“Try Me” – James Brown and the Famous Flames

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James Brown is the undisputed Godfather of Soul. However, Brown’s quieter ballads tend to get lost in the thunder of his hard-edged R&B and funk. This is a shame, because Brown has an incredible voice and his ballads are among the best ever recorded. “Try Me” is a beautiful song and conveys so much in just 2 minutes and 30 seconds. An amazing performance that was James Brown’s first hit single (it allegedly saved Brown from being dropped by his label).

James Brown album TV commercial from the 1970s

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My first introduction to the music of James Brown came from this 1978 TV commercial for a Brown “best-of” album. While I remember being impressed with how “hard” this music sounded, I think what I most remember about this ad was the cartoon scene of two female butts in short shorts doing the bump while Brown shrieked “Hot Pants!!!!” over and over again.  There are some other interesting “special effects” in this spot as well.  This is 1970s advertising cheese at its finest.

“King Heroin” – James Brown

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“King Heroin” is a powerful song by James Brown told from the perspective of the drug itself. The song reached #6 on Billboard’s Soul charts in 1972 and scraped into the Top 40 of the Billboard Pop singles chart as well. From the album “There it Is.”

The clip here also has an additional two parts of this song that I didn’t know existed and don’t appear to be part of the “There It Is” album where “King Heroin” is from. If anyone out there knows where the other two parts came from (and what they’re officially called), please let me know.