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Rolling Stones unreleased: Try Me

Written by: James Brown
Recorded: Chess Studios, Chicago, USA, May 10-11 1965

Try Me was the title track from James Brown’s first 1959 album. It was re-released in 1964 under the brash title The Unbeatable James Brown – 16 Hits. A 10″ RCA Victor acetate of the Stones playing an Everly Brothers song (title unknown) was also recorded at these sessions. There are no vocals. It was auctioned in 1990.

From allmusic:
James Brown fans raised on “Cold Sweat” and “The Payback” might be surprised by this mellow soul ballad, which gave Brown his first R&B chart-topper. Like his previous hit “Please Please Please,” the song was a lover’s plea set to a mid-tempo R&B melody. However, “Try Me” was a subtler and more melodic affair. The lyric avoided the emotional begging of “Please Please Please” in favor of a more seductive approach, complete with lines like “hold me by your side” and “your love we will not hide.”

The music underlines the plea with a melody that ebbs and flows in a way that gives the song a gentle, soulful swing. James Brown’s recording of the song brings the song’s romantic feel to life with a sax-driven arrangement that utilizes staccato piano lines and a steady beat to keep the song moving forward. It also works in a short but catchy instrumental break where the saxophone and rhythm guitar trade lines before intertwining to create a pulsing, staccato riff.

However, the true highlight of “Try Me” is the gospel-inspired vocal interplay: Brown delivers an impassioned but surprisingly delicate lead vocal while the Famous Flames back him up with smooth harmonies arranged to form a call-and-response style with his lead. The result made an ideal slow-dance number for sock hops and its blend of soul of slickness took it to number one on the R&B charts. “Try Me” also made it into the Top 50 area of the pop charts, paving the way for future crossover hits like “I Feel Good.” The song remains a favorite with soul fans and has popped up consistently in Brown’s live shows over the years.

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