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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intense, vital, short.
Oddly unsung in Britain despite it's status as James Brown's bestselling record, 'Live at Apollo' disappoints only in it's sub-40 minute running time. Recorded when he was a raw talent, rather than an established name, the record showcases his phenomenal voice perfectly. Like Sam Cooke's 'Live at Harlem Sq. Club' (which is even better), the singer is shown in context-...
Published on 10 Nov 2002 by R. Burin

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3.0 out of 5 stars Not the classic we're told it is
I know I should say this is the classic live album everyone should own but it's not, it's good but ,I think, falls short of greatness.
Published 9 months ago by Tommy tshirt


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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intense, vital, short., 10 Nov 2002
By 
R. Burin "royal_film" (Harrogate, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Oddly unsung in Britain despite it's status as James Brown's bestselling record, 'Live at Apollo' disappoints only in it's sub-40 minute running time. Recorded when he was a raw talent, rather than an established name, the record showcases his phenomenal voice perfectly. Like Sam Cooke's 'Live at Harlem Sq. Club' (which is even better), the singer is shown in context- not softened by studio production, but in his element- giving it his all in front of a notoriously difficult audience, which he soon wins over. Fats Gonder's oft-parodied and/or homaged introduction is wisely included, and the first three numbers sound great. It is with 'Lost Someone', though, that James Brown finds his voice. "I feel so I good I wanna scream!", he shouts, "I feel just like I wanna scream!". "Go ahead and scream!", comes the reply.
"OOOWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!"
And in that moment James Brown moved from flavour-of-the-month to soul legend. The record met with extraordinary success in America, in both critical and commercial terms, and was lauded by Britain's New Musical Express, some thirty years on, as the '30th Greatest Record of All Time'. Strange then, that few supposed soul afficionados I've spoken to are aware of this record's existence, let alone it's genius. When 'Live at Apollo' was recorded, James Brown was a man at the peak of his powers, if not of his public recognition- and it shows. If 'Night Train' is a slightly low-key closer, the medley which precedes it more than compensates- a lust-filled, yearning, aching nine-minute medley of rare quality. One of THE great soul records, a priceless artefact, and for many, an undiscovered gem.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The amazing Mr Please, Please, Please, James Brown, 28 Oct 2011
By 
Dangerous Dave (Berkhamsted, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Every time I hear an ad on the box for "(Any current British comic) at the Apollo" I groan a little inwardly. To me the Apollo was THE venue in New York for black performers of popular music. To quote Wikipedia, "The Apollo Theater in New York City is one of the most famous music halls in the United States, and the most famous club associated almost exclusively with Black performers". This is what the Apollo really means and this is how history will see it.

More specifically I think of this album.

As a near slavish follower - I can admit it now! - of the new cult of R&B in the mid 60's I was one of that fairly small number who bought this one on vinyl . And I'll further admit that I had mixed feelings about it. To anyone used to the more familiar soul artists - Cooke, Burke, Pickett, Redding - this was much more extreme. It was also the first time we'd heard such a show live so the showbiz aspects of the intros and the playing to the audience, were new to us. Some of us would have seen some of the touring rockers from the US but none of these performances had been committed to wax (apart from Jerry Lee's great gig at the Star Club, Hamburg, though the album which committed that to posterity wasn't to come out till `64).

Another part of my hesitant reaction to the album was near total lack of familiarity with the material it contained. Apart from Mike Raven playing the Godfather of Soul, no one on the radio played him (it didn't help that hardly any of his records had come out in the UK either). Mind you it didn't take long for the passion and intensity to win me over - I found that turning the volume up did help! If I compare it now to the recent compilation of Brown's 1956 to 1960 material (on Fantastic Voyage), the band had tightened up considerably and there was much more oomph on the material which appeared on both.

In some respects this record - `cos I still think of it as that - is more important as a slab of history than a listening experience. No one had done anything like this on record before. It was an alien experience when first heard - the drawn out "Lost Someone" in particular with James "playing" the audience was a whole new thing. It's difficult to relate to that now. Having said that I'd still recommend having this one in your collection so that you can get it out every now and again, stick the headphones on and turn the volume up.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You must buy this CD!!!!!!, 26 Mar 2004
By A Customer
Nobody, not I, nor any other music reviewer, can really do justice to this recording. It is without doubt one of the greatest live recordings ever made, and has of the most emotional, vibrant and soul seeking vocal performances, you will ever hear. It will take you to new limits in your understanding of music...it will expose feelings you never knew you could feel for music...and it may make you cry.It did me...
Just follow these instructions;
1)Buy CD
2)Listen...then wonder what the fuss is about.
3)Listen again.
4)Clear your house of wife, kids and take phones off hook. Turn off lights, and play LOUD.
The result will astound you. You owe it to yourself...BUY IT!!!!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars JAMES GOES IT ALONE!, 3 Dec 2004
James paid for the making of this album when his record lable turned it down because `A live album won`t sell`. Boy did he prove them wrong, this set the trend as the first notable successful live album and its now considered as one of the best albums of all time. Great stuff!!!!!!!!!!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not the classic we're told it is, 22 Oct 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Live At The Apollo (1962) (Audio CD)
I know I should say this is the classic live album everyone should own but it's not, it's good but ,I think, falls short of greatness.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gee whizz I love you., 16 Oct 2003
This could be one of the most incendiary live performances you'll ever hear, take the musical energy of Dylan and the Hawks at Manchester Free Trade 1966, then add the audience from a Beatles gig and stand well back.
This crowd have to be heard to be believed. Just listen to the reaction when the band tear into Please, Please, Please. It's quite clear that they have lost control and who wouldn't after a 10 minute version of lost someone.
This album really tears the roof off the sucka and the Flames set fire to it (pardon the pun)
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Back to Twisted Wheel Manchester, 19 Feb 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Live At The Apollo (1962) (Audio CD)
Memories of clubbing in Manchester in mid to late sixties, never saw them but loved the singles. Album takes you there
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2 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Over rated, 30 Jan 2009
By 
Toby Stewart "Fairhoodlum" (Liverpool, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
James Brown's best stuff came in the early '70's. This is an interesting glimps at a great performer honing his craft but for funk try his later stuff.
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5 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you don't know this, you know nothing..., 5 Nov 2000
By A Customer
This is a legend, a beast, an animal living ON the world, not in it, feeding on the funk while at the same time paragon progenitor. Thus the paradox of James Brown.
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1 of 18 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars crap, 22 Aug 2008
By 
D. Howe "davros" (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
i havent bought many JB CDs but this is the 1st time ive been disappointed. its not really funk its more OTT soul and just bad (terrible), he ruins night train so that its nearly unrecognisable. get:
star time
funky good times: the anthology
in the jungle groove
the payback
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Live At The Apollo (1962)
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