20 All Time Greatest Hits - (1991)
While Brown's 30-track, 40-track, and even 50-track collections are excellent choices as well, this fine hits package is the best one for Brown neophytes looking for a way in. Covering his prime stretch from the late '50s through the early '70s, 20 All-Time Greatest Hits! includes early R&B milestones ("Please, Please, Please"), epochal '60s sides ("Papa's Got a Brand New Bag, Pt. 1"), and latter-day funk classics ("Papa Don't Take No Mess, Pt. 1"). And that's not to mention such perennials as "Mother Popcorn," "Hot Pants," "Cold Sweat," and "Think." Start your Brown obsession here.