The Bottom Line
- All of James Brown's most recognizable and influential hits are indeed here.
- The sequencing allows Brown's soul and funk sides to shine separately.
- The remastering is state of the art.
- Fans of Brown's early R&B work won't find it here -- this is strictly for neophytes.
- No extended "part 2" workouts here, but that's to be expected.
- Release date: March 27, 2007
- Polydor 000854902
- Greatest Hits
- Single disc
Guide Review - James Brown -- Number 1s CD review
That said, it's his funk output that's mostly spotlighted here: anyone looking for "Please Please Please" or something off of Live At The Apollo will have to shell out a few extra bucks for some of the larger compilations. "Try Me" and "It's A Man's Man's Man's World" fit in nicely at the beginning of this CD with his early experiments in inverting the rock and roll beat, but from then on it's all about the one and the three -- a cornucopia of funk's greatest grooves, from "Sex Machine" to "My Thang" to "Hot Pants," all in their original one-part 45 single versions so you can get used to the beat without getting bogged down in it.
If all this means next to nothing to you, worry not: you actually know more of these grooves than you realize, as James has been endlessly featured on movie soundtracks and sampled by hip-hop's greatest hitmakers. Once you digest this, you can pick up Apollo, the Foundations of Funk series, or even Star Time to get the other pieces of the puzzle. One disc can't hope to sum him up, but hey: they didn't call him The Hardest Working Man in Show Business for nothing.