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The Payback


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Audio CD, September 22, 1992
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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
listen  1. The Payback 7:39$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Doing The Best I Can 7:42$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Take Some - Leave Some 8:33$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Shoot Your Shot 8:09$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Forever Suffering 5:52$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Time Is Running Out Fast12:47$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Stone To The Bone10:14$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Mind Power12:04$1.29  Buy MP3 

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Frequently Bought Together

The Payback + In the Jungle Groove + Hell
Price for all three: $11.97

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 22, 1992)
  • Original Release Date: 1974
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Polydor / Umgd
  • ASIN: B000001DZU
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,726 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Comprising just eight cuts but spanning almost 73 minutes, this 1973 double-LP is full of extended, mesmerizing jams and dazzling chemistry between James, Maceo, Fred Wesley and the band. The title classic joins Stone to the Bone; Shoot Your Shot; Mind Power; Doing the Best I Can , and more!

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
5 star
33
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See all 40 customer reviews
Pure funk/soul!
Reginald Davenport
The musicianship is among the best of all his albums from this period, and for his entire career for that matter.
Morton
James Brown&His Band are Cutting the Loose here the Grooves are Cooking like Butter in a Skillet.
MAXIMILLIAN MUHAMMAD

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Matt Calvert on November 4, 2000
Format: Audio CD
James Brown's 1973 album 'The Payback' is arguably his most cohesive set, this is perhaps due to the fact that it was originally scored as the soundtrack for the sequel to "Hell Up In Harlem". When the film deal fell through at the 11th hour, Brown decided to release the new material as a double LP, the results going on to become a defining moment in funk and soul history.
Not only is the material excellent, but the soulful performances of not only Brown, (check out the emotional ballad "Doing The Best I Can", which is considerably heart-wrenching when placed in context with the events surrounding son Teddy's death during the making of the album), but also from JBs Fred Wesley and Maceo Parker (trombone and alto sax respectively, both featured on the up-tempo "Shoot Your Shot" and the tense funk jam "Time Is Running Out Fast") help shape the album's overall dynamic. Brown even gets funky on Hammond Organ for a few cuts.
From ultra-soulful ballads ("Doing the best.." and "Forever Suffering") to strident funk tracks ("The Payback" and "Take Some, Leave Some), "The Payback" covers it all. In my opinion this was Brown's last great Long-Playing effort, it's follow up "Hell" failed to reproduce the success of the varied-yet-cohesive formula with an over-eclectic mix. "Mind Power" is perhaps a let down track to an otherwise must-have.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Joe Craig on October 26, 2001
Format: Audio CD
This is one of the James Brown classics that I really could just listen to end to end non-stop for hours. Start in the morning to get the day off to a groovy start, have lunch to it so the steady funk helps your digestion, chill in the afternoon hearing them sit on the one, and then in the evening get everybody dancing, coz don't forget this is damn funky.
The sound here is very controlled, very tight, and sparse, but that's just what you want from JB at his peak (and I do consider this to be his peak). Maceo's playing here shines too - the rhythm, the motifs, the interplay with the rest of the band. In short, top stuff, and essential for anyone who thinks they ever might consider owning any James Brown (which really ought to cover everybody in the world).
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By "katja_r" on September 20, 2000
Format: Audio CD
I enjoy listening to the music on this CD, I respect the man who wrote and performed these songs. Think about what you might do if the film deal for your most recently assembled recordings fell through? In addition to that, you endorsed a president responsible for the worst political scandal in post-war US politics. If that were not enough, if that did not discourage you to the point of despair, in the same year these two set backs occurred, James Brown lost his son in a fatal automobile accident. Think about what you might do. If you are James Brown, if you are the Hitman, if you are the Godfather of Soul, you fight back with 4 hit records, 2 soundtracks while constantly touring including in Europe (5 weeks), and at the Apollo (1 week). Then, if that weren't enough, for a man who, in mid-year, understandably spent one week in Hill Crest Hospital to rest, he released the PAYBACK in January 1974. The album reached #34 on the Bilboard Pop Album Charts and went certified-gold. Two singles were released from the album: STONE(D) TO THE BONE (November 1973 #4 R&B / #58 Pop); THE PAYBACK (January 1974 #1 R&B / #26 Pop). I just have to respect a man who can fight like that. If you have not listened to James Brown, yet, this may not be the best CD to start with, however, it has some of the best grooves and mature soul funk. If you are interested in some of the best funk performed by a great band, or if you are interested in the music of James Brown in the early seventies, this CD will interest you.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By nadav haber on July 21, 2001
Format: Audio CD
The title track of this CD is an all time classic. It is certainly one of the funkiest tracks I've ever heard. I listened to it so many times but it still sounds fresh. It is great because it achieves the maximum funk with the minimum effort - containing only funk essentials (and really makes you want to move !). The rest of the CD is very good but to me does not measure up to the title track. There are two ok ballads and one successfull medium funk "mind power". The other tracks are rhythmic adventures with the horn players given alot of improvisational space. These tracks failed to grab me as the first track did. Overall - a necessary CD for all funksters.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 18, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Do you own a James Brown Greatest Hits album? Are you looking to get deeper into the JB groove? Buy this album, you won't be disappointed, this is James brown at his peak, the title track is great, but once you are inside, on tracks like 'Take Some, Leave Some', 'Stone to the Bone' and 'Mind Power' you start to experience pure funk...the musicians Jam on these tracks for almost 10 minutes, and each track is so good, that you're disappointed when they come to an end. I think I'm going to go and listen to it now...
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Morton on April 14, 2008
Format: Audio CD
James Brown-The Payback *****

The Payback might just be James Brown's best studio album of the 1970's, it certainly is one of the funkiest! The musicianship is among the best of all his albums from this period, and for his entire career for that matter. That is one thing you have to give the Godfather is that the man knew how to put together a band, and he knew what to arrange for them. The man was a genius, and The Payback is a testament to that.

From the ultra funky title track, 'The Payback' through the almost tender ballad of 'Forever Suffering' this is the most accessible album in James cannon. The Wah-wah heavy 'Shoot Your Shot' is among Brown's best of his career, and the saxophone on 'Time Is Running Out Fast' is just beautiful. Even 'Stone To The Bone' which loosely seems like a 'Get On The Good Foot' rewrite both musically and lyrically is wonderful. The only gripe is on the albums closer, 'Mind Power' which has a load of spoken word which just doesn't flow with the song most of the way, but the music is excellent. Though what he is saying is great it just seems awkward with the music.

The Payback is it man. This is essential to any James fan. It's easy to see why artists such as Prince, Michael Jackson, Sly Stone, and P-funk all hold James as a high influence, even if this albums was way into his career after most of those acts had already started.
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