Down Beat - 2/97, p.565 Stars (out of 5)
- "...The feel is indeed different from his needle-sharp earlier band, but the funk gets longer, shaggier, messier--and not in a bad way....More pure, gritty joy-juice."
JazzTimes - 12/96, p.111
"...a crucial disc. Besides containing some of the Godfather's deadliest grooves, it traces the genesis of one of the '70s' most influential bands, i.e. Brown's original J.B.'s..."
Personnel: James Brown (vocals, piano); Bobby Byrd (vocals, organ); Phelps "Catfish" Collins, Hearlon "Cheese" Martin, Bobby Roach (guitar); Robert "Chopper" McCollough (tenor saxophone); St. Clair Pinckney (baritone saxophone); Jerone "Jasaan" Sanford, Clayton "Chicken" Gunnels, Daryl "Hasaan" Jamison (trumpet); Fred Wesley (trombone); William "Bootsy" Collins (bass); John "Jabo" Starks, Clyde Stubblefield (drums); Johnny Griggs (congas).
Compilation producers: Harry Weinger, Alan Leeds.
Engineers include: Ron Lenhoff.
Recorded at Starday Studios, Nashville, Tennessee; King Studios, Cincinnati, Ohio; Bobby Smith Studios, Macon, Georgia; Rodel Studios, Washington, DC between April 25, 1970 and January 26, 1971. Includes liner notes by Alan Leeds.
Digitally remastered by Gary N. Mayo (Polygram Studios).
Personnel: James Brown (vocals, piano); Bobby Byrd (vocals, organ); Hearlon "Cheese" Martin (guitar); Robert McCollough (tenor saxophone); St. Clair Pinckney (baritone saxophone); Clayton "Chicken" Gunnells, Darryl "Hasaan" Jamison (trumpet); Fred Wesley (trombone); Clyde Stubblefield, John Starks (drums); Johnny Griggs (congas).
Audio Mixer: Joseph M. Palmaccio.
Liner Note Author: Alan Leeds.
Recording information: Bobby Smith Studios, Macon, GA (04/25/1970-01/26/1971); King Studios, Cincinnati, OH (04/25/1970-01/26/1971); Rodel Studios, WA (04/25/1970-01/26/1971); Starday Studios, Nashville, TN (04/25/1970-01/26/1971).
Photographers: Guy Ferrell; Charles Stewart ; Bootsy Collins.
Subtitled 1970: A BRAND NEW THANG, this year was indeed a pivotal one for James Brown. His entire band quit and he quickly assembled a new and much smaller outfit centered around 18-year-old bass whiz Bootsy Collins. Where his previous Flames had been choreographed to turn or stop on a dime both on stage and on record, this youthful new combo, dubbed the J.B.'s, had an unruly quality; they were an edgier, scruffier lot.
The selections on this collection feature numerous previously unreleased unedited takes and alternate mixes. Brown recorded at a furious pace, with "Sex Machine" bringing him out of a commercial slump. However, barely a year later, the Hardest Working Man in Show Business was again without a band when Bootsy quit, taking most of the other members with him.