There's not much to say about a record like this. If you like James Brown, it is a serious no-brainer. This double LP set was recorded live at the Apollo and captures James and the band in absolute top form. The original record just straight up does not exist clean. Personally, I like having crackles and shit, but I'm sure I'm an anomaly. The version of "I Can't Stand It" on this? Audible sweat. The energy on "Get Up, Get Into It, Get Involved" is so palpable that it increases heart rates. Crowd noise becomes musical accompaniment. And when he rips into "Hot Pants" and the crowd goes completely apeshit singing along every word? Forget it. There's so much more too, just a masterful performance by everybody involved- checkout "Escape-ism" and "Soul Power" too. Even though dude may be a maniacal wife-abusing crack fiend these days, you know crack is the new coke anyway. Get this before the horse usurps it. These James Brown records are always going to be absolute classics. Seriously, fuck a funk 45. Features full color gatefold sleeve.
- music label: Polydor / 1972
reviewed by Bob Bannister 01/2007