500 Greatest Songs of All Time

Rolling Stone's definitive list of the 500 greatest songs of all time.

Load Previous
James Brown and His Famous Flames, 'Please, Please, Please'
500
143/500

143. James Brown and His Famous Flames, 'Please, Please, Please'

Writers: Brown, Johnny Terry
Producer: Ralph Bass
Released: Feb. '56, Federal
2 weeks; No. 95

On parole after three years in a Georgia juvenile pen, Brown hooked up with the Famous Flames for his debut single: a screaming burst of R&B. It had been in the Flames' act for two years before they put down a demo, which caught the ear of talent scout Bass. He signed the group to King/Federal Records, despite label head Syd Nathan's opinion that the song was "a piece of shit." Kicking off with Brown's shriek, the single drove women wild and became his set-closer, but the Flames, feeling upstaged, quit the act a year later.

Appears on: 50th Anniversary Collection (UTV/Polydor)

RELATED:

The 100 Greatest Artists of All Time: James Brown

The 100 Greatest Singers of All Time: James Brown

Back to Top