The Phono Project

Exploring the history of the groove

“Try me (I Need You)” by James Brown

This is a recording of James Brown, the father of funk, and The Famous Flames performing the song Try Me (I Need You).

Due to James’ chaotic upbringing, he intensely micro-managed music whenever possible, for a sense of control on life. His passion surrounding music forced him to adjust band members often, penalize musicians for mistakes, and expect perfection from his fellow performers.James often took full credit for songs despite collaboration and even continued calling new band members the “Famous Flames” although most of the original cast were no longer involved. 

Early on, James despised drugs and fought to have a clean-cut band, however, his own battle with alcohol and drugs eventually dominated his existence, leading him in and out of jail. Although James Brown, father of funk, attempted to gain control of his life as an adult by creating music like no other, his unstable upbringing ultimately led to his career’s demise.

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