Record Collector (magazine) - p.844 stars out of 5
-- "[A] tremendously absorbing collection of late 60s singles. Packed with seismic chunks of classic funk, it also includes rare B-sides..."
Personnel: James Brown (vocals, piano, organ); Bobby Byrd (vocals, celesta, organ); Vicki Anderson (vocals); Wallace Richardson, Alphonso "Country" Kellum, Jimmy Nolen, Troy Seals, Carl Lynch (guitar); Winston Collymore, Sant Ram, Harry Malnikoff, Sidney Edwards, Nick Hardone, Charles Libove, Matthew Raimondi, Harry Katzman, Selwart Clarke (strings); Walter Foster (harmonica); Les Asch (alto saxophone, tenor saxophone); Alfred Ellis (alto saxophone); St. Clair Pinckney (tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone); Pee Wee Ellis (tenor saxophone, organ); Eldee Williams, Maceo Parker (tenor saxophone); Dave Parkinson, Haywood Henry (baritone saxophone); Joe Dupars, Waymon Reed, Johnny Grimes , Joe Newman , Richard "Kush" Griffith (trumpet); Levi Rasbury (French horn, valve trombone); Fred Wesley, Garnett Brown, Jimmy Cleveland (trombone); Timothy Hedding, Ernie Hayes (piano); Clyde Stubblefield, John Starks, Beau Dollar Bowman (drums); Ron Selico (bongos); Rafael Rivera (timbales); Edward Williams (percussion).
Liner Note Author: Alan Leeds.
Photographers: Alan Leeds; Alfred Ellis.
Arrangers: James Brown; Nat Jones; Pee Wee Ellis; Sammy Lowe; Bobby Byrd .
The nearly four-dozen sides of genre-defining soul that James Brown committed to 7" vinyl between November of 1967 and January 1969 are gathered on Hip-O Select's two-CD limited-edition Singles, Vol. 5: 1967 -- 1969 (2008). As they have done on their four previous installments, co-producers Harry Weinger and Alan Leeds have spent literally hundreds of man-hours in the methodical restoration of Soul Brother #1's copious legacy and oft confusing discography. For this package, they anthologize one of Brown's most influential eras as the artist's insatiable quest to deliver rhythm & blues into newer and definitely funkier territory comes to a crucial crossroads. This reverberation would reflect a social upheaval simultaneously occurring across America. Perhaps the clearest indicator of Brown's place at the apex of the impending Black Pride revolution is that more than a quarter of these songs crossed from the R&B to the pop charts. Among them are classic grooves and even rare edits of such memorable titles as "I Can't Stand Myself (When You Touch Me)," "There Was a Time," "I Got the Feelin'," "Licking Stick, Pts. 1&2," "Say It Loud -- I'm Black and I'm Proud," "Goodbye My Love," and "Give It Up or Turnit a Loose" -- all of which made it into the Top 40 Pop Singles survey. In the spirit of completeness, monaural and stereophonic editions of "Licking Stick" are offered because -- as Weinger and Leeds refer to in the copious fact-filled, 28-page liner booklet -- both the "mono and stereo masters [of the song] were randomly interchanged at the King Records pressing plant." Another interesting anomaly is "Shades of Brown, Pt. 2." Although the selection is, in fact, the continuation of the B-side to "Goodbye by Love," it was Birmingham, AL disc jockey Steve "Soul" Myers' name on the label. Atypically, the A-side to "Shades of Brown, Pt. 2" isn't on this package. The compilers decision to exclude that may have had something to do with the fact that it wasn't officially credited to the artist, not to mention that the novelty platter was nothing more than a so-called "break-in" record. Here, clips from well-known classics are used as responses in what is set up as an interview. Vigilant enthusiasts can locate "James Brown -- A Talk with the News" on the 40th Anniversary Sampler (1996). Interestingly there are additional numbers not billed to James Brown or his Famous Flames. Among them are vocalist Vicki Anderson, who gets props on "You've Got the Power," while Bobby Byrd's "You've Got to Change Your Mind" and Marva Whitney's "You Got to Have a Job (If You Don't Work, You Can't Eat)" are also located here. Additionally, there is a reading of "There Was a Time" which was issued under the name of the Dapps featuring Alfred Ellis. This is the Famous Flames song with Alfred "Pee Wee" Ellis (sax) soloing where Brown's lead vocals had formerly been. The Dapps are given the nod for "Bring Up the Guitar" and "Gittin' a Little Hipper," while the remake of the O.C. Smith hit "Little Green Apples" b/w "Come on in the House" was done under the lengthy moniker Alfred "Pee Wee" Ellis featured with the James Brown Band. Finally, there are also a few very short spoken "Open End I.D.'s" that are not mentioned on the rear tray card song list, but are tucked between tracks 18 and 19 on disc two. These would have been used by radio stations in an attempt to personalize the James Brown cuts on their respective play lists. ~ Lindsay Planer