Friday, December 4, 2015

50 years ago: James Brown “I Got You” topped the R&B chart

I Got You (I Feel Good)

James Brown & the Famous Flames

Writer(s): James Brown (see lyrics here)

Released: October 1965

First Charted: November 5, 1965

Peak: 3 US, 2 CB, 3 GR, 11 HR, 16 RB, 29 UK, 6 CN, 1 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): --

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 1.0 radio, 66.5 video, 261.54 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

The man who became known as “The Godfather of Soul” and “The Hardest Working Man in Show Business” was born in South Carolina in 1933. He started out as a gospel singer but went on to become the #1 R&B artist of all time. W-R His first hit was “Please Please Please” (#5 RB, 1956) and he reached #1 the next time out with “Try Me.” He went on to top the R&B chart 17 times from 1958 to 1974. His biggest hit on that chart was “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag” (#1 for 8 weeks), but its follow-up – the similar “I Got You (I Feel Good)” – became his highest-charting Billboard Hot 100 entry. He has the record for the most visits to that chart (over one hundred) without reaching the pinnacle. SF

It marked a commercial and artistic peak for Brown. “Just as Motown was becoming slick and sophisticated and Bob Dylan was writing the most complex lyrics ever heard in popular music, James Brown re-invented square one.” TB “There’s nothing conventional about the music, a thunderous mélange of powerhouse horn riffs, jet-propelled drum bursts, and skittering guitar. And James sings the song as if God had called him to earth for the primary purpose of personifying sexual ecstasy.” DM

“I Got You” “was a barely-disguised re-write” of “I Found You,” a song Brown wrote for Yvonne Fair, TB a member of his revue as well as his girlfriend. His band backed her on the 1962 recording and Brown himself played piano SS but the song failed to chart. “It’s exactly the same as the hit we know, with slight word changes, a slower rumba-beat tempo, and far less charisma.” SS “She even does a few mini-shrieks during the song.” SS

Of course, “JB would dramatically amplify” SS the song. “I Got You” opens “with a full-throated, cord rupturing scream” DM that has been sampled multiple times in hip-hop and dance songs. WK It “may well be one of the reasons the record became Brown’s biggest ever on the pop charts.” DM He first recorded “I Got You” in September 1964 and it was going to be released as a single through Smash Records. However, Brown’s label – King Records – sued to prevent the release. Brown had already been promoting the song, performing it on The T.A.M.I. Show and Shindig and in the movie Ski Party. SF He recorded a new version in May 1965 and that was the version that became the hit and “arguably his best-known recording.” WK


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First posted 4/5/2023.

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