James Brown (“The Godfather of Soul”)

~ Person


James Joseph Brown (May 3, 1933 – December 25, 2006) was an American singer, songwriter, dancer, musician, record producer and bandleader. A progenitor of funk music and a major figure of 20th century popular music and dance, he is often referred to as the "Godfather of Soul". In a career that lasted 50 years, he influenced the development of several music genres.

Brown began his career as a gospel singer in Toccoa, Georgia. He joined an R&B vocal group, the Gospel Starlighters (which later evolved into the Flames) founded by Bobby Byrd, in which he was the lead singer. First coming to national public attention in the late 1950s as a member of the singing group The Famous Flames with the hit ballads "Please, Please, Please" and "Try Me", Brown built a reputation as a tireless live performer with the Famous Flames and his backing band, sometimes known as the James Brown Band or the James Brown Orchestra. His success peaked in the 1960s with the live album Live at the Apollo and hit singles such as "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag", "I Got You (I Feel Good)" and "It's a Man's Man's Man's World". During the late 1960s he moved from a continuum of blues and gospel-based forms and styles to a profoundly "Africanized" approach to music-making that influenced the development of funk music. By the early 1970s, Brown had fully established the funk sound after the formation of the J.B.s with records such as "Get Up (I Feel Like Being a) Sex Machine" and "The Payback". He also became noted for songs of social commentary, including the 1968 hit "Say It Loud – I'm Black and I'm Proud". Brown continued to perform and record until his death from pneumonia in 2006.

Brown recorded 17 singles that reached number one on the Billboard R&B charts. He also holds the record for the most singles listed on the Billboard Hot 100 chart which did not reach number one. Brown has received honors from many institutions, including inductions into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Songwriters Hall of Fame. In Joel Whitburn's analysis of the Billboard R&B charts from 1942 to 2010, James Brown is ranked as number one in The Top 500 Artists. He is ranked seventh on the music magazine Rolling Stone's list of its 100 greatest artists of all time. Rolling Stone has also cited Brown as the most sampled artist of all time.

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Album + Compilation

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
The Godfather Returns James Brown 1
The Great James Brown James Brown 2
The Greatest James Brown 1
The Magic Collection James Brown 1
The Ultimate Collection James Brown 1
The Very Best of James Brown James Brown 1

Album + Compilation + Live

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1995 The Complete Apollo Concert James Brown 1
1996 Golden Hits James Brown 1
1998 Ultimate Legends: James Brown (Live) James Brown 1
2002 At Studio 54 James Brown 5
2013 Best of Live at the Apollo: 50th Anniversary James Brown 1

Album + Live

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1963 Live at the Apollo, 1962 James Brown 4 7
1971 Revolution of the Mind (Recorded Live at the Apollo, Volume III) James Brown 3
1981 Live In New York James Brown 1
1986 Live James Brown 1
1986 Live in Concert James Brown 4 2
1986 The Original Showman Live! James Brown 1
1987 Soul Session Live James Brown 3
1988 Live at Chastain Park James Brown 2
1989 LIVE! James Brown 1
1991 Hot on the One... Live James Brown 1
1992 Love Power Peace: Live at The Olympia, Paris, 1971 James Brown 5 3
1993 Collection James Brown 1
1993 Golden Hits James Brown 1
1993 The Great James Brown Live James Brown 1
1994 The Best of James Brown Live James Brown 1
1995 Live at the Apollo 1995 James Brown 1
1995 Live James Brown 1
1996 Golden Classics James Brown 1
1998 Gold Collection James Brown 1
1998 Say It Live and Loud (Live in Dallas 08.26.68) James Brown 1
1998 Live in Atlanta James Brown 1
1999 The Sex Machine Performs Live James Brown 1
2000 The Original Funk Soul Brother James Brown 1
2002 Live in Concert James Brown 1
2003 I Feel Good James Brown 1
2004 Live in Concert James Brown 1
2005 Cold Sweat: Live James Brown 1
2009 Live at the Garden James Brown 1
Best of James Brown James Brown 1
On Stage James Brown 1
Pure Dynamite! Live at The Royal James Brown 1
Sex Machine James Brown 1
Sex Machine: Live in Concert James Brown 1
Volume Two James Brown 1

Album + Remix

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
2001 Remixed Dance Hits James Brown 1
2002 Ultimate Remixes James Brown 1

Album + Soundtrack

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1973 Black Caesar James Brown 3
1973 Slaughter's Big Rip-Off James Brown 2
2014 Get On Up: The James Brown Story James Brown 1


Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1964 Out of Sight / Maybe the Last Time James Brown 1
1965 I Got You (I Feel Good) James Brown 5 1
1965 James Brown at the Organ James Brown 1
1967 Get It Together James Brown 1
1967 Nobody Cares / Think Vicki Anderson / James Brown 2
1968 Say It Loud - I'm Black and I'm Proud James Brown 1
1968 You've Got the Power Vicki Anderson & James Brown 1
1969 Give It Up Or Turnit A Loose / I'll Lose My Mind James Brown 1
1970 Funky Drummer James Brown 1
1970 Call Me Super Bad James Brown 1
1970 Get Up (I Feel Like Being a) Sex Machine James Brown 4
1970 Get Up, Get Into It, Get Involved James Brown 1
1970 Hey America James Brown 1
1971 Make It Funky James Brown 1
1971 Soul Power James Brown 1
1972 I Got Ants in My Pants James Brown 1
1972 Talkin' Loud and Saying Nothin' James Brown 4 1
1973 Down and Out in New York City James Brown 1
1973 Stoned to the Bone James Brown 1
1973 The Payback James Brown 1
1974 My Thang / Public Enemy No.1, Part 1 James Brown 1
1976 Get Up Offa That Thing James Brown 1
1976 Everybody Wanna Get Funky One More Time The J.B.’s with James Brown 1
1979 It's Too Funky In Here James Brown 1
1980 Rapp Payback (Where Iz Moses) James Brown 1
1983 Bring It On… Bring It On James Brown 1
1984 Unity Afrika Bambaataa & James Brown 1
1985 Living in America James Brown 2
1986 How Do You Stop / Goliath James Brown 1
1988 I'm Real James Brown 1
1988 I Got You (I Feel Good) / Nowhere to Run James Brown / Martha Reeves and The Vandellas 1
1992 I Got You (I Feel Good) - The Remixes James Brown v. Dakeyne 1
1993 Can't Get Any Harder James Brown 2
1999 It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Keith Richards, Kid Rock, Mary J. Blige, Kelly Jones of Stereophonics, Jon Bon Jovi, Kelle Bryan, Jay Kay of Jamiroquai, Ozzy Osbourne, Womack & Womack, Lionel Richie, Bonnie Raitt, Dolores O’Riordan of The Cranberries, James Brown, The Spice Girls, Mick Jagger, Robin Williams, Jackson Browne, Iggy Pop, Chrissie Hynde, Skin of Skunk Anansie, Annie Lennox, Mark Owen, Natalie Imbruglia, Huey, Fun Lovin’ Criminals, Dina Carroll, Gavin Rossdale of Bush, B.B. King, Joe Cocker, The Corrs, Steve Cradock & Simon Fowler of Ocean Colour Scene, Ronan Keating, Ray Barretto, Herbie Hancock, Francis Rossi & Rick Parfitt of Status Quo, S Club 7, Eric Idle 3
2000 Sunny / Uncle James Brown & Dee Felice Trio 1
God Has Smiled on Me James Brown 1
In the Middle James Brown 1

Single + Remix

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
2000 Funk on Ah Roll James Brown 1


Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1988 The Payback Mix (Keep On Doing What You’re Doing but Make It Funky) James Brown 2


Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1997 The Funkmasters: The Great James Brown Rhythm Sections, 1960-1973 James Brown 1


Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1997 I Feel Good the Hits Collection James Brown 1

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