Review: James Brown – Live at the Apollo IV

Record Store Day 2016. Generally a good idea, however, it seems that there are hardly any vinyl records that Funk freaks eagerly wait for.

So I meandered into my local Wrecka Store Groove City a couple of days before RDS and had a chat with the lovely Marga.

The James Brown Live at the Apollo IV had not arrived yet, and I was curious what her take on it was. She told me, it was likely to be a regular release with the first couple of copies shipped in time for RDS. Of course I still wanted one.

Fast forward to about a week later and I received the message that my package was waiting for me at Groove City. Straight back into the Our Label Headquarters and onto the turntable with the new purchase.

The first thing I noticed is the excellent sound quality. The mix is well balanced and all instruments are clear and get their space. I had expected a rough recording that sounds like someone stood in the audience with one mic. But no! Excellent mix, really.

The next thing that is apparent is, that there is a lot of talking by Mr Brown and also Lyn Collins. I can understand that these parts of the recording did not make it to the first albums, as they were probably considered fill material. Knowing the history and having enjoyed the first edits of the concerts, I am now glad to get a chance to hear the ‘rest’ of the concert and get a feel for what had been said and played.

Overall verdict: A well done record in terms of sound, flow and musical quality (of course). I recommend you look for it and get your copy. Apparently it was a RDS exclusive with a limited run of only 2400 copies worldwide.