ARTIST: James Brown
TITLE: The Singles Vol. 5: 1967-1969
YEAR RELEASED: Compilation
CHART ACTION: None
SINGLES: Top 10: I Can’t Stand Myself (When You Touch Me) (#28, #4 R&B), There Was a Time (#36, #3 R&B), I Got the Feelin’ (#6, #1 R&B), Licking Stick – Licking Stick (#14, #2 R&B), Say It Loud – I’m Black and I’m Proud (#10, #1 R&B), Goodbye My Love (#31, #9 R&B), Give It Up or Turnit a Loose (#15, #1 R&B)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Soul Pride
LINEUP: James Brown with the James Brown Band, the Dapps, and the Fabulous Flames
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Uneven period for Brown, with some fantastic future looking funk, political commentary, and some schmaltz.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: James Brown diversified his backing band, and use the Cincy area band The Dapps on several recordings in this era (Neil Young sometimes bassist Tim Drummond was in the Dapps). The Dapps and the James Brown Band both moved towards funk away from soul with the moving bass lines and spare guitar parts. The best singles here move towards funk, or have Brown taking a stand during the civil rights era.
But, this era also has a lot of Brown instrumentals, where he joins either band and piddles around on the organ, or he croons schmaltzy tracks. There’s a lot of filler tracks, as Brown’s singles alternated between tremendous proto-funk and languid ballads.
Brown experiments with keys and motifs here, putting some songs in modes that weren’t used in soul most of the time, especially on “I Can’t Stand Myself (When You Touch Me)”
The end of the collection (“Give It Up or Turnit a Loose” and “Soul Pride”) set the table for Brown’s next period, where he brings the funk.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: There’s some singles here credited to the Dapps, but Brown is all over the organ on them.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No
GRADE B+: Really great tracks, then really blah filler. But it’s on the way to Brown’s funk period.