Brown left his label King after 12 successful, if not always peaceful, years. Hot Pants marks his first effort for Polydor, a bigger outfit that was able to give him a larger budget, better presentation, and, most importantly, artistic freedom.
The original set of the J.B.'s with Bootsy Collins had dissolved, and Brown and his newer band had only been together for a few months. Although the original J.B.'s were more rock-based and fiery, Hot Pants proves that the reformed band was more ductile. It was at this point where trombonist Fred Wesley became the bandleader and the band became even more efficient than the earlier group. The leisurely "Blues and Pants" has a great bass pattern from Fred Thomas and Wesley's sly horn charts. "Can't Stand It" is a busier take on the 1968 hit "I Can't Stand Myself." The most recognizable track is the title song, though the version heard here is less potent than the complete take (featured on "Escape-ism," the early-'90s CD reissue of Hot Pants, clocking in at 19-plus minutes). While that might be cause for alarm for some, it is truly instructive. The track goes to the bridge, stays there, and has great studio chatter between Brown and his band and solos from Wesley and saxophonist St. Clair Pinckey.
This album features only four tracks and is basically Brown getting acquainted with his new band, but the camaraderie makes it worth listening to.
1 Blues & Pants (9:37) Organ - Bobby Byrd
2 Can't Stand It (4:37)
3 Escape-Ism (Part 1) (3:14)
4 Escape-Ism (Part 2) (4:12)
5 Hot Pants (She Got To Use What She Got To Get What She Wants) (8:42) Tambourine - Bobby Byrd
6 Escape-Ism (Complete Take) (19:09)
Bass - Fred Thomas
Congas - Johnny Griggs (tracks: 3, 4, 6)
Guitar - Hearlon Cheese Martin , Robert Coleman
Saxophone [Alto] - Jimmy Parker
Saxophone [Tenor] - St-Clair Pinckney
Trombone - Fred Wesley
Trumpet - Jerone Jasaan Sanford , Russell Crimes (tracks: 1, 2, 5)
Vocals - Bobby Byrd , James Brown
Producer - James Brown
Tracks 1-5 originally released in 1971.