To Have A Mother For Me)" Part 1(R&B
#1, U.S. #11)
1970: "Get Up (I Feel Like Being Like A) Sex Machine" (Part 1)" (R&B
#2, U.S. #15)
1970: "Santa Claus Is Definitely Here To Stay" (U.S. #7)
1970: "Super Bad" - Part 1 & Part 2 (R&B #1, U.S. #13)
1971: "Escape-ism" - Part 1 (R&B #6, U.S. #35)
1971: "Get Up, Get Into It, Get Involved" - Pt. 1 (R&B #4, U.S. #34)
1971: "Hot Pants (She Got To Use What She Got To Get What She
Wants)" Part 1 (R&B #1, U.S. #15)
1971: "I'm A Greedy Man" - Part I (R&B #7, U.S. #35)
1971: "Make It Funky" - Part 1 (R&B #1, U.S. #22)
1971: "Soul Power" - Pt. 1 (R&B #3, U.S. #29)
1972: "Get On The Good Foot" - Part 1 (R&B #1, U.S. #18)
1972: "King Heroin" (R&B #6, U.S. #40)
1972: "Talking Loud And Saying Nothing" - Part I (R&B #1, U.S. #27)
1973: "Down And Out In New York City" (R&B #13, U.S. #50)
1973: "I Got A Bag Of My Own" (R&B #3)
1973: "Sexy, Sexy, Sexy" (R&B #6, U.S. #50)
1974: "Funky President" (People It's Bad)" (R&B #4, U.S. #44)
1974: "My Thang" (R&B #1, U.S. #29)
1974: "Papa Don't Take No Mess" - Part I (R&B #1, U.S. #31)
1974: "Stoned To The Bone" - Part 1 (R&B #4, U.S. #58)
1974: "The Payback" - Part I (R&B #1, U.S. #26)
1976: "Get Up Offa That Thing" (R&B #4, U.S. #45)
1985: "Living in America (R&B #10, U.S. #4)
1987: "How Do You Stop" (R&B #10)
1988: "I'm Real" (R&B #2)
1988: "Static, Pts. 1 & 2" (with Full Force) (R&B #5)
The question of which are the most critical albums of Mr. Brown's
career is debatable. Until the early 1970s he was famous mostly for
his roadshow and singles rather than his albums (his live LPs being a
major exception). Many of his early albums include tracks that were
recorded in the studio and later overdubbed with the sounds of a live
audience in an attempt to recreate the explosive excitement of the
original Live at the Apollo. Four James Brown albums, all but one of
them compilations, appear on Rolling Stone's 2003 list of the 500
greatest albums of all time:
Live at the Apollo (1963)
In the Jungle Groove (1986)
Star Time (1991)
20 All-Time Greatest Hits! (1991)
The following albums, originally released as double LP records,
feature extensive playing by the legendary JB's. They have been a
prolific source of samples for later musical artists:
The Payback (1973)
Get on the Good Foot (1972)
The Live at the Apollo Vol. 2 double LP album, released in 1968, was
notably influential on then-contemporary musicians. It remains an
example of Mr. Brown's highly energetic live performances and
audience interaction, as well as documenting the metamorphosis of his
music from R&B and soul styles into hard funk.
In addition to the career-spanning Star Time, Polydor released a
series of CD collections devoted to specific periods in Brown's long
career, similar to Columbia Records' Miles Davis boxed sets.
Roots of a Revolution (2 CD; covers 1956-1964)
Foundations of Funk: A Brand New Bag, 1964-1969 (2 CD)
Funk Power 1970: A Brand New Thang (1 CD)
Make It Funky - The Big Payback: 1971-1975 (2 CD)
Dead on the Heavy Funk, 1975-1983(2 CD)
Two other collections anthologize Brown's instrumental recordings
with his 60s band and the JBs:
Soul Pride: The Instrumentals (1960-69) (2 CD)
Funky Good Time: The Anthology (2 CD; covers 1970-1976)