Smash Records first released this collection in 1964 when James Brown made his highly publicized moved from the King label. An odd album; outside of a few funky numbers, the material consists of standards -- songs more commonly sung by Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole, such as "I Wanna Be Around," "Mona Lisa," "Come Rain or Shine," "Nature Boy," and others. Brown does a good job; the man could actually sing ballads -- in the '50s and early '60s he made a reputation singing about love changes and could make you cry with his touching deliveries. But this was 1964, and Brown had a brand-new thing in the form of "Out of Sight," a horn-blaring, rhythmic dancefloor jam that he implodes on. For some reason, Smash put "Maybe the Last Time," one of Brown's best songs, on the flip side, but it was so dominant that it surfaced and became a staple of his concerts. Only three other cuts funk: "Somethin' Else," an early version of "I Got You," and "Good Rockin' Tonight."
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AllMusic Review by Andrew Hamilton