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Album Review

For good reason, much emphasis has been placed on the exhilarating revolutionary up-tempo funk classics recorded by the Godfather of Soul James Brown, but his earliest hits were actually rhythm & blues ballads. This Polydor package highlights 18 tracks that capture the energy and passion of songs like "It's a Man's Man's Man's World," "Prisoner of Love," and "If I Ruled the World." Even when strings are incorporated, Brown never becomes smothered by the arrangement and always fulfills the pleading bittersweet message that may have been lost with another performer. Ballads is a set that will satisfy any James Brown fan containing 13 original single mixes available on CD for the first time, including the rarely heard string sections on "Try Me," "Lost Someone," and "Bewildered."


Born: May 03, 1933 in Barnwell, SC

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

"Soul Brother Number One," "the Godfather of Soul," "the Hardest Working Man in Show Business," "Mr. Dynamite" — those are mighty titles, but no one can question that James Brown earned them more than any other performer. Other singers were more popular, others were equally skilled, but few other African-American musicians were so influential over the course of popular music. And no other musician, pop or...
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