Star Time

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For the 1992 horror film, see Star Time (film). For the 1950-51 DuMont TV series, see Star Time (TV series).
Star Time
Box set by James Brown
Released May 7, 1991
Recorded 1956 – 1984
Genre Soul, funk
Length 294:08
Label Polydor
James Brown chronology
I'm Real
(1988)
Star Time
(1991)
Love Over-Due
(1991)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 5/5 stars link
Robert Christgau A+ link
Entertainment Weekly A link
Mojo 5/5 stars link
Q 5/5 stars June 1991
Rolling Stone 5/5 stars link
Uncut 5/5 stars link

Star Time is a 1991 71-track, 4-CD box set by James Brown. Its contents span most of the length of his career up to the time of its release, starting in 1956 with his first hit record, "Please, Please, Please", and ending with "Unity", his 1984 collaboration with Afrika Bambaataa. Writing in 2007, Robert Christgau described it as "the finest box set ever released... as essential a package as the biz has ever hawked, not just because it's James Brown, but because compilers Cliff White and Harry Weinger invested so much care and knowledge in it."[1] Its title comes from the question Brown's announcer would ask concert audiences, as heard on the album Live at the Apollo: "Are you ready for star time?"

Star Time's liner notes, written by Cliff White, Harry Weinger, Nelson George, Alan Leeds, and Brown himself, won a 1991 Grammy Award for Best Album Notes. The notes also include a discography and a one-page comic by Mary Fleener, a visual interpretation of the song "I Got You (I Feel Good)."

In 2003, the album was ranked number 79 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. It was the second-highest ranking box set on the list.

Track listing[edit]

Disc 1 ("Mr. Dynamite")[edit]

  1. "Please Please Please" (James Brown, Johnny Terry) – 2:43
  2. "Why Do You Do Me" (Bobby Byrd, Sylvester Keels) – 2:59
  3. "Try Me" (Brown) – 2:30
  4. "Tell Me What I Did Wrong" (Brown) – 2:20
  5. "Bewildered" (Leonard Whitcup, Teddy Powell) – 2:21
  6. "Good Good Lovin'" (Brown, Albert Shubert) – 2:18
  7. "I'll Go Crazy" (Brown) – 2:05
  8. "I Know It's True" (Brown) – 2:40
  9. "(Do the) Mashed Potatoes, Pt. 1" (Dessie Rozier) – 1:39
  10. "Think" (Lowman Pauling) – 2:46
  11. "Baby, You're Right" (Brown, Joe Tex) – 2:58
  12. "Lost Someone" (Brown, Byrd, Lloyd Eugene Stallworth) – 3:28
  13. "Night Train" (Oscar Washington, Lewis Simpkins, Jimmy Forrest) – 3:38
  14. "I've Got Money" (Brown) – 2:29
  15. "I Don't Mind" [live] (Brown) – 2:29
  16. "Prisoner of Love" (Leo Robin, Russ Columbo, Clarence Gaskin) – 2:24
  17. "Devil's Den" (Ted Wright) – 4:48
  18. "Out of the Blue" (Wright, Terry) – 2:15
  19. "Out of Sight" (Wright) – 2:19
  20. "Grits" (Nat Jones, Wright) – 3:58
  21. "Maybe the Last Time" (Wright) – 3:02
  22. "It's a Man's World" (Brown, Betty Jean Newsome) – 3:22
  23. "I Got You" (Wright) – 2:27
  24. "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag, Pts. 1, 2 & 3" (Brown) – 6:56

Track 9 published under the James Brown pseudonym of Dessie Rozier. Tracks 17-21 & 23 are published under the James Brown pseudonym of Ted Wright.

Tracks 1-7, 10, 12, 15, and 21 recorded with The Famous Flames

Disc 2 ("The Hardest Working Man In Show Business")[edit]

  1. "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag, Pt. 1" (Brown) – 2:06
  2. "I Got You (I Feel Good)" (Brown) – 2:45
  3. "Ain't That a Groove" (Brown, Jones) – 3:31
  4. "It's a Man's Man's Man's World" (Brown, Newsome) – 2:46
  5. "Money Won't Change You" (Brown, Jones) – 6:01
  6. "Don't Be a Dropout" (Brown, Jones) – 4:31
  7. "Bring It Up (Hipster's Avenue)" (Brown, Jones) – 3:48
  8. "Let Yourself Go" (Brown, Bud Hobgood) – 3:53
  9. "Cold Sweat" (Brown, Alfred Ellis) – 7:30
  10. "Get It Together" (Brown, Hobgood, Ellis) – 8:57
  11. "I Can't Stand Myself (When You Touch Me), Pt. 1" (Brown) – 3:29
  12. "I Got the Feelin'" (Brown) – 2:39
  13. "Licking Stick-Licking Stick" (Brown, Byrd, Ellis) – 4:52
  14. "Say It Loud – I'm Black and I'm Proud, Pt. 1" (Brown, Ellis) – 2:59
  15. "There Was a Time" [Live] (Brown, Hobgood) – 4:59
  16. "Give It Up or Turnit a Loose" (Charles Bobbit) – 3:10
  17. "I Don't Want Nobody to Give Me Nothing (Open up the Door I'll Get It Myself)" (Brown) – 5:59

Disc 3 ("Soul Brother No. 1")[edit]

  1. "Mother Popcorn" (Brown, Ellis) – 6:18
  2. "Funky Drummer" (Brown) – 7:00
  3. "Get Up (I Feel Like Being A) Sex Machine" (Brown, Byrd, Ron Lenhoff) – 5:15
  4. "Super Bad, Pts. 1 & 2" (Brown) – 4:26
  5. "Talkin' Loud & Sayin' Nothing" (Brown, Byrd) – 8:59
  6. "Get Up, Get into It and Get Involved" (Brown, Byrd, Lenhoff) – 7:03
  7. "Soul Power, Pts. 1 & 2" (Brown) – 4:25
  8. "Brother Rapp/Ain't It Funky Now" [live] (Brown) – 7:44
  9. "Hot Pants, Pt. 1" (Brown, Fred Wesley) – 3:06
  10. "I'm a Greedy Man, Pt. 1" (Brown, Bobbit) – 3:36
  11. "Make It Funky, Pt. 1" (Brown, Bobbit) – 3:34
  12. "It's a New Day" [live] (Brown) – 3:48
  13. "I Got Ants in My Pants, Pt. 1" (Brown) – 3:01
  14. "King Heroin" (Brown, Bobbit, Dave Matthews, Manny Rosen) – 3:57

Disc 4 ("The Godfather Of Soul")[edit]

  1. "There It Is, Pt. 1" (Brown) – 3:20
  2. "Public Enemy #1, Pt. 1" (Brown, Bobbit, Henry Stallings) – 5:09
  3. "Get on the Good Foot" (Brown, Wesley, Joseph Mims) – 4:07
  4. "I Got a Bag of My Own" (Brown) – 3:44
  5. "Doing It to Death" (Brown) – 5:14
  6. "The Payback" (Brown, Wesley, John Starks) – 7:28
  7. "Papa Don't Take No Mess, Pt. 1" (Brown, Wesley, Starks, Bobbit) – 4:22
  8. "Stoned to the Bone, Pt. 1" (Brown) – 3:28
  9. "My Thang" (Brown) – 4:37
  10. "Funky President (People It's Bad)" (Brown) – 4:01
  11. "Hot (I Need To Be Loved, Loved, Loved, Loved)" (Brown) – 5:03
  12. "Get Up Offa That Thing (Release the Pressure)" (Diedre Jenkins, Deanna Brown, Yamma Brown) – 6:14
  13. "Body Heat, Pt. 1" (Jenkins, D. Brown, Y. Brown) – 4:29
  14. "It's Too Funky in Here" (George Jackson, Walter Shaw, Brad Shapiro, Robert Miller) – 5:39
  15. "Rapp Payback (Where Iz Moses)" (J. Brown, Susaye Brown, Henry Stallings) – 4:36
  16. "Unity, Pt. 1" (J. Brown, Khayan Aasim Bambaataa, Douglas Wimbish, Bernard Alexander, Keith LeBlanc, Robin Haplin) – 3:40

Other compilations[edit]

At the time of its release Star Time was the most comprehensive collection of James Brown's recordings ever issued. A series of Polydor compilations released in the 1990s expanded on Star Time by including additional songs, alternate takes, previously unreleased recordings, and longer, unedited versions of key tracks:

Two other Polydor collections similarly anthologize Brown's instrumental recordings:

In 1992, Scotti Brothers Records released The Greatest Hits of the Fourth Decade, a compilation of Brown's charting songs from the 1980s which were left off of Star Time. The album's cover art was modeled on Star Time's.

In 2006, Hip-O Select Records began a multi-volume reissue of James Brown's complete singles (both A-sides and B-sides) on CD. The volumes are only available through mail order. As of October 2011, eleven volumes have been released, covering the periods 1956-1960, 1960-1963, 1964-1965, 1966-1967, 1967-1969, 1969-1970, 1970-1972, 1972-1973, 1973-1975, 1975-1979 and 1979-1981.

See also[edit]

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