James Brown

Papa's Got a Brand New Bag

Composed by James Brown

Song Review by

Who could know back in 1965 that James Brown's two-minute King single "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag" would be the start of a musical revolution. The track had a dubious beginning. Brown hadn't recorded for King Records for over a year, partly due to the legal skirmish that surrounded the singer. Brown had recorded sides for Mercury's Smash imprint, with the most successful being the Top 24 R&B/pop hit "Out of Sight." Recorded in February 1965 at Arthur Smith's recording studio in Charlotte, NC, during one of his tour stops, Brown built the song's tempo on the downbeat (instead of the standard two and four beats, "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag" is on the first and third beat). On the session were drummer Melvin Parker, his brother, Maceo Parker, on baritone sax, guitarist Jimmy Nolan, organist/sax player Nat Jones, and the bass line was played by Sam Thomas or Bernard Odum. The horn section included St. Clair Pickney, Joe Dupars, Eldee Williams, Al Clark, Wilmer Milton, Ron Tooley, and Levi Rasbury. Nolan, Maceo Parker, and Pickney would become key players in helping to shape Brown's funky musical version in the coming years. When submitted to Syd Nathan of King Records, the track was over seven minutes long. Label engineer Ron Lenhoff edited and mixed the track down for single release. Written and produced by James Brown, "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag" parked at number one R&B for eight weeks and went to number eight pop in summer 1965. The Papa's Got a Brand New Bag LP went to number two R&B/Top 26 pop and also included "Baby You're Right," "Mashed Potatoes," and "Have Mercy."

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Papa's Got a Brand New Bag [Polygram] 1965 Special Music 2:05
It's a Man's Man's Man's World 1966 Universe / Universe 2:17
Live at the Garden 1967 Hip-O / Hip-O Select 9:27
Soul on Top 1970 Verve 4:41
Sex Machine 1970 Time Music 2:17
Soul Classics 1972
No Image 1977 Polydor
Hot on the One 1980 Spectrum Music 1:51
No Image 1981 Audio Fidelity
21 Legendary Superstars Oldies but Goodies 1983
Various Artists
Original Sound Entertainment 2:03
The CD Of J.B: Sex Machine & Other Soul Classics 1985 Polydor 2:06
No Image 1986 Sony Music Distribution
Soul Session Live 1989 Sony BMG 3:15
Soul Jubilee 1990 Magnum (UK) / MagMid 3:50
Live in Berlin 1991 Universal International
Rhythm & Blues: 1965 1991
Various Artists
Time/Life Music
26 Super Soul Hits, Vol. 2 1992
Various Artists
Charly Records
At Studio 54 1994 Charly Records 2:31
Soul Patrol, Vol. 1 1994
Various Artists
Ripete Records 2:06
Turn It Loose 1994 Drive Archive 2:15
Blues & Soul 1995
Various Artists
Griffin 2:23
This Is Soul [Prime Cuts] 1995
Various Artists
Prime Kutz / Prime Cuts 2:23
Live at the Apollo 1995 1995 Sbme Special Mkts. 4:36
No Image 1995
Various Artists
Excelsior Recordings
Best of Soul [Boxsets 1996] 1996
Various Artists
Boxsets 2:23
Golden Hits [Intercontinental] 1996 Intercontinental Records 2:14
The King R&B Box Set 1996
Various Artists
King / King 2:04
40th Anniversary Collection 1996 Polydor 4:16
Mega Funk 1996
Various Artists
Wotre Records 2:16
Groovin' Greats: Hits of the 60's, Vol. 7 1996
Various Artists
Creative Sounds 2:21
Only Dance 1965-1969 1997
Various Artists
Rhino / JCI Associated Labels 2:03
Greatest Hits [Experience] 1997 Experience / Mozaic
James Brown's Golden Classics 1997 Intercontinental Records 1:59
Super Stars 1997 Super 2:04
Golden Hits [Galaxy] 1997 Galaxy Music 2:32
Brand New Bag: #1 60's Soul Hits, Vol. 3 1997
Various Artists
Relativity 2:08
Funky Goodtime 1998 Prism Platinum 2:19
Rockin' Sports Jams 1998
Various Artists
Rebound Records / PSM 2:06
No Image 1998
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution
Say It Live & Loud: Live in Dallas 1998 Chronicles / PolyGram 0:30
Gold Collection [Fine Tune] 1998 Fine Tune 2:32
Boogie Nights: Wonderful Music Of 1998
Various Artists
Bcd
Esquire Soul Classics 1998
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 2:07
The Godfather of Soul Live 1998 Mastertone 2:18
60's Generation 1998
Various Artists
Crimson Productions
It's a Live Live Live World 1998 Emporio 2:03
Soul Hits of 60's, Vol. 1 1998
Various Artists
Soul Disciples 2:16
Jam '80 1998 Aim Records
Masters [Cleopatra] 1999 EDM Entertainment 2:17
Prisoner of Love [Madacy] 1999 Madacy 2:15
Soul Live: Papa's Got a Brand New Bag 1999 Laserlight / Delta Distribution 2:15
The Godfather Live in New York City 1999 Dressed To Kill 2:55
On Stage 1999 Charly Records 2:19
No Image 1999 Polydor 1:51
Live at Studio 54 1999 Pazzazz 2:31
Soul Hits of the 60's 1999
Various Artists
Boxsets 2:19
James Brown [Magic Collection] 2000 The Magic Collection 2:24
Funk Essentials [Beechwood] 2000
Various Artists
Beechwood Music
Papa's Got a Brand New Bag: Live at Chaiston Park 2000 Castle Pulse 2:16
Center Stage: Live 2000 Laserlight / Delta Distribution 2:18
San Francisco 49ers: Greatest Hits, Vol. 1 2001
Various Artists
Alphabet City 2:03
R&B Millennium Hits 2001
Various Artists
Big Eye Music 4:41
The Classic Rhythm & Blues Collection, Vol. 2: 1964-1966 2001
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 2:02
Get up Offa That Thing [2001] 2001 Bianco 2:16
Mega Soul 2001
Various Artists
Wagram Records 2:17
Papa's Got a Brand New Bag [Goldies] 2001 Goldies 2:15
The Legends Collection: The James Brown Collection 2001 Legends Collection 2:00
The James Brown Collection, Vol. 2 2001 Dressed To Kill 2:00
Out of Sight: Greatest Hits 2002 Polydor
The Best of James Brown 2002 Essential Records
The Godfather: The Very Best Of... 2002 Universal Distribution / Universal / Universal Music TV / Universal TV Campaign Division 2:08
Super Bad: Live 2002 Orpheus Records 2:18
James Brown & Friends 2002 Laserlight 2:18
Original Funk Soul Brother [2002] 2002 Recall (UK) 2:19
In Concert 2002 BCI-Eclipse Distribution 2:22
Gold Collection: R&B Favorites 2002
Various Artists
St. Clair 2:19
Gold Funk and Soul 2003
Various Artists
Cleopatra 4:41
Clubber's Guide to Drum'n'Bass 2003
Various Artists
Big Eye Music 4:19
Ultimate Collection 2003 The Ultimate Music Collection 2:00
Jukebox Hits, Vol. 4 2003
Various Artists
United Audio Entertainment 2:21
Hall of Fame 2003 Laserlight 2:18
James Brown Best 2003 Universal Distribution
Best Singles of All Time, Vol. 2 2003
Various Artists
Rajon Entertainment Pty Ltd.
Live Top Ten With Special Guests 2003 BMG Special Products 4:35
It's Too Funky in Here 2003 Dynamic 2:19
Sexmachine 2003 Forever Gold / Weton 2:35
60's Soul Mix: 50 Classic Tracks to Feed Your Soul 2003
Various Artists
Universal Distribution 1:46
The Sixties [Goldies Box Set] 2004
Various Artists
Goldies 1:44
Gold Collection: Anthology of Soul 2004
Various Artists
St. Clair 2:19
Hall of Fame [Laserlite] 2004 Laserlight
Soul Survivor 2004 Polydor
Encore Series 2004 St. Clair Vision
Gold: Greatest Hits 2004 Universal International 2:08
Legends of Rock 'N' Roll [Eagle Vision] 2004
Various Artists
Eagle Vision
Give It Up or Turn It Loose 2004 Pazzazz 2:31
Please Please Please [Pazzazz] 2004 Pazzazz 2:19
No Image 2005 San Juan Ltd. 4:22
Forevergold 2005 Forever Gold (Allegiance)
Soul Deep: The Story of Black Popular Music 2005
Various Artists
Um3 2:07
The Collection [Performax] 2005 Performax 2:23
20 Soul Classics-Move on Up 2005
Various Artists
Prism Platinum 1:54
60 Soul Classics 2005
Various Artists
Prism Leisure Corporation (UK) / Prism Platinum 1:54
Pure 60's Soul 2005
Various Artists
St. Clair 2:19
Night of Super Soul 2005 Immortal
Best of Soul: Four Tops/Temptations/Smokey Robinson 2005
Various Artists
Prime Cuts 2:21
Soul Sessions Live/Living in America 2005 Sony BMG
R&B Soul 2005 Direct Source 2:19
Soul Giants [Deuce] 2005
Various Artists
Deuce 2:19
Soul Party Sessions 2005
Various Artists
Sessions Records 2:07
R&B: 40 Number 1 Songs 2005
Various Artists
Digimode Entertainment 2:05
James Brown & Friends [DVD] 2005 Immortal 2:59
Golden Legends: Soul Legends 2006
Various Artists
Madacy 2:19
Express Yourself: Soul In The 20th Century 2006
Various Artists
Universal / Um3 2:06
Best of James Brown Live [Platinum Disc] 2006 Platinum Disc 2:01
The Collection [Musicmania] 2006 Brilliant / Musicmania 2:16
Daddy Cool [Universal] 2006
Various Artists
Universal International 2:07
40 R&B #1 Hits 2006
Various Artists
United Audio Entertainment 2:18
Soul Legends 2006 Motown 2:07
This Is R&B [Cleopatra] 2006
Various Artists
Cleopatra / Goldenlane 2:18
The Best of R&B [Madacy] 2006
Various Artists
Madacy 2:18
And I Do Just What I Want 2006 UMVD 4:17
30 #1 R&B Hits 2006
Various Artists
Direct Source 2:19
13 R&B #1 Hits, Vol. 2 2006
Various Artists
United Multi License 2:18
Forever Soul R&B 2006
Various Artists
Madacy 2:18
To Go: Stick It in Your Ear 2006 Polydor 2:07
Living in America: The Best of James Brown 2007 Sony BMG / Zomba 3:15
Like a Sex Machine 2007 MCP 2:05
Biggest #1 R&B Hits 2007
Various Artists
Direct Source 2:18
Living in America [Delta] 2007 Delta / Delta Distribution
Forever Gold: James Brown Live 2007 St. Clair 2:18
Godfather of Soul [Madacy] 2007 Madacy 2:19
21 Essential Funk and Soul Classics 2007
Various Artists
Cleopatra
60s R&B Soul Hits [Direct Source] 2007
Various Artists
Direct Source 2:18
Live in Santa Cruz 2007 Immortal
Forever Gold: R&B Funk 2007
Various Artists
St. Clair 2:18
The Singles, Vol. 3: 1964-1965 2007 Hip-O Select / Polydor 2:42
James Brown [Madacy] 2007 Madacy 2:17
Remixing Mister Brown 2007 Lilith 4:22
R&B Soul [2 Disc] 2007 Direct Source 2:19
R&B Funk [St. Clair] 2007
Various Artists
St. Clair 2:18
Live [Forever DVD] 2007 Forever DVD / Musicpro
Greatest Hits [Deja Vu] 2007 Deja Vu
This Is Soul [Universal] 2007
Various Artists
Universal Distribution 2:06
Best of Hits 2008 St. Clair 2:18
Cold Sweat Live 2008 Goldenlane / Cleopatra 2:19
Live [Diamond] 2008 TGG 2:24
James Brown [Weton-Wesgram] 2008 Weton-Wesgram
R&B Soul Legends [Madacy] 2008
Various Artists
Madacy 2:18
Best of R&B [Madacy 2008] 2008
Various Artists
Madacy 2:18
No Image 2008
Various Artists
St. Clair
Triple Feature 2009 Custom Marketing Group / Sony BMG 4:35
Ultimate Collection: Dad 2009
Various Artists
Ultimate 2:07
I Love Papa 2011
Various Artists
Sony Music / Sony Music Distribution 4:31
The Ultimate Collection: 60s - 100 Hits 2011
Various Artists
Ultimate / Ultimate Collection 2:06
Five Classic Albums Plus 2013 Real Gone Music
Get on Up: Live in America 2014 Rhino
Best of the Blues: James Brown - Live at Chastain Park Éditions Atlas
Body Heat: Live in Monterey 1979 [DVD] Wienerworld
Dim Soul, Vol. 1
Various Artists
Dim Collection
Greatest Hits [Movieplay] Movieplay Music
James Brown Live, Vol. 2 OBJECT 2:17
No Image X5 4:22
No Image Phantom
No Image
Various Artists
PolyGram
Pottery Barn: PB Soul
Various Artists
Universal
Sex Machine Live EMI 2:16
Star Series: Soul Planet Landy Star
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