The first volume of The Best of James Brown, issued as part of Universal Music Group's mid-priced compilation series 20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection, contained 11 Brown recordings from the 1950s to the early '70s. This one has ten tracks that follow Brown from 1970 to his last major hit of the '70s, 1976's "Get Up Offa That Thing." Nine of the tracks were hit singles, reaching the middle levels of the pop charts and the upper regions of the R&B charts, the exception being a live version of the 1969 hit "Give It Up or Turnit a Loose." Unlike the first volume, this one sometimes uses the long versions of the tracks, combining recordings released as "Part 1" and "Part 2" on the original singles. This is true of "Get Up (I Feel Like Being A) Sex Machine," "Talking Loud and Saying Nothing," and "The Payback." On the other hand, only "Part 1" of "Hot Pants (She Got to Use What She Got to Get What She Wants)," "Make It Funky," and "Papa Don't Take No Mess" have been included. This collection is nothing like a comprehensive overview of the hits of the '70's most successful R&B chartmaker; it's just a selection of the many hits Brown scored during the decade.
AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann