James Brown – Godfather of Soul

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James Brown


James Brown, the renowned singer, producer and songwriter, released several albums throughout his successful musical career. Among these albums, a large amount of songs reached fame and acknowledgement. Throughout his career, Brown attained to reach, at least, 96 entries in the Billboard Hot 100 list, and, at least, 110 songs made its way to the Billboard R&B chart.

Some of them were due to collaborations with other bands or singers, but most of the famous songs in which Brown participated were singles. For example, along with Bobby Byrd’s “The Famous Flames”, Brown started to gain more fame, collaborating in many hits, like “Please, Please, Please”, the first hit in which James was involved. However, Brown’s career reached its apogee while producing solos. For instance, one of the most famous singles Brown produced and released was “I Got You (I Feel Good)”, perhaps the most iconic song of his career.

The most relevant albums in Brown’s career

Although Brown’s success was due, mostly, to some of the singles he released, the albums he produced (as a solo artist or in collaborations) contributed positively to the spread of his fame, and were also successful projects. Of course, some albums were more relevant than others. In fact, four of them were included in Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time, made in 2003. These were:

  • #25: Live at the Apollo (1963)
  • #79: Star Time (1991)
  • #330: In the Jungle Groove (1986)
  • #414: 20 All – Time Greatest Hits (1991)

On another hand, a British television channel named “Channel 4” made a survey, in 2005, to know the public’s opinion about which were the 100 best albums ever. The results positioned “Sex Machine”, another double album produced by James Brown in 1970, as number 96.

Other albums made by James Brown that deserve acknowledgement are:

  • Live at the Apollo, volume II (1968)
  • Get on the Good Foot (1972)
  • The Payback (1973)
  • Hell (1974)

The first album in the previous list (Live at the Apollo, volume II) was a clear example of Brown’s enthusiastic live performances, along with interactions with the public and energetic dancing; what made Brown’s performances so entertaining. Besides, it was a historic record of his transition from Rhythm and Blues (R&B) and soul genre to hard funk, the genre Brown created himself. Especially due to these characteristics, this album is so valuable, appreciated among the musicians of that time and all the classic music fans.

Most relevant singles

As we mentioned before, Brown’s most successful hits were singles. His fame was due to the singles he released, especially before the 1970’s. In fact, six of his singles were included in the Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest songs of all time, made in 2004:

  • #72: Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag (1965)
  • #78: I Got You (I Feel Good) (1965)
  • #123: It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World (1966)
  • #142: Please, Please, Please (1956)
  • #305: Say It Loud – I’m Back and I’m Proud (1968)
  • #326: Get Up (I Feel Like Being a) Sex Machine (1970)