If you don't have access to the dozens of James Brown compilations in the United States or Japan, this Universal U.K. collection may be just the thing to get you up offa that thang. Given that they own virtually all of the James Brown masters, we can be assured that these versions of his best-known material are first recordings as opposed to the many dodgy live boots out there from fly-by-night labels attempting to cash in as well as deceive fans. This one is strictly legit. There are 18 cuts on this monster; rather than concentrating on being representative of Brown's long career, this disc touches on his soul years but goes deeper into representing the development of the funk we all love him for. "Get Up (I Feel Like Being A) Sex Machine" and "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag" precede "Try Me," "Please Please Please," and "It's a Man's Man's Man's World." Other material here includes the killer versions of "Body Heat" and "The Payback," with plenty in between. Unfortunately, "Mother Popcorn" is missing, but that's OK because "Hot Pants," "Night Train," and both parts of "Funky Drummer" are here. In other words, this is a great place to get started for the novice, and a killer mix CD for the devoted fan.
AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek