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I first saw James Brown in 1962 at an outdoor theatre in San Diego and it was indescribable... it was like putting a finger in a light socket. He did the whole thing with the cape. He did "Please Please Please". It was such a spectacle. It had all the pageantry of the Catholic Church. It was really like seeing mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral on Christmas and you couldn't ignore the impact of it in your life. You'd been changed, your life is changed now. And everybody wanted to step down, step forward, take communion, take sacrament, they wanted to get close to the stage and be anointed with his sweat, his cold sweat.
Tom Waits, explaining his choice for James Brown's "Star Time" as his 11th favorite album of all time, "The Guardian", March 20, 2005.

Star Time is a 1991 compilation by James Brown, released through Polydor Records. Combining a Boxed Set with a Greatest Hits Album, the compilation consists of four CDs spanning most of his career, from his first hit record "Please Please Please" (1956) until "Unity" (1984). The informative liner notes by Cliff White, Harry Weinger, Nelson George, Alan Leeds and James Brown himself won a Grammy Award in 1991 for "Best Album Notes". Apart from that it offers an excellent overview of the scope and power of Brown's talent and is the most comprehensive collection of his recordings.

The set is divided in four parts, one per disc: "Mr. Dynamite" (1956-1965), "The Hardest Working Man In Show Business" (1965-1969), "Soul Brother No. 1" (1969-1972), and "The Godfather of Soul" (1972-1984).


Disc One: Mr. Dynamite

  1. "Please Please Please" (2:43)
  2. "Why Do You Do Me" (2:59)
  3. "Try Me" (2:30)
  4. "Tell Me What I Did Wrong" (2:20)
  5. "Bewildered" (2:21)
  6. "Good Good Lovin'" (2:18)
  7. "I'll Go Crazy" (2:05)
  8. "I Know It's True" (2:40)
  9. "(Do The) Mashed Potatoes, Pt. 1" (1:39)
  10. "Think" (2:46)
  11. "Baby, You're Right" (2:58)
  12. "Lost Someone" (3:28)
  13. "Night Train" (3:38)
  14. "I've Got Money" (2:29)
  15. "I Don't Mind (Live)" (2:29)
  16. "Prisoner of Love" (2:24)
  17. "Devil's Den" (4:48)
  18. "Out of the Blue" (2:15)
  19. "Out of Sight" (2:19)
  20. "Grits" (3:58)
  21. "Maybe the Last Time" (3:02)
  22. "It's a Man's World" (3:22)
  23. "I Got You" (2:27)
  24. "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag, Pts. 1, 2 & 3" (6:56)

Disc Two: The Hardest Working Man in Show Business

  1. "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag, Pt. 1" (2:06)
  2. "I Got You (I Feel Good)" (2:45)
  3. "Ain't That a Groove" (3:31)
  4. "It's a Man's Man's Man's World" (2:46)
  5. "Money Won't Change You" (6:01)
  6. "Don't Be a Dropout" (4:31)
  7. "Bring It Up (Hipster's Avenue)" (3:48)
  8. "Let Yourself Go" (3:53)
  9. "Cold Sweat" (7:30)
  10. "Get It Together" (8:57)
  11. "I Can't Stand Myself (When You Touch Me), Pt. 1" (3:29)
  12. "I Got the Feelin'" (2:39)
  13. "Licking Stick-Licking Stick" (4:52)
  14. "Say It Loud — I'm Black and I'm Proud, Pt. 1" (2:59)
  15. "There Was a Time (Live)" (4:59)
  16. "Give It Up or Turnit a Loose" (3:10)
  17. "I Don't Want Nobody to Give Me Nothing (Open Up the Door or I'll Get It Myself)" (5:59)

Disc Three: Soul Brother No. 1

  1. "Mother Popcorn" (6:18)
  2. "Funky Drummer" (7:00)
  3. "Get Up (I Feel Like Being A) Sex Machine" (5:13)
  4. "Super Bad, Pts. 1 & 2" (4:26)
  5. "Talkin' Loud and Sayin' Nothing" (8:59)
  6. "Get Up, Get Into It and Get Involved" (7:03)
  7. "Soul Power, Pts. 1 & 2" (4:25)
  8. "Brother Rapp/Ain't It Funky Now (Live)" (7:44)
  9. "Hot Pants, Pt. 1" (3:06)
  10. "I'm a Greedy Man, Pt. 1" (3:36)
  11. "Make It Funky, Pt. 1" (3:34)
  12. "It's a New Day (Live)" (3:48)
  13. "I Got Ants in My Pants, Pt. 1" (3:01)
  14. "King Heroin" (3:57)

Disc Four: The Godfather of Soul

  1. "There It Is, Pt. 1" (3:20)
  2. "Public Enemy #1, Pt. 1" (5:09)
  3. "Get on the Good Foot" (4:07)
  4. "I Got a Bag of My Own" (3:44)
  5. "Doing It to Death" (5:14)
  6. "The Payback" (7:28)
  7. "Papa Don't Take No Mess, Pt. 1" (4:22)
  8. "Stoned to the Bone, Pt. 1" (3:28)
  9. "My Thang" (4:37)
  10. "Funky President (People It's Bad)" (4:01)
  11. "Hot (I Need to Be Loved, Loved, Loved)" (5:03)
  12. "Get Up Offa That Thing (Release The Pressure)" (6:14)
  13. "Body Heat, Pt. 1" (4:29)
  14. "It's Too Funky In Here" (5:39)
  15. "Rapp Payback (Where Iz Moses)" (4:36)
  16. "Unity (w/Afrika Bambaataa)" (3:40)

Papa's Got Some Brand New Tropes

  • Alliterative Title: "Please Please Please", "Devil's Den, "Don't Be A Dropout", "There Was A Time", "Doing It To Death"
  • Anthropomorphic Vice: "King Heroin", an anti heroin song sang from the viewpoint of heroin itself.
  • Badass Boast: "I Don't Want Nobody To Give Me Nothing (Open Up The Door, I'll Get It Myself)"
  • Careful with That Axe: During "Super Bad" Brown lets out an extremely high pitched scream.
  • Cover Version: "Bewildered", "(Do The) Mashed Potatoes", "Think", "Night Train", "Grits", "Maybe The Last Time" and "Prisoner Of Love".
  • Dancing Is Serious Business: Seeing the sheer amount of tracks that reference it, it certainly was to The Godfather Of Soul himself: "There Was A Time", "Ain't That A Groove", "Cold Sweat", "Give It Up Or Turn It Loose", "Make It Funky", "I Got Ants In My Pants", "Get On The Good Foot", "Get Up Offa That Thing", "It's Too Funky In Here".
  • Distinct Double Album: It consists of four CD's.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Many tracks have a lot of sexual innuendo, like "Lickin' Stick, Lickin' Stick".
  • Drugs Are Bad: "King Heroin", an anti-heroin song.
  • Epic Rocking: The 6:56 "Papa's Got A Brand New Bag", the 6:01 "Money Won't Change You", the 8:57 "Get It Together", the "I Don't Want Nobody To Give Me Nothing (Open Up The Door, I'll Get It Myself)", the 6:18 "Mother Popcorn", the 7:00 "Funky Drummer", the 5:15 "Sex Machine", the 8:59 "Talkin' Loud & Sayin' Nothing", the 7:03 "Get Up, Get Into It and Get Involved", the 7:44 "Brother Rapp/Ain't It Funky Now", the 7:28 "The Payback" and the 6:14 "Get Up Offa That Thing (Release the Pressure)".
  • Face on the Cover: James Brown is featured on the cover.
  • Funk: From the second disc on most tracks are pure funk. Tracks that explicitly mention it are: "Brother Rapp/Ain't It Funky Now?", "Funky Drummer", "Make It Funky", "Funky President" and "It's Too Funky In Here".
  • Greatest Hits Album: The best James Brown compilation album available.
  • Hiphop: "Rapp Payback (Where Iz Moses)" and "Unity", with Afrika Bambaataa.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Each disc is named after a different nickname of Brown's.
  • Intercourse with You: "Sex Machine", "Doing It To Death", "Lickin' Stick, Lickin' Stick" (actually about a stick to give someone a lickin', but the innuendo was intentional), "Hot Pants",...
  • List Song: "Night Train", a list of all kinds of train destinations.
  • Live Album: "There Was A Time" was a single edited from a 1967 live performance.
  • Lyrical Tic: "Hunh!", "Heh!", "Hey!", "Whoa!", "Ooh", "EEE-AAW", "Uh!"
  • No Woman's Land: "It's A Man's Man's Man's Man's World" acknowledges it's a man's world, but at the same time it also emphasizes "it would be nothing without a woman or a girl".
  • One-Word Title: "Please Please Please", "Bewildered", "Think", "Grits" and "Unity".
  • Pep-Talk Song: A lot of songs are in this vein. "I Got You (I Feel Good)" is an ode to happiness. "Say It Loud I'm Black And I'm Proud" promotes black pride. "I Don't Want Nobody To Give Me Nothing (Open Up The Door, I'll Get It Myself)" and "Get Up, Get Into It And Get Involved" are call for action.
  • Pure Energy: If this album doesn't have you jumping about in your seat or at least tapping along with your feet, then you ain't got rhythm, bro'!
  • Questioning Title?: "Ain't It Funky Now?", "Ain't That A Groove?"
  • Revenge: "The Payback".
    Get ready that's a fact, Get ready you Mother for the big payback (the big payback!)
  • Singer Name Drop: "There Was A Time"
    There was a time, sometime I danced, look here
    Sometimes I danced, sometimes I clown
    But you can bet you haven't seen nothing yet
    Until you've seen me do the James Brown, ow!
  • Skipping School: Subverted by "Don't Be A Dropout", a song Brown recorded to promote children and teenagers to stay in school.
  • Soul: The first disc is mostly soul.
  • Train Song: "Night Train", where Brown lists all the destinations the night train rides to.