Think (The "5" Royales song)

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"Think"
Single by The "5" Royales
B-side "I'd Better Make A Move"
Released 1957
Format 7"
Genre Rhythm and blues
Length 2:35
Label King
5053
Writer(s) Lowman Pauling
"Think"
Single by James Brown and The Famous Flames
from the album Think!
B-side "You've Got the Power"
Released May 1960 (1960-05)
Format 7"
Recorded February 20, 1960, United Studios, Hollywood, CA
Genre Rhythm and blues
Length 2:46
Label Federal
12370
Producer(s) Unknown
James Brown charting singles chronology
"I'll Go Crazy"
(1960)
"Think"
(1960)
"You've Got the Power" (B-side of "Think")
(1960)
"Think"
Single by Vicki Anderson and James Brown
B-side "Nobody Cares" (Vicki Anderson only)
Released 1967 (1967)
Format 7"
Genre Soul, funk
Length 3:22
Label King
6091
Producer(s) James Brown
James Brown charting singles chronology
"Kansas City"
(1967)
"Think"
(1967)
"Let Yourself Go"
(1967)
"Think"
Single by James Brown
B-side "Something"
Released 1973 (1973)
Format 7"
Genre Funk
Length 3:14
Label Polydor
14177
Producer(s) James Brown
James Brown charting singles chronology
"Down and Out in New York City"
(1973)
"Think"
(1973)
"Think"
(1973)
"Think"
Single by James Brown
B-side "Something"
Released 1973 (1973)
Format 7"
Genre Funk
Length 3:18
Label Polydor
14185
Producer(s) James Brown
James Brown charting singles chronology
"Think"
(1973)
"Think"
(1973)
"Sexy, Sexy, Sexy"
(1973)

"Think" is a rhythm and blues song written by Lowman Pauling and originally recorded by his group The "5" Royales. Released as a single on King Records in 1957, it was a national hit and reached number nine on the U.S. R&B chart.

James Brown & The Famous Flames version[edit]

In 1960 James Brown and The Famous Flames recorded a cover version of "Think". The song's instrumental backing featured a pronounced rhythmic attack that anticipated Brown's later funk music. Critic Peter Guralnick described Brown's version of the song as a "radical reworking... Sung rapid-fire with the kind of sharp prompting from the Famous Flames that was the aural equivalent of their precision steps, 'Think' embodied an approach different from any in the past, with not only the song but the structure of the song turned inside out and a classic shuffle blues rhythmically and melodically transformed."[1] Douglas Wolk called it "[Brown's] first great dance record."[2]

"Think" was released as a single on the King sister label Federal Records and charted #7 R&B and #33 Pop. ("Think"'s B-side, "You've Got the Power", was also a hit, reaching #14 R&B and #86 Pop.)[3] It was Brown and The Famous Flames' first recording to enter the Pop Top 40, and their next-to-last single for the Federal label before they switched to King. "Think" was also included on Brown's 1960 album of the same name.

Personnel[edit]

  • James Brown - lead vocal

and The Famous Flames:

with the James Brown Band

  • Alfred Corley - alto saxophone
  • J.C. Davis - tenor saxophone
  • Bobby Roach - guitar
  • Bernard Odum - bass
  • Nat Kendrick - drums[4]

Other James Brown versions[edit]

James Brown & The Famous Flames recorded an extremely fast live rendition of "Think" for their 1963 album Live at the Apollo. Brown also performs the song on Live at the Apollo, Volume II in a duet with Marva Whitney.

In 1967 Brown recorded "Think" in the studio as a duet with Vicki Anderson. The version grazed the bottom of the Pop chart, peaking at #100. Brown returned to "Think" again in 1973, when he released two different solo performances of the song as singles on the Polydor label, both of them backed with his cover of The Beatles' "Something". Both versions charted, the former at #15 R&B and #77 Pop, the latter at #37 R&B and #80 Pop.

Other cover versions[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Guralnick, P. (1986). Sweet Soul Music: Rhythm and Blues and the Southern Dream of Freedom, 233. New York: Back Bay Books. ISBN 0-452-26697-1.
  2. ^ Wolk, Douglas. (2004). Live at the Apollo, 50. New York: Continuum Books.
  3. ^ White, Cliff (1991). "Discography". In Star Time (pp. 54–59) [CD booklet]. New York: PolyGram Records.
  4. ^ Leeds, Alan, and Harry Weinger (1991). "Star Time: Song by Song". In Star Time (pp. 46–53) [CD booklet]. New York: PolyGram Records.
  5. ^ "Both Sides of People! (1969)", http://www.meetjesushere.com/both_sides_of_people.htm
  6. ^ "The Best Of People! Volume 2 (2006) (40 Year Anniversary)", http://www.meetjesushere.com/best_of_people2.htm