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Live at the Apollo [Vinyl] Live


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Vinyl, Live, April 29, 2008
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$24.80 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Temporarily out of stock. Order now and we'll deliver when available. We'll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your account will only be charged when we ship the item. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com in easy-to-open packaging. Gift-wrap available.

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Editorial Reviews

Vinyl pressing of Live At The Apollo by James Brown and The Famous Flames, recorded at the Apollo Theater in Harlem on the night of October 24, 1962 at Brown's own expense and released in 1963. Live at the Apollo was an amazingly rapid seller. It spent 66 weeks on the Billboard Top Pop Albums chart, peaking at #2. Many record stores, especially in the southeast U. S., found themselves unable to keep up with the demand for the product, eventually ordering several cases at a time. R&B disc jockeys often would play side 1 in its entirety, pausing for commercials, only to return to play side 2 in full as well. The side break occurred in the middle of the long track "Lost Someone". In 2003, the album was ranked number 24 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

Product Details

  • Vinyl (April 29, 2008)
  • Original Release Date: 2014
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Live
  • Label: Polydor
  • ASIN: B0000572BI
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (115 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,301 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

66 of 67 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 27, 2004
Format: Audio CD
October 24, 1962 is a date that will live in music infamy. For it was then at the midnight show at Harlem's famed Apollo Theater when James Brown recorded the album that fully introduced soul music to America and gave documented proof that he was indeed the greatest showman alive.
The story behind it is well known. Brown had a few R&B hits dating back to 1956, including the 1959 chart topper "Try Me", but was largely unheard of outside young black America and even with that success his singles career was maddeningly inconsistant in terms of sales and even musical direction. But in person it was a different story, for in front of an audience Brown tore it up night after night on the chitlin' circuit, an act no rival wanted to try and follow. It is safe to assume that anyone who saw his show live was instantly a fan for life.
Therefore what he wanted was to record a concert, much like Ray Charles had done at Newport a few years before, that would show people who hadn't yet bought a ticket just what they'd been missing. King Records chief Syd Nathan rejected it flatly, saying - and not without some merit - that albums did not sell well to the generally lower economic strata of R&B fans, and without even a single to garner from it the venture would be foolhardy at best. Naturally Brown ignored this dictive and paid for the recording himself, and thus with his own ego, reputation and perhaps career on the line gave the single greatest performance ever caught on tape. Nathan had no choice but to put it out.
Sales built slowly, spurred on by enormous word of mouth publicity and frequent airings of the entire album on the tiny R&B outposts at the far ends of the AM dial, until it became the "must have" LP of 1963.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By JG on December 26, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Whenever I pass by the Apollo,my mind goes back and recalls this recording and as the liner notes make clear this CD released in 1963 is a tidal wave of raw emotion that sold millions without a hit single, JB's 1st hit album and was voted internationally by critics as one of the Top 20 albums of all time..with reason.

This CD is the meat and potatoes of JB, a representation of his live show that brought him into the spotlight on this cold night with a hot band.

All his accolades, The Hardest Working Man In Show Business, Godfather Of Soul,Soul Brother # 1 are all here on this 30 minute live CD.

The CD itself was remastered in 1990, prepared from the original,undubbed stereo master tape.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By David B. Lowe on August 28, 2004
Format: Audio CD
It is a given that this JB performance is a must-have, but the Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab's 1993 gold disc ([...]) has much better sound quality even though it has sound on the left and right but none in the middle. This mainstream release tried to shift the left and right into the middle, but in doing so the sound became irritating and JB's voice lost depth. The bonus tracks sound bad and add nothing. Get the MFSL version if you can find it.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By David W. Coleman on June 15, 2000
Format: Audio CD
They say if you can make it in New York, you can make it anywhere. The Apollo was notorious for its tough audience, but in the case of James Brown, it was more like a command performance. James came north with a whole mess of down-home soul and he laid it all out, holding back nothing. This is still a very young James, even though he'd been recording for over a decade. It is this type of performance that froze a great front man like Mick Jagger (offstage during the taping of the T.A.M.I. show). The live audience shrieked with rapture throughout! This is the greatest live album ever. And it almost wasn't: Syd Nathan at King Records would not reach in his pocket to produce the live album. So James Brown did it himself. This album reached #2 on the U.S. pop chart... something that just was not done by a Black artist in those days. Black radio stations of the day would play the album like a two-sided single, playing all of side one, taking a commercial break, and coming right back with all of side two. How could you break up something so great? This is where James Brown was coming from, and it fostered a self-determination in Brown that led to him signing with Smash records and, eventually, winning artistic freedom and control from King Records.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Anthony G Pizza VINE VOICE on March 15, 2000
Format: Audio CD
It's hard remembering the impact of this classic James Brown live set nearly 40 years later. It was among the first soul music albums, live or studio, designed to be enjoyed start to finish in one listen (and was often played that way on early 60s radio, unheard of then). It went to #2 on the pop charts where traditional crooners like Andy Williams and Barbra Streisand normally nested.
What's striking is that JB and the Flames did little more here than at the 299 other shows they did nearly every year at his 60s peak. James' early R&B hits (heard on "Roots of A Revolution") were pleasant, if traditional, in the studio. But in front of an ecstatic Apollo Theatre crowd on a cold autumn night, they take on a fury and joy only JB brought to stage. Listen to the crowd interaction on the dynamic "Lost Someone," or the shreiks as JB wraps a hits medley around his signature song "Please, Please, Please," or the race to the finish of the thrilling "Night Train." Understanding James Brown's impact on pop music and culture starts here, with this recording of an event not so much a concert as a culmination and coronation. As Dave Marsh once put it, "If you could see James Brown dancing, it would be perfect."
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