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James Brown - 20 All Time Greatest Hits
A towering figure in postwar American music, for over 40 years James Brown has written, produced, and performed some of the most compelling R&B ever recorded. 20 All Time Greatest Hits! distills Startime!, itself a four-CD set that barely scratched the surface of Brown's prodigious output. As such, this collection concentrates on Brown's best-known records: "I Feel Good," "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag," and "Cold Sweat." The propulsive one- or two-chord vamps with Brown's hoarse, declamatory vocals laid the groundwork for modern funk. It's a perfect starter set for anyone unfamiliar with Brown's work. But be warned--Brown is addictive. Like peanuts and potato chips, it's impossible to stop with just one. Buy this and don't be surprised if one day you find yourself scouring used record bins for a rare copy of Grits and Cornbread.
Twenty of the funk and rhythm dynamo's points of light hark back to his upbringing in the poor, deep rural South for their poignant emotional framework. "Night Train," in particular, belongs in sound and feeling to postwar jump grooves, its explosive sexuality every bit equal to that of Jimmy Forrest's 1952 classic. More sizzle: Polydor's aptly titled two-CD Messin' with the Blues and the ultimate bacchanal, Live at the