James Brown was one of the most important figures in 20th Century popular music. He was so influential during his lifetime that people around the world refer to him as the Godfather of Soul. In addition to his groundbreaking records, he was world-famous for his longevity and grueling touring schedule, while also being notorious for his erratic behavior and brushes with the law. Right now, however, it's time for you to get up offa that thing and dance to the funkiest music you're likely to have heard in a long time!
I Got You (I Feel Good)
This is undoubtedly the most iconic song of Brown's six-decade-long career. It hit the airwaves in 1965.
This song is about the revenge Brown is plotting against a man who betrayed him. Written by Brown's bandleader, Fred Wesley, the song went to Number 1 in 1974.
Papa's Got a Brand New Bag
In this record, Brown praises the bravery of an old man who is unafraid of getting on the dance floor and busting a move. The two-part single was released in 1965.
It's A Man's Man's Man's World
Brown co-wrote another of his iconic records with Betty Jean Newsome, being released 50 years ago in 1966.
Using the term "Super Bad" to mean "really, really awesome", this song was released in 1970.
Get Up Offa That Thing
Brown first urged everyone to get up off their backsides and dance 'til they feel better, in 1976.
Get Up (I Feel Like Being a) Sex Machine
Can I count it off? This song began its road to becoming one of the most famous songs ever in 1970.
This is one of Brown's earlier hits, released in 1958. It marked the end of a two-year absence from the US charts.
I Got the Feelin'
Released in 1968, this one went all the way to Number 1 on the US R&B chart.
Get on the Good Foot
This was actually Brown's first gold record. It actually took a very long time for him to make it happen due to his record label being unwilling to certify his previous record sales. The song was released in 1972.
Papa Don't Take No Mess
Marking his final ascent to the top of the US R&B chart, this record was released in 1974.
Cold Sweat (Parts 1 and 2)
Some cite this song as being the very first funk song ever recorded. It changed popular music forever in 1967.
This song was influenced by Cold Sweat, which preceded it, however it was more upbeat and frenetic. It was released in 1969.
The garment in the song's title apparently fascinated Brown, so he released this musical tribute to them in 1971. It was his last release at King Records before he and his band moved to Polydor Records.
The wildcard entry on this list, this song's origins are long and complicated, but Brown put his mark on it in 1961.
Give It Up Or Turn It a Loose
This 1969 release marked another in a long list of Number 1 R&B hits for Brown.
Make It Funky (Parts 1-4)
Split into four parts, this record features one of the most iconic bass lines of all time. It was released over the course of 1971.
Originally recorded by The "5" Royales, Brown and his band - The Famous Flames, gave this song their own unique twist in 1960.
Stone to the Bone (Ike Dyson re-edit)
Although it wasn't one of his most successful singles, only peaking at Number 4 on the US R&B chart, this is a song that perfectly sums up Brown's musical style.
Please, Please, Please
We end this selection of fantastic music with the first-ever charting single for Brown and The Famous Flames. It was released in 1956.