YMMV / James Brown

  • Archive Panic: His discography is rather extensive; many of his earliest albums featured endless instrumental versions and re-recordings of his hits (as was the industry practice at the time). Record Label Hip-O Select even spent a few years re-issuing every single one of his singles from 1956 to 1979, culminating in an 11 volume set. Star Time is by far the best buy to start off with, featuring four discs full of Brown's greatest and essentials hits.
  • Awesome Music: Uh, how about everything? James' body of work is historically and culturally important, but even putting that aside, it's absolutely exhilarating on its own terms, and much of it hasn't aged a day.
  • Crazy Awesome: Doesn't even begin to describe James.
  • Crowning Moment of Awesome: His electrifying performance at The T.A.M.I. Show in 1964, which includes a prime example of his Not Quite Dead cape routine (during "Please Please Please" of course).
    • When Brown found out The Rolling Stones were due to perform after his set, Brown objected, telling the show's producers, "Nobody follows James Brown!" Keith Richards would later say one of the biggest mistakes the Stones ever made was following him.
  • Crowning Moment of Funny: Back in 1994, he and Little Richard were paired up for a special "Music Stars Week" on Wheel of Fortune. Who else was playing that week? "Weird Al" Yankovic, who in 2013 recounted an interesting story from that week's rehearsal, which explains why Brown and Richard were paired up...
  • Ear Worm: Every single track.
  • Epic Riff: "The Payback", "Doing It To Death", "Superbad", "Blues and Pants"... due to their repetition and being extensively sample over the years, James Brown riffs tend to be instantly recognizable upon hearing them.
  • Follow the Leader: Inspired countless soul, R&B, funk, hiphop and rap acts, but also Reggae, Afrobeat and dance music in general. Also a huge influence on live performing. Mick Jagger and Iggy Pop are just two artists who borrowed a lot from Brown's stage presence. Bruno Mars, of course, emulates him to a tee.
  • Growing the Beard: His stuff in the 50s is some great, classic soul music (put on "Bewildered" sometime!), but let's be real, in the next decade he basically invented his own genre!
  • Sampled Up: Brown is believed to be the most sampled artist of all time.