Search - James Brown :: Hell

James Brown
Genres: Pop, R&B, Soundtracks
  •  Track Listings (14) - Disc #1


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CD Details

All Artists: James Brown
Title: Hell
Members Wishing: 5
Total Copies: 0
Label: Polydor / Umgd
Original Release Date: 1/1/1974
Re-Release Date: 2/28/1995
Genres: Pop, R&B, Soundtracks
Styles: Classic R&B, Funk, Soul
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 731452398321, 0731452398321, 731452398345

CD Reviews

A Nearly Forgotton Near-Classic
plsilverman | USA | 04/07/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Preceded by the landmark 2-l.p. "The Payback" and prior to the popular "Get Up Offa That Thing" and several other impressive studio efforts, "Hell" somehow got misplaced somewhere in the Soul Album Pantheon. It continued the trend of more mellow, melodic, and lyrically deeper James Brown music, probably the result of some Soul searching for a less strident sound - the "riffin' - ravin'" James seemed to suddenly transform into a more considered artist. (Ofcourse, that is a matter of taste - I'll still listen to "Mother Popcorn" any time of day!). In any event, this second in a row 2-l.p. set contains some of his most complex and impressive tracks: the attractively arranged opener "Coldblooded"; the title tune, which should have become a staple of Progressive F.M. at the time; "Sayin' And Doin' It", to me a ready made Top 20 duet with Lyn Collins; "Don't Tell A Lie About Me And I Won't Tell The Truth About You", a slow funk with one of the most entertaining intros in music history. As far as the expected recuts, my favorite is the third remake of "Sometime" (originally recorded in 1958 as "It Was You", then done as "Sometime" in 1969)- it's a simple, affecting ballad. The much-revisited "I Can't Stand Myself (When You Touch Me" is here presented as "I Can't Stand It '76', and it's 8:08 of controlled mayhem - everybody's got to hear this one, if only for the JB/Maceo/John Morgan interplay."
JB at his best
Kari Aevarsson | Iceland | 01/31/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This album is indeed, as a previous reviewer wrote, a slightly mixed bag. But the GREAT tracks outweigh and outnumber the weaker ones by far. "Coldblooded" ("gotta be hipper than hip!"), the title track ("OW - OW - OW - OW- OW - OW - OW- OW - It's HELL!" - one of the coolest grooves I've ever heard), "I Can't Stand It '76" (his third & best version of this track, IMO), "Sayin' And Doin' It", and "Don't Tell A Lie About Me & I Won't Tell The Truth On You" (great title!) are only five of the first-rate cuts on this album that have rarely, if ever, been anthologized (not forgetting the 14-minute "Papa Don't Take No Mess"). There are a few sentimental ballads too. "These Foolish Things" may be a bit on the sappy side, but "A Man Has To Go Back..." and "Sometime" are soulful & excellent. The lesser tracks: "When The Saints Go Marching In", the latin-style 'Please Please Please' and maybe "Stormy Monday". Only 3 tracks out of 14, and none of them are that bad really, so they won't keep me from giving 'Hell' 5 stars."
Papa don't take no mess
Kari Aevarsson | 01/15/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The versions of 'Papa don't take no mess' and 'I can't stand it' on this album are two of the jazziest, funkiest tracks you'll ever hear. They are easily worth the price of the CD alone.The album as a whole is mixed, there are some other great tracks, but also some fillers - unfortunately, almost every track starts with an annoying 'gong' sound.Despite that, this is a must have album for any JB fan."