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The 20 most underrated R&B albums of all time

payback

No. 17 The Payback (1973) by James Brown

The Godfather of Soul has never been known as a particularly strong album-maker. Most of his greatest material was released before the full-length LP became the driving force of the music industry–but he did craft one undeniably perfect studio album. Initially conceived as the soundtrack for the blaxploitation film Hell Up In Harlem, Brown’s album was rejected by the film producers. It’s hard to figure out why; because this is 70s-era JB at his funkiest and grittiest–with some truly beautiful balladry thrown in for good measure.

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4 Comments

  1. darkjivechicago on May 30, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    nice selections (especially “Young Mod’s Forgotten Story” and “Triumph”). although i would argue that Sly’s “There’s a Riot Going On” is also underrated, especially up against records like the original “Greatest Hits” comp (which contains no tracks from that album). Also, I’d pencil in Rahsaan Patterson’s first album, or maybe add in “Leroy Hutson II” in lieu of “Let’s Do it Again” (although I love Mavis and Curtis).

  2. Charles Davenport on June 12, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    Good list but you forgot Teedra Moses, Complex Simplicity. Great call with Solange though ,her album was better than big sis.

  3. Chris Webster on June 21, 2013 at 5:31 pm

    A friend told me about X102.3 a few days ago. Now it’s programmed as number 1 on my car stereo. The music keeps me jamming, especially during their morning show. It’s always a great way to start my day. Tune in http://www.thex1023.com, you may even win some tickets like I did.

  4. Lefty 2 Gunz on November 9, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    this is a Really good list bravo! …I really feel like Ray J’s “Raydiation” should be on here .. It is a really good Album but is slept on because he is Ray J and His Antics and Personal Life overshadowed his music… But that album is really good he had some great writesr, Nice beats, nice concepts like “Melody” a love song to music… and He sang the shit out A great majority of the songs ..