Down Beat - 2/97, p.565 Stars (out of 5)
- "...the diamond mine for hip-hop samplers, par excellence....Brilliant, revealing selections..."
Personnel includes: James Brown (vocals, electric piano, organ); Hearlon "Cheese" Martin (vocals, guitar); St. Clair Pinckney (vocals, flute, tenor saxophone); Jerone "Jasaan" Sanford, Russell Crimes (vocals, trumpet); Fred Wesley (vocals, trombone); Bobby Byrd (vocals, piano, organ); Fred Thomas (vocals, bass); John "Jabo" Starks (vocals, drums); Hugh McCracken (electric guitar); Jimmy "Chank" Nolen (guitar, background vocals); Maceo Parker (flute, alto saxophone, background vocals); Alfred "Pee Wee" Ellis (tenor & baritone saxophones); Michael Brecker (tenor saxophone); Isiah "Ike" Oakley, Darryl "Hasaan" Jamison (trumpet, background vocals); Marvin Stamm, Randy Brecker, John Faddis, Lew Soloff (trumpet); Richard Tee (organ); Buster Williams (bass); Billy Cobham, Steve Gadd (drums).
Producer: James Brown.
Compilation producers: Harry Weinger, Alan Leeds.
Engineers: Bob Both, Lowell Dorn, Ron Lenhoff.
Recorded between April 8, 1971 and March 18, 1975. Includes liner notes by Harry Weinger and Alan Leeds.
Digitally remastered by Gary N. Mayo (PolyGram Studios).
Personnel: James Brown (vocals, rap vocals, organ); Bobby Byrd (vocals, organ); Martha Harvin, Vicki Anderson, Danny Ray (vocals); Sam T. Brown (guitar, acoustic guitar); David Spinozza (guitar, bass guitar); Robert Coleman , Hearlon "Cheese" Martin, Jimmy Nolen, Joe Beck , Charlie Brown (guitar); Hugh McCracken (electric guitar); Maceo Parker (flute, alto saxophone); Joe Farrell (flute, tenor saxophone, horns); Seldon Powell (flute, tenor saxophone); David Sanborn, Jimmy Parker (alto saxophone); Pee Wee Ellis (tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone); Eldee Williams, Michael Brecker (tenor saxophone); Russell Crimes, Isiah "Ike" Oakley, Jerone "Jasaan Sanford" Melson, Darryl "Hasaan" Jamison, Danny Stiles, Jon Faddis, Marvin Stamm, Randy Brecker (trumpet); James Buffington (French horn); Fred Wesley (trombone); Richard Tee (organ); John Morgan (drums, tambourine); Jimmy Madison, John Starks, Steve Gadd , Billy Cobham, Allan Schwartzberg (drums); Johnny Griggs (congas, tambourine); Johnny Scotton, Jeanette "Baby" Washington, Bobby Roach, Maretha Stewart, Hilda Harris, Tasha Thomas (background vocals).
Liner Note Authors: Harry Weinger; Alan Leeds.
Recording information: A&R Studios, New York, NY (04/08/1971-03/18/1975); And R Studios (04/08/1971-03/18/1975); Bobby Smith Studios (04/08/1971-03/18/1975); Capri (04/08/1971-03/18/1975); Capricorn Studios (04/08/1971-03/18/1975); King Studios (04/08/1971-03/18/1975); King Studios, Cincinnati, OH (04/08/1971-03/18/1975); Rodel Studios (04/08/1971-03/18/1975); Rodel Studios, Washington DC (04/08/1971-03/18/1975); Soundcraft (04/08/1971-03/18/1975); Starday Studios (04/08/1971-03/18/1975); Starday Studios, Nashville, TN (04/08/1971-03/18/1975).
Arrangers: David Matthews ; Fred Wesley.
As the Godfather of Soul moved into the thoroughly funky days of the early '70s, his music became looser, rawer, and groovier than ever. This two-disc set is the definitive collection of Brown's work from that period, replete with Fred Wesley's punchy horn arrangements, the JBs' airtight, seamless grooves, and Mr. Dynamite's gut-pulling grunts and paint-peeling screeches. While many consider this era to be the twilight of the chart-ruling success Brown enjoyed in the '60s, there is no denying the overwhelmingly infectious power of these cuts.
"Hot Pants," "Get It On The Good Foot," "Think," "The Payback," and "Funky President" are alone worth the price of the set, but listeners get 21 slices of uncut funk to boot. The JBs' trademark sound is in full flower here--bright, steady guitar riffs, snares cracking like loud punches to the head, the horns adding accents and embellishments, the bass extending tendrils to reach your legs and get them moving. Through it all, the man himself once again claims his right to the get-down crown.