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VINE VOICEon 7 January 2011
These first 2 discs collects the 30 singles (both a and b sides) recorded for the Federal Label between 1956-1959. The remaining 2 tracks (Strange Things Happen & Fine Old Foxy Self) found on Try Me were presumably album only tracks. Compared to what was to come, most of these 33 tracks are fairly pedestrian - very much in the R&B/gospel vein that other artists like Ray Charles, Sam Cooke and Jackie Wilson were recording. What made James Brown stand out was his showmanship, learnt in part from his idol Little Richard whose influence is very much in evidence, and of course his vocal style - sometimes rough and verging on hoarseness, never pretty, but drenched with passion and utterly compelling. Mention of course should be paid to Brown's vocal group The Famous Flames led by Bobby Byrd - although Brown never rated them as great vocalists, their solidity gave Brown the freedom to push both his vocals and physical performance to the limit.

The only downside of this & other Not Record releases is you don't get the original album sleeves and the sleeve notes are perfunctory to say the least. But as the other reviewer pointed out these are available separately at inflated prices.
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on 8 May 2015
PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, originally KING 12-610 credited to James Brown and His Famous Flames, was James Brown's first album release. As noted below, it also set a precedent that would last until the '70's where all his albums, discounting live recordings. were mostly collections of previously released singles. All tracks are mono and feature two versions of the Famous Flames, the only track without them is "Love Or A Game." Here's the correct tune stack and discographical info......

1. Please, Please, Please 2:46 (FEDERAL-12258A March 3, 1956, #5 R&B, #105 Pop) *
2. Chonnie-On-Chon (FEDERAL-12290B 10/26/56) 2:13**
3. Hold My Baby's Hand 2:14 (FEDERAL-12277B 7/18/56)**
4. I Feel That Old Feeling Coming on (FEDERAL 12264B 6/10/56) 2:35*
5. Just Won't Do Right 2:36 (FEDERAL-12289A 1/5/57)***
6. Baby Cries Over The Ocean (FEDERAL-12311B 10/26/56) 2:37#
7. I Don't Know 2:48 (FEDERAL-12264A 6/10/56)*
8. Tell Me What I Did Wrong (FEDERAL-12337B 10/13/58) 2:24##
9. Try Me 2:33 FEDERAL-12337A 10/13/58, #1 R&B, #48 Pop)##
10. That Dood It (FEDERAL-12311A 11/18/57) 2:28#
11. Begging, Begging (FEDERAL-12316A 2/10/58) 2:54#
12. I Walked Alone 2:44 (FEDERAL-12300B 7/15/57)**
13. No, No, No, No 2:15 (FEDERAL-12277A 7/18/56)**
14. That's When I Lost My Heart (FEDERAL-12316B 2/10/58) 2:51#
15. Let's Make It 2:28 (FEDERAL-12289B 1/5/57)***
16. Love Or A Game 2:15 (FEDERAL-12295B 5/6/57)****

the musicians:
*February 4, 1956, King Studios, Cincinnati, OH
James Brown- lead vocals
Bobby Byrd, Johnny Terry, Sylvester Keels & Nashpendle Knox (The Famous Flames) - backing vocals
Alvin "Fats" Gonder - piano
Nayfloyd Scott - guitar
Clarence Mack - bass
Edison Gore - drums
Wilbert "Lee Diamond" Smith - tenor sax
Ray Felder - tenor sax
Produced by Ralph Bass

**March 27, 1956, King Studios, Cincinnati, OH
James Brown- lead vocals
Bobby Byrd, Johnny Terry, Sylvester Keels & Nashpendle Knox - backing vocals (Track 12 & 13 only)
Alvin "Fats" Gonder - piano
Nayfloyd Scott - guitar
Clarence Mack - bass
Reginald Hall - drums
Cleveland Lowe - tenor sax
Ray Felder - tenor sax

***July 24, 1956, King Studios, Cincinnati, OH
James Brown- lead vocals
Bobby Byrd, Johnny Terry, Sylvester Keels & Nashpendle Knox - backing vocals
Alvin "Fats" Gonder - piano
Nayfloyd Scott - guitar
Clarence Mack - bass
Reginald Hall - drums
Wilbert "Lee Diamond" Smith - tenor sax
Ray Felder - tenor sax

****April 10, 1957, King Studios, Cincinnati, OH
James Brown- lead vocals
unidentified - backing vocals
Alvin "Fats" Gonder - piano
Eddie Freeman - guitar
Edwin Conley - bass
Reginald Hall - drums
Cleveland Lowe - tenor sax
John B. Brown - alto sax

#October 21, 1957, King Studios, Cincinnati, OH
James Brown- lead vocals
Bill Hollings, J.W. Archer, Johnny Terry & Louis Madison - background vocals
Alvin "Fats" Gonder - piano
John Faire - guitar
Edwyn Conley - bass
Edison Gore - drums

##September 18, 1958, Beltone Studios, New York, NY
James Brown- lead vocals
Bill Hollings, J.W. Archer, Johnny Terry & Louis Madison - background vocals
Ernie Hayes - piano
Kenny Burrell - guitar
Carl Pruitt - bass
David "Panama" Francis - drums
George Dorsey - alto sax
Clifford Scott - tenor sax
Produced by Andy Gibson

TRY ME, credited to James Brown and his Famous Flames was originally released as KING 12-635 in 1959. It was Brown's second album, and as with most of his non-live pre-1970's albums, it contains previously released singles. Here it's some of his final Federal and later-to-be King sides. Two of TRY ME's album-only cuts were later released as KING singles. "Strange Things Happen" was retitled "Why Does Everything Happen To Me" and used as the B-side to "Night Train" (#5 R&B, #35 Pop). "Fine Old Foxy Self" was released over five years later (!) backed by a medley taken from the LIVE AT THE APOLLO (1962) album. Five songs are backed by his first great "James Brown Band" lead by J.C. Davis with Bernard Odum, Nat Kendricks and Bobby Roach. Tracks 2, 5 & 6 are James without The Flames. It was reissued numerous times throughout his career, and in 1964 re-titled THE UNBEATABLE JAMES BROWN: 16 HITS, but the one with the funky chick holding her smokin' cigarette and gun is the original and the one usually used on CD reissues. Here's the tune stack and discographical info......

1. There Must Be A Reason 2:25 (FEDERAL-12348B 2/9/59)#
2. I Want You So Bad 2:45 (FEDERAL-12348A 2/9/59, #20 R&B)##
3. Why Do You Do Me 2:59 (FEDERAL-12258B 3/3/56)* PPP
4. Got To Cry 2:35 (FEDERAL-12364B 8/3/59)##
5. Strange Things Happen 2:08 (KING 45-5614B as "Why Does Everything Happen To Me" 3/6/62)****
6. Fine Old Foxy Self 2:07 (KING 45-5956A 1/65)****
7. Messing With The Blues 2:09 (FEDERAL-12295A 5/6/57)****
8. Try Me 2:31 (FEDERAL-12337A 10/13/58, #1 R&B, #48 Pop)#
9. It Was You 2:42 (FEDERAL-12364A 8/3/59)##
10. I've Got To Change 2:24 (FEDERAL-12352A 4/20/59)#
11. Can't Be The Same 2:19 (FEDERAL-12292 3/9/57)***
12. It Hurts To Tell You 2:51 (FEDERAL-12352B 4/20/59)###
13. I Won't Plead No More 2:25 (FEDERAL-12290A 10/20/56)**
14. You're Mine, You're Mine 2:30 (FEDERAL-12300A 7/15/57)**
15. Gonna Try 2:44 (FEDERAL-12292A 3/9/57)***
16. Don't Let It Happen To Me 2:49 (FEDERAL-12361B 10/12/59)###

the musicians:
*February 4, 1956, King Studios, Cincinnati, OH
James Brown- lead vocals
Bobby Byrd, Johnny Terry, Sylvester Keels & Nashpendle Knox (The Famous Flames) - backing vocals
Alvin "Fats" Gonder - piano
Nayfloyd Scott - guitar
Clarence Mack - bass
Edison Gore - drums
Wilbert "Lee Diamond" Smith - tenor sax
Ray Felder - tenor sax
Produced by Ralph Bass

**March 27, 1956, King Studios, Cincinnati, OH
James Brown- lead vocals
Bobby Byrd, Johnny Terry, Sylvester Keels & Nashpendle Knox - backing vocals (Track 12 & 13 only)
Alvin "Fats" Gonder - piano
Nayfloyd Scott - guitar
Clarence Mack - bass
Reginald Hall - drums
Cleveland Lowe - tenor sax
Ray Felder - tenor sax

***July 24, 1956, King Studios, Cincinnati, OH
James Brown- lead vocals
Bobby Byrd, Johnny Terry, Sylvester Keels & Nashpendle Knox - backing vocals
Alvin "Fats" Gonder - piano
Nayfloyd Scott - guitar
Clarence Mack - bass
Reginald Hall - drums
Wilbert "Lee Diamond" Smith - tenor sax
Ray Felder - tenor sax

****April 10, 1957, King Studios, Cincinnati, OH
James Brown- lead vocals
unidentified - backing vocals
Alvin "Fats" Gonder - piano
Eddie Freeman - guitar
Edwin Conley - bass
Reginald Hall - drums
Cleveland Lowe - tenor sax
John B. Brown - alto sax

#September 18, 1958, Beltone Studios, New York, NY
James Brown- lead vocals
Bill Hollings, J.W. Archer, Johnny Terry & Louis Madison - background vocals
Ernie Hayes - piano
Kenny Burrell - guitar
Carl Pruitt - bass
David "Panama" Francis - drums
George Dorsey - alto sax
Clifford Scott - tenor sax
Produced by Andy Gibson

##December 18, 1958, Master Recorders, Los Angeles, CA
James Brown- lead vocals
Bill Hollings, J.W. Archer & Johnny Terry - background vocals (except Track 2)
Louis Madison - piano, organ & background vocals
Bobby Roach - guitar
Bernard Odum - bass
Nat Kendrick - drums
J.C. Davis - tenor sax
unidentified - tenor sax

###January 30, 1959, Beltone Studios, New York, NY
James Brown- lead vocals
Bill Hollings, J.W. Archer & Johnny Terry - background vocals
Louis Madison - piano & background vocals
Bobby Roach - guitar
Bernard Odum - bass
Nat Kendrick - drums
George Dorsey - alto sax
J.C. Davis - tenor sax
Produced by Andy Gibson
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on 12 July 2010
Exactly what it says: First two JB's albums ("Please, Please, Please" & "Try Me") remastered on two discs. The sound is very good (even if I cannot compare it to Japanese releases or Hip-O Singles collection Vol.1; I do not own these). Does not have the original album artwork, but has short liner notes, recording dates and credit info. This is the only way to go, if you do not have the above mentioned discs and do not want to pay rip-off prices on free market. If you like early JB R&B style music, buy this and play it loud!
Thanks, NotNow Music!
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on 1 February 2013
Good songs with excellent sound quality. Many greats songs and the remastering was excellent and this is set is worth every dollar spent.
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on 10 April 2013
I have always loved james brown's music.
from the early r&b and ballads to the superfunk.
please, please, please was an early hit single.
this album also includes try me and another 15 vintage cuts.
the cover would have been considered risqué at the time.
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