James Brown and His Famous Flames scored an R&B Top Ten hit in 1956 with "Please, Please, Please," but Brown's next nine singles for Federal Records flopped. It was the next, "Try Me," his third single of 1958, that finally scored. That was when King Records (Federal's parent label) assembled this, Brown's debut album, out of some of those singles sessions. You can hear the sound of a group and its enthusiastic singer looking for a hit, sometimes in the rock & roll of "Chonnie-On-Chon" (1957) or the 1956 B-side "I Feel That Old Feeling Coming On," sometimes by remaking "Please, Please, Please" under another name, such as "I Don't Know" (1956), sometimes by tackling Coasters-like novelty material such as "That Dood It" (1958), sometimes by aping the smooth Sam Cooke, as on the 1958 B-side "That's When I Lost My Heart," and once by rewriting "My Bonnie (Lies Over the Ocean)" as the 1958 B-side "Baby Cries over the Ocean." Only the two hits were really memorable, but the album presented the sound of a major star-to-be in search of his sound.
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AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann