James Brown – The Singles, Volume 2: 1960-1963

ARTIST: James Brown                    jbrown-2

TITLE:  The Singles, Volume 2: 1960-1963

YEAR RELEASED: Compilation

CHART ACTION: None

SINGLES: Top 40: Bewildered (#40, #8 R&B), I Don’t Mind (#47, #4 R&B), Baby You’re Right (#49, #2 R&B), Just You and Me, Darling (#17 R&B), Lost Someone (#48, #2 R&B), Night Train (#35, #5 R&B), Shout and Shimmy (#16 R&B), Mashed Potatoes, USA (#82, #21 R&B), Three Hearts in a Tangle (#93, #18 R&B), Like a Baby (#24 R&B), Prisoner of Love (#18, #6 R&B), These Foolish Things (#55, #25 R&B), Oh Baby, Don’t You Weep (#23)

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Doubtful unless you’re a JB junkie!

LINEUP: James Brown & His Famous Flames

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Second collection of singles shows Brown and his band moving towards a harder soul sound, setting the table for his funk revolution. Brown does follow some dance trends, but makes them his own due to his talent and magnetism.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: This era of James Brown may not be as well known as others. He (or his company) mined all of the dance crazes of the time (The Twist, the Mashed Potatoes), and also adding his twist to stuff like “Shout”. So it may, on paper, be derivative, but it was really far from that.

Brown was an entertainer and a crowd pleaser, and knew what his audiences wanted. He was also an innovater and had a great eye and ear for the future, so he’d modulate his band over past the current trends into something slightly more funky and soulful, and then you’d get something like “I’ve Got Money” – a B-side that’s a lot funkier than anything in 1962.

There’s some stuff that won’t trip your trigger. He starts his fascination with organ instrumentals, so if you’re not a Hammond Organ type of guy you may want to skip those.  He also did some sessions with orchestras which kind of waters him down, I believe (though “Prisoner of Love” was his first Top 20 hit on the regular pop chart).

This is a great collection to demonstrate the evolution of Brown from 50’s R&B to his 60’s persona.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: He was moved over to King Records for these singles, the main label, from Federal.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No. There is an acetate demo of “Bewildered”

GRADE: A:  Because this isn’t a well-known era of James Brown, it’s even more relevatory, especially since it all folds out to you in chronological order.

 

 

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