I have been getting over a it of a chest cold this week so I have been very hesitant to do any serious outdoor workouts…hell, any workouts really.
I have however drank a lot of beer courtesy of Brimstone Brewing.
Anyway, I took the opportunity today as I have a bonus day off work today to hit the gym and complete a minute functional strength/core set with a complimentary minute pool run afterwards. The soundtrack this afternoon for my upstairs routine of planks, “tipping birds”, step-up’s and medicine ball push-ups is the legendary ‘Live at the Apollo‘ album by James Brown & The Fabulous Flames.
This album as been on my “To Find” list of records for some time but, today, I couldn’t wait any longer and decided to listen to the digital files instead thinking, hey, why not?
As far as The Hardest Working Man in Show Business” is concerned, this is his seminal album recorded at the Apollo Theater in Harlem and released in 1963. In 2003, the album was ranked #25 (24 in 2012) on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the ‘500 Greatest Albums of All Time. In 2004, it was one of 50 recordings chosen that year by the Library of Congress to be added to the National Recording Registry. In 1998, this album was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame and – most importantly – my own Bible (Mojo, August 1995) ranks it at #32.
‘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 the album, 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 and…thank GOD for that!
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.
Fortunately, I got to listen to it all in 100% of it’s full glory. Hit follows hit without a pause – ‘I’ll Go Crazy‘, ‘Try Me’, ‘Think‘, ‘Please Please Please‘, ‘I Don’t Mind’, ‘Night Train‘, and more.
It’s certainly a fun and incredibly enjoyable listen and my search for this on vinyl goes on…