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Live at the Apollo was recorded on the night of October 24, 1962 at Brown’s own expense. Although not credited on the album cover or label, Brown’s vocal group, The Famous Flames (Bobby Byrd, Bobby Bennett, and Lloyd Stallworth), played an important co-starring role in Live at the Apollo, and are included with Brown by M.C. Fats Gonder in the album’s intro. Brown’s record label, King Records, originally opposed releasing the album, believing that a live album featuring no new songs would not be profitable. The label finally relented under pressure from Brown and his manager Bud Hobgood.

To King’s surprise, Live at the Apollo was an amazingly rapid seller. It spent 66 weeks on the Billboard Top Pop Albums chart, peaking at #2. Many record stores, especially in the southeast US, found themselves unable to keep up with the demand for the product, eventually ordering several cases at a time. R&B disc jockeys often would play side 1 in its entirety, pausing (usually to insert commercials) only to return to play side 2 in full as well. The side break occurred in the middle of the long track “Lost Someone”.

Track Listing:

No. Title Length
1. “Introduction to James Brown and The Famous Flames” (by Fats Gonder) 1:49
2. “I’ll Go Crazy” 2:05
3. “Try Me” 2:27
4. “Think” 1:58
5. “I Don’t Mind” 2:28
6. “Lost Someone” 10:43
7. “Medley: Please, Please, Please/You’ve Got the Power/I Found Someone/Why Do You Do Me/I Want You So Bad/I Love You, Yes I Do/Strange Things Happen/Bewildered/Please, Please, Please” 6:27
8. “Night Train” 3:26

Schill Score: 8/10

Listen to Album on Spotify