James Brown

Super Bad

Composed by James Brown

Song Review by

James Brown's "Super Bad" was only the second recording of a local teenaged band called the Pacesetters, some of whose members would go on to become funk/pop stars in their own right. They'd back Cincinnati-based singers like Hank Ballard. The band included two brothers: bassist William "Bootsy" Collins and rhythm guitarist Phelps "Catfish" Collins. The duo became a part of the New Breed, who later became the JBs. They were joined by Brown regulars organist/vocalist Bobby Byrd and drummer Jabo Starks in Nashville's Starday/King Studios (where the Collins brothers had recorded another Brown hit, "Get Up (I Feel Like Being A) Sex Machine") on June 30, 1970. Other musicians on the sessions were conga player Johnny Griggs and the horn section of tenor saxist Robert McCollough and trumpeters Clayton Gunnells and Darryl Jamison. The track's squealing sax solo has been akin to the frantic scrambling of a mound full of ants. Written and produced by James Brown, "Super Bad" held the R&B top spot for two weeks while going to number 13 pop in late 1970. It was the sole charting single from the Top Four R&B/Top 61 pop LP Super Bad.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Revolution of the Mind 1971 Polydor 4:22
No Image 1977 Polydor
No Image 1990
Various Artists
Love Power Peace 1992 Sundazed
Is Back 1992 Hollywood 7:30
No Image 1995 Sugar Hill
Funk Power 1970: A Brand New Thang 1996 Polydor 9:03
40th Anniversary Collection 1996 Polydor 5:00
Greatest Hits [Experience] 1997 Experience / Mozaic
Funky Goodtime 1998 Prism Platinum 9:43
The Very Best of James Brown [Polygram] 1998 Polydor 2:57
Godfather of Soul 1998 Karussell / Spectrum Music 4:16
Prisoner of Love [Madacy] 1999 Madacy 9:41
Center Stage: Live 2000 Laserlight / Delta Distribution 12:24
Remixed Dance Hits 2001 Golden Music / Cleopatra 3:54
Trancespotting, Vol. 4 2001
Various Artists
Hypnotic / Cleopatra 3:43
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 5:02
Superbad!: The Soul of the City 2002
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 4:14
Super Bad: Live 2002 Orpheus Records 12:20
James Brown & Friends 2002 Laserlight 12:24
James Brown Ultimate Remixes 2002 Universal Distribution 6:19
The Complete Trancespotting 2003
Various Artists
Hypnotic 3:43
Hall of Fame 2003 Laserlight 12:24
James Brown Best 2003 Universal Distribution
Hall of Fame [Laserlite] 2004 Laserlight
Mr. 3000 2004
Original Soundtrack
Hollywood 4:28
No Image 2005 San Juan Ltd. 3:54
The Collection [Performax] 2005 Performax 12:25
Funk Gold 2005
Various Artists
Hip-O 5:03
R&B Soul 2005 Direct Source 4:10
Golden Legends: James Brown Live 2006 Madacy 4:12
12 Top Ten Hits 2006 Direct Source 4:10
James Brown [Direct Source] 2006 Direct Source 4:10
Forever Gold: James Brown Live 2007 St. Clair 4:12
Godfather of Soul [Madacy] 2007 Madacy 4:12
Remixing Mister Brown 2007 Lilith 3:54
R&B Soul [2 Disc] 2007 Direct Source 4:10
R&B Funk [St. Clair] 2007
Various Artists
St. Clair 4:12
R&B Funk, Disc 2 2007
Various Artists
St. Clair 4:12
Roller Disco Hits 2008
Various Artists
Cleopatra / Goldenlane 3:43
No Image 2008 St. Clair
Five Classic Albums Plus 2013 Real Gone Music
Get on Up: The James Brown Story [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack] 2014 Polydor / Universal 5:04
The Soul Legend 2014 Wagram
Soul Train Live 2016 Air Cuts
Best of the Sexmachine: Live ZYX 4:10
No Image X5 3:54
Sex Machine Sound and Vision 12:09
Sex Machine [Excalibur] Excalibur 12:09
Soul Collection [Music & Melody]
Various Artists
Music & Melody 4:10
Soul Legends [Sonoma]
Various Artists
Sonoma 12:12
Star Series: Soul Planet Landy Star
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