Hear an Unreleased James Brown Performance From 'Get on Up' - Premiere - Rolling Stone
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Hear an Unreleased James Brown Performance From ‘Get on Up’ – Premiere

The soul legend recorded this version of “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World” in April 1966

James BrownJames Brown

James Brown

Gilles Petard/Redferns

A year after the James Brown singles “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag” and “I Got You (I Feel Good)” reached the top spot on the R&B charts, the funk and soul legend returned to Number One with his somewhat tongue-in-cheek ode to the fairer sex, the ballad “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World.” According to legend, the song was inspired by a conversation Brown had with his girlfriend at the time, Betty Jean Newsome, who received songwriting credit when the 45 was released in April 1966. The song’s influence has resonated in the decades since its release, as musicians ranging form Van Morrison to Christina Aguilera have covered it.

James Brown’s “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World” and the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time

The month Brown first issued the single — its title was a play on the 1963 movie It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World — he gave it a searing, soulful performance at Tampa, Florida’s Fort Homer W. Hesterly Armory. His rendition of the song at that concert, which was recorded on April 23rd, 1966, will be heard again – along with a performance of his first single, “Please Please Please,” recorded at that same show – on the soundtrack of the biopic Get on Up when it hits theaters August 1st.

The film stars Chadwick Boseman, who played Jackie Robinson in 42, as the Godfather of Soul, and its cast features Dan Aykroyd, Viola Davis, Jill Scott, Octavia Spencer and Mick Jagger, one of its producers. The soundtrack, however, features music by the real deal, collecting standout studio and live versions of his many hits. It also contains five tunes with new music production and arrangements done by production team the Underdogs.

The Get on Up soundtrack is due out July 29th and is available for preorder via Amazon.

In This Article: James Brown


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