Lost Someone

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"Lost Someone"
Single by James Brown
B-side "Cross Firing"
Released November 1961 (1961-11)
Format 7" (stereo)
Recorded February 9, 1961, King Studios, Cincinnati, OH
Genre Rhythm and blues, soul
Length 3:28
Label King
5573
Writer(s)
Producer(s) Unknown
James Brown charting singles chronology
"Just You and Me, Darling" (B-side of "I Love You, Yes I Do")
(1961)
"Lost Someone"
(1961)
"Night Train"
(1962)
"Lost Someone"
Single by James Brown
from the album Live at the Apollo
B-side "I'll Go Crazy"
Released January 1966 (1966-01)
Format 7"
Recorded October 24, 1962, Apollo Theater, New York, NY
Genre Rhythm and blues, soul
Length 2:42
Label King
6020
Producer(s) James Brown
James Brown charting singles chronology
"I Got You (I Feel Good)"
(1965)
"Lost Someone"
(1966)
"I'll Go Crazy" (B-side of "Lost Someone")
(1966)

"Lost Someone" is a song recorded by James Brown in 1961. It was written by Brown and Famous Flames members Bobby Byrd and Baby Lloyd Stallworth. Like "Please, Please, Please" before it, the song's lyrics combine a lament for lost love with a plea for forgiveness. The single was a #2 R&B hit and reached #48 on the pop chart.[1] According to Brown, "Lost Someone" is based on the chord changes of the Conway Twitty song "It's Only Make Believe".[2]

Personnel[edit]

  • James Brown - lead vocal

with the James Brown Band:

  • Roscoe Patrick - trumpet
  • J.C. Davis - tenor saxophone
  • Bobby Byrd - organ
  • Les Buie - guitar
  • Hubert Parry - bass
  • Nat Kendrick - drums
  • Other instruments unknown[3]

Live at the Apollo version[edit]

A performance of "Lost Someone" is the centerpiece of Brown's 1963 album Live at the Apollo. Nearly 11 minutes long and spanning two tracks on the original LP release (the end of Side 1 and the beginning of Side 2), it is widely regarded as the album's high point and as one of the greatest performances in its idiom on record. Critic Peter Guralnick wrote of the recording:

Here, in a single, multilayered track ... you have embodied the whole history of soul music, the teaching, the preaching, the endless assortment of gospel effects, above all the groove that was at the music's core. "Don't go to strangers," James pleads in his abrasively vulnerable fashion. "Come on home to me.... Gee whiz I love you.... I'm so weak...." Over and over he repeats the simple phrases, insists "I'll love you tomorrow" until the music is rocking with a steady pulse, until the music grabs you in the pit of the stomach and James knows he's got you. Then he works the audience as he works the song, teasing, tantalizing, drawing closer, dancing away, until finally at the end of Side I that voice breaks through the crowd noise and dissipates the tension as it calls out, "James, you're an asshole." "I believe someone out there loves someone," declares James with cruel disingenuousness. "Yeah, you," replies a girl's voice with unabashed fervor. "I feel so good I want to scream," says James, testing the limits yet again. "Scream!" cries a voice. And the record listener responds, too, we are drawn in by the same tricks, so transparent in the daylight but put across with the same unabashed fervor with which the girl in the audience offers up her love.[4]

An edited version of the live performance was released as a single in 1966 and charted #94 Pop.

Long, drawn-out performances of "Lost Someone" continued to be a feature of Brown's live shows until 1966, when "It's a Man's Man's World" largely supplanted it in his concert repertoire. Brown would sometimes interpolate parts of "Lost Someone" into the newer song, as in the 1967 performance documented on Live at the Apollo, Volume II.[5]

Personnel[edit]

  • James Brown - lead vocal

with the James Brown Band:

  • Lewis Hamlin - music director, principal trumpet
  • Roscoe Patrick - trumpet
  • Teddy Washington - trumpet
  • Dickie Wells - trombone
  • William "Po' Devil" Burgess - alto saxophone
  • St. Clair Pinckney - principal tenor saxophone
  • Al "Briscoe" Clark - tenor and baritone saxophones
  • Les Buie - guitar
  • Bobby Byrd - organ
  • Hubert Parry - bass
  • Clayton Fillyau - principal drums
  • Probably George Sims - drums[6]

Other versions[edit]

Brown made several other recordings of "Lost Someone", including:

  • A version with strings for his 1963 album Prisoner of Love
  • A studio version similar to the 1962 Apollo performance on 1972's Get On The Good Foot
  • An uptempo version on 1974's Hell

Covers[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ White, Cliff (1991). "Discography". In Star Time (pp. 54–59) [CD booklet]. New York: PolyGram Records.
  2. ^ Brown, James, with Bruce Tucker. James Brown: The Godfather of Soul (New York: Macmillan Publishing Company, 1986), 123.
  3. ^ Leeds, Alan, and Harry Weinger (1991). "Star Time: Song by Song". In Star Time (pp. 46–53) [CD booklet]. New York: PolyGram Records.
  4. ^ Guralnick, P. (1986). Sweet Soul Music: Rhythm and Blues and the Southern Dream of Freedom, 236-237. New York: Back Bay Books. ISBN 0-452-26697-1.
  5. ^ Wolk, Douglas. (2004). Live at the Apollo, 74-75. New York: Continuum.
  6. ^ Leeds, Alan M. (2004). Live at the Apollo (1962) Expanded Edition [CD liner notes]. London: Polydor Records.