Produced by Bosco Mann and recorded on an Ampex eight-track tape machine by Gabriel Roth in Daptone Records’ House of Soul studios, this record drips with a warmth and spontaneity rarely found since the golden days of Muscle Shoals and Stax. Sharon’s raw power, rhythmic swagger, moaning soulfulness, and melodic command set her firmly alongside Tina Turner, James Brown, Mavis Staples, and Aretha as a fixture in the canon of soul music. From the lushPhilly-Soul fanfare that ushers in “The Game Gets Old” at the top of the record, to the stripped down Sam Cooke-style“Mama Don’t Like My Man” at the tail, the Dap-Kings dance seamlessly through both the most crafted and simple arrangements with subtlety and discipline. I Learned the Hard Way is the “Daptone Sound” at its finest.
I Learned the Hard Way is the fourth studio album by American soul and funk band Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, released April 6, 2010 on Daptone Records. Production for the album took place at the label's House of Soul Studios during 2009 to 2010 and was handled by Daptone co-founder Gabriel Roth, credited for the album as "Bosco Mann". The album debuted at number 15 on the US Billboard 200, selling 23,000 copies in its first week. Upon its release, I Learned the Hard Way received generally positive reviews from most music critics.