50 Essential Albums of 1967

From the Doors' debut to Aretha Franklin's first smash

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James Brown, 'Cold Sweat King'
James Brown, 'Cold Sweat King'8/50

James Brown, 'Cold Sweat King'

The modal title milestone one-upped Wilson Pickett's "Funky Broadway" and introduced JB's funky drummer number two, Clyde Stubblefield. But the uptempo oldies Brown added to the hit to make an album – Lloyd Price's "Stagger Lee," Wilbert Harrison's "Kansas City," Little Willie John's "Fever" and Roy Brown's "Good Rockin' Tonight" – smelled a little fishy at the time. Now, however, they're caviar – JB's full voice and flawless time yoking proven classics to some of the tightest big-band blues ever recorded. The slow side pits Brown's ballad falsetto and ballad scream against some of the most elaborate R&B strings ever recorded. Especially on the two Nat "King" Cole numbers and an over-the-top "Come Rain or Come Shine," the falsetto wins by a mile.

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