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Bobby Byrd (Soul): Bobby Byrd Got Soul: The Best of Bobby Byrd *

Album Reviews:

Rolling Stone (10/5/95, pp.70-73) - 3.5 Stars - Good Plus - "...Byrd's earthy, churchy vocals went way beyond mere point counterpoint; they were the fulcrum of a carefully balanced groove....Certainly few singers could ride the rhythm as well as Byrd..."

JazzTimes (3/96, p.83) - "...a mother lode for those interested in the roots of the seemingly inexhaustible JB sound....Slap it on and get down."

Album Notes

Personnel includes: Bobby Byrd (vocals, organ, tambourine); James Brown (vocals, electric piano, organ); Anna King (vocals); Hearlon "Cheese" Martin, Robert Coleman, Jimmy Nolen, Alphonso "Country" Kellum, Kenny Poole, Phelps "Catfish" Collins, Les Buie (guitar); Alfred "Pee Wee" Ellis (alto & tenor saxophones); Jimmy Parker, Nat Jones (alto saxophone); Robert "Chopper" McCollough (tenor saxophone); St. Clair Pinckney, Maceo Parker (tenor & baritone saxophones); Heywood Henry (baritone saxophone); Jasaan Sanford, Russell Crimes, Ike Oakley, Waymon Reed, Richard "Kush" Griffith, Daryl "Hasaan" Jamison, Clayton "Chicken" Gunnells, Joe Dupars (trumpet); Fred Wesley, Richard Harris, Garnett Brown, Jimmy Cleveland (trombone); Ernie Hayes (piano, organ); Fred Thomas, "Sweet" Charles Sherrell, William "Bootsy" Collins (bass); Clyde Stubblefield, John "Jabo" Starks, William "Beau Dollar" Bowman, David "Panama" Francis, Don Juan "Tiger" Martin, Bernard "Pretty" Purdie (drums); Bennie Parks (bongos); Johnny Griggs (congas, tambourine).

Producers: James Brown, Bud Hobgood, Bobby Byrd.

Compilation producer: Harry Weinger.

Recorded between 1963 and 1972. Includes liner notes by Cliff White.

Digitally remastered by Gary N. Mayo (PolyGram Studios).

As is the case with the JB's and other James Brown protégés, Bobby Byrd's legacy is spread over numerous out-of-print, difficult-to-find vinyl records. So this 22-song retrospective, which gathers numerous singles, and a couple of previously unreleased tracks spanning 1964 to 1973, is a welcome consolidation of his most significant work into one package. Solid stuff, covering both standard soul from the '60s and hard funk (usually featuring the JB's) from the early '70s, though it sounds a lot more like a James Brown record with a different vocalist than a Bobby Byrd record that happens to benefit from James Brown's backing crew. Brown produced (and occasionally contributed to) all of the recordings here, and duets with Bobby on the 1968 single "You've Got to Change Your Mind." ~ Richie Unterberger


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