According to Alan Leeds -- tour director of the James Brown show in the late '60s -- by 1968 Brown was honored with the distinction of selling one million concert tickets during his various appearances at the famed Apollo Theatre. The first volume of Live at the Apollo  captured the R&B fury that would single-handedly define the soul music genre. While this volume reveals Brown's updated stage show, it more importantly offers another prolific observation into the future of R&B -- funk. It would be nearly two years before Brown would discover the likes of Bootsy Collins and ultimately form the J.B.'s. However, as Live at the Apollo, Vol. II testifies, "soul brother number one" is already submerging his band into more extended musical tangents, bobbing and weaving within a tight framework. This yields exciting new readings of familiar classics such as "It's a Man's Man's Man's World." Not only does Brown brilliantly incorporate the track "Lost Someone" -- recalling the extended workout given on Live at the Apollo  -- Brown's percussive, heart-attack inducing call and response will leave even the most unflappable enthusiast slack jawed.
Live at the Apollo, Vol. II Review
by Lindsay Planer