“Perhaps the greatest live album ever recorded” – Rolling Stone
Two music icons, James Brown and the Apollo Theater, both steeped in rich history and community, bringing out the best in each other: That’s what you’ll hear on the brand-new collection, JAMES BROWN – Best Of Live At The Apollo: 50th Anniversary, to be released June 25, 2013 by Universal Music Enterprises (UMe) – a unique album celebrating 50years since the release of Brown’s 1963 classic album Live at The Apollo, and showcasing his many great performances recorded there. Brown, who would have turned 80 years old tomorrow, May 3rd, first arrived at the Apollo in April 1959 as an opening act for Little Willie John, one of his idols, though he wouldn’t be an opener for long. The Hardest Working Man In Show Business would play the Apollo Theater every year through 1974, and would return when the theater reopened its doors, with Brown ultimately playing there more than 600 times.
JAMES BROWN – Best Of Live At The Apollo: 50th Anniversary showcases 12 tracks from Brown’s three landmark albums recorded at the historic building: Live At the Apollo (recorded 1962, released 1963), Live At The Apollo Vol. II (recorded 1967, released 1968), and Revolution Of The Mind: Recorded Live At The Apollo Vol. III (recorded and released 1971), and includes two unreleased tracks taken from the live album Get Down At The Apollo with The J.B.’s: Live At The Apollo Vol. IV. The latter was recorded September 1972, but was ultimately never released.
Personally funded by James Brown, the original, critically acclaimed Live At The Apollo, featuring the Famous Flames and the James Brown Orchestra, was first released in 1963 and became a cultural phenomenon, reaching No. 2 on The Billboard 200 album chart. In 2003 it was listed at No. 24 on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums Of All Time and in 2004, Live At The Apollo was added to the Library Of Congress’ National Recording Registry. Three tracks from this landmark recording, “I’ll Go Crazy,” “Try Me” and “Night Train,” plus the famous show introduction, are featured on Best Of Live At The Apollo.
Recorded in June 1967, Live At The Apollo Vol. II was released in 1968 and ushered in Brown’s new funky style with a larger, more sophisticated iteration of the James Brown Orchestra, featuring Maceo Parker and led by Alfred “Pee Wee” Ellis. This was Brown’s first live, double-LP set and charted at No. 2 on the R&B Album chart and Top 40 on The Billboard 200. Three tracks featured on Best Of Live At The Apollo from this recording are the live hit single “There Was A Time,” “Cold Sweat” and “Please, Please, Please,” showing the constant evolution of Soul Brother No. 1.
Revolution Of The Mind: Recorded Live At The Apollo Vol. III, a double-LP from 1971, is Brown’s third official live album recorded at the Apollo Theater and features the backing band Fred Wesley & The J.B.’s. Revolution Of The Mind went to No. 7 on the R&B Albums chart and No. 39 on The Billboard 200. Three tracks from the album, the super-hot “Sex Machine,” “Get Up, Get Into It, Get Involved” and “Soul Power” are featured on Best Of Live At The Apollo.
Get Down At The Apollo with The J.B.’s was recorded for a potential double-album and was to feature the J.B.’s as well as James Brown Revue singer Lyn Collins. It was mixed for LP but its release canceled. Best Of Live At The Apollo includes two songs from the album, the instrumental “Hot Pants Road” and “There It Is,” in new mixes exclusive to this collection. (An alternate take of “There It Is” was included on a previous JB collection.)
Best Of Live At The Apollo includes James Brown’s legendary hits, all recorded where the Godfather made history: Live at the Apollo!
1. Introduction to James Brown
2. I’ll Go Crazy
3. Try Me
4. Night Train
5. There Was A Time
6. Cold Sweat
7. Please, Please, Please
8. Sex Machine
9. Get Up, Get Into It, Get Involved
10. Soul Power
11. Hot Pants Road *
12. There It Is *
Produced by James Brown
* Previously Unreleased