James Brown

It's a Man's Man's Man's World

Song Review by

James Brown's dynamic ballad "It's a Man's Man's Man's World" started out as a song written by a woman. Betty Newsome's original lyrics were based on what she gleamed from her Biblical studies and her own romantic relationships, including one with the singer. Just like many of Brown's mid-'60s sides ("Papa's Got a Brand New Bag," "I Got You (I Feel Good)"), "It's a Man's Man's Man's World" almost wasn't released due to the legal wrangling going on between King Records and Mercury Records (some of Brown's sides had been issued on their Smash imprint). An injunction was issued in favor of King on the basis that Brown was still signed to King. As with "I Got You (I Feel Good)," Brown had to re-record "It's a Man's Man's Man's World." Sammy Lowe, who arranged his 1963 number six R&B hit "Prisoner of Love," was enlisted to work his magic on the new version of the song. The impassioned ballad was recorded February 16, 1966, at Bob Gallo's Talentmasters studio in New York with drummer Bernard Purdie; guitarist Billy Butler; pianist Ernie Hayes; and horn players Heywood Henry, Waymom Reed, Dud Bascomb, and Lamarr Wright. Co-written by producer James Brown and Betty Newsome, "It's a Man's Man's Man's World" b/w the similarly passionate "Is It Yes or Is It No?" held the number one R&B spot for two weeks and hit number eight pop in spring 1966. The It's a Man's Man's Man's World LP went to number 11 R&B and number 90 pop in fall 1966.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
No Image 1977 Polydor 0:00
The CD Of J.B: Sex Machine & Other Soul Classics 1985 Polydor 3:14
Star Time 1991 Polydor 3:22
20 All-Time Greatest Hits! 1991 Polydor 2:47
Slow Jams: The '60s, Vol. 2 1993
Various Artists
The Right Stuff 3:14
A Bronx Tale [Music from the Motion Picture] 1993
Original Soundtrack
Epic 2:46
That Loving Feeling, Vol. 7 1994
Various Artists
2:47
Midnight Soul [MCI] 1994
Various Artists
MCI 2:47
No Image 1994
Various Artists
Phantom
Soul Emotion [Alex] 1994
Various Artists
2:46
Classic Soul [Stardust] 1994
Various Artists
Stardust Records 2:49
The Story of Soul Music 1995
Various Artists
Spectrum Music 2:44
Soul Classics: Quiet Storm -- The 60's 1995
Various Artists
Rebound Records 2:49
Golden Hits of the 50's & 60's 1995
Various Artists
Columbia River Entertainment Group 11:50
Soul Hits of the 60's [Polygram] 1995
Various Artists
Rebound Records / PSM 2:49
Soul Train 25th Anniversary Hall of Fame Box Set 1995
Various Artists
MCA 2:48
Love Ballads [Connoisseur Collection] 1995
Various Artists
2:49
The World of Soul [ZYX] 1996
Various Artists
ZYX Music 8:48
Golden Hits [Intercontinental] 1996 Intercontinental Records 9:06
40th Anniversary Collection 1996 Polydor 2:46
The Associate 1996
Original Soundtrack
Motown 2:46
Sixties Generation: 1966 1997
Various Artists
Retro Music 3:57
James Brown's Golden Classics 1997 Intercontinental Records 3:27
Golden Hits [Galaxy] 1997 Galaxy Music 9:00
Tighten Up: No. 1 Soul Hits of the 60's, Vol. 2 1997
Various Artists
Relativity 2:46
Funky Goodtime 1998 Prism Platinum 12:39
Turn Back the Hands of Time: Vintage Soul 1998
Various Artists
Delta Distribution 3:20
Old School Soul 1998
Various Artists
Thump Records 2:46
Soul Legends: The Classic Collections of Sweet Soul 1998
Various Artists
Master 6:38
Soul Inspiration 1998
Various Artists
Crimson Productions 2:48
The Very Best of James Brown [Polygram] 1998 Polydor / Polygram 2:47
Tales of the City 1998
Original Soundtrack
Polygram 2:44
Gold Collection [Fine Tune] 1998 Fine Tune 9:00
Soul Ballads, Vol. 2 [Retro] 1998
Various Artists
Soul Disciples 3:55
Back 2 Back 1998 Masters 3:29
No Image 1998 Excelsior Recordings
Whole Lotta Soul 1966-1967 1999
Various Artists
BCI-Eclipse Distribution / Eclipse Music Group 2:48
Payback 1999
Original Soundtrack
Varese 2:48
Soul Classics: Golden Greats 1999
Various Artists
Fine Tune 9:06
Most Beautiful Melodies of the Century: Just the Way 1999
Various Artists
Reader's Digest Music 0:00
20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: The Best of James Brown 1999 Mercury / Polydor 2:49
No Image 1999
Various Artists
Excelsior Recordings
James Brown/Ray Charles 2000 Platinum Disc 9:06
Gun Shy 2000
Original Soundtrack
Universal Distribution / Hollywood 2:48
Solid Gold Soul: Deep Soul 2000
Various Artists
Rhino 2:46
Disco Fever, Vol. 2 [Dressed to Kill] 2000
Various Artists
Dressed To Kill 6:51
Soul Ballads [Boxsets] 2000
Various Artists
Boxsets 3:55
Sixties Generation: 1966-1967 2000
Various Artists
St. Clair 3:57
1966 Classic Rock 2000
Various Artists
Direct Source 3:54
No Image 2000
Various Artists
Delta Distribution
Ballads 2000 Polydor 2:49
Forever Gold: Soul Ballads [2 Disc] 2000
Various Artists
St. Clair 3:55
Simply the Best [Warner Bros. 40 tracks] 2000
Various Artists
WEA International 2:38
Homeboys of Soul 2001
Various Artists
Thump Records 2:48
Golden Rock Classics 2001
Various Artists
Columbia River Entertainment Group 11:50
No Image 2001
Various Artists
Columbia River Entertainment Group 11:50
Soul Classics [Columbia River] 2001
Various Artists
Columbia River Entertainment Group 11:50
The Ultimate Jukebox Hits of the '60s, Vols. 4 & 5 2001
Various Artists
Collectables 2:49
Best of James Brown [Japan] 2002 Universal Distribution 2:47
The Blues & Soul, Vol. 1: 1966-1969 2002
Various Artists
Connoisseur 2:45
Jukebox Hits of the '60s [Collectalbes] 2002
Various Artists
Collectables 2:49
Out of Sight: Greatest Hits 2002 Universal International 2:47
40 Years of Jukebox Hits: The 50's, 60's, 70's & 80's 2002
Various Artists
Collectables 2:49
James Brown & Friends 2002 Laserlight 12:17
Homies in a Box 2002
Various Artists
Thump Records 2:48
Classic Soul: Universal Masters 2003
Various Artists
Universal Distribution 2:46
Twogether Soul 2003
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 4:39
Old School R&B 2003
Various Artists
Thump Records 2:45
Jukebox Hits, Vol. 3 2003
Various Artists
United Multi License 4:33
More Soulful Ballads 2003
Various Artists
Universal Special Products 2:47
#1 R&B Hits [Madacy Box] 2003
Various Artists
Madacy 4:44
The 50th Anniversary Collection 2003 UTV / Polydor / Universal 2:48
Number 1 R&B Hits [Red] 2003
Various Artists
Madacy 4:44
Soul Survivor 2004 Polydor
Encore Series 2004 St. Clair Vision
Gold: Greatest Hits 2004 Universal International 2:47
Back 2 Back 2004 Masters / Double Play Records 9:05
Solid Soul [Dynamic] 2004
Various Artists
Dynamic 8:57
Greatest Breakbeats 2004 Polydor 2:49
Universal Masters 2004 Polydor / Universal Music 2:46
Mastercuts: Soul 2005
Various Artists
Mastercuts 3:53
10 Corso Como: Love 3 2005
Various Artists
Irma Records
Ultimate 16: Body and Soul 2005
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 2:46
Daddy Cool [Universal] 2006
Various Artists
Universal International 2:48
Funk N' R&B Box Set 2006
Various Artists
Thump Records 2:45
Fine Old Foxy Self 2006 UMVD 3:18
Essential Songs 2006
Various Artists
UMVD 2:45
Fine Old Foxy Self: James Brown 1960s 2006 Universal Distribution 3:18
Colour Collection 2007 Polydor / Universal Music 2:47
Number 1's 2007 Polydor 2:46
Spirit of Soul [Spirit Of] 2007
Various Artists
Spirit Of (UK) 4:42
Gold 2007 Polydor 2:48
The Singles, Vol. 4: 1966-1967 2007 Hip-O / Hip-O Select 2:48
James Brown Presents a Soulful Christmas 2007
Various Artists
Cleopatra 4:15
James Brown [Weton-Wesgram] 2008 Weton-Wesgram 8:53
No Image 2009
Made in Dagenham [Original Soundtrack] 2010
Original Soundtrack
Hip-O / Universal Music TV 2:47
Icon 2010 Polydor 2:48
I Feel Good: Very Best of James Brown 2013 Universal 2:47
Get on Up: The James Brown Story [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack] 2014 Polydor / Universal 5:12
5 Classic Albums 2014 Polydor 3:42
Love People, Vol. 1
Various Artists
Musiques & Solutions
No Image
Various Artists
Universal 2:47
Rockwiz: Uncovered
Various Artists
Universal Distribution / Universal Music 2:48
No Image
Various Artists
Dino Entertainment
The Best of James Brown: Green Series Strategic Marketing 2:49
The Fabulous 60's, Vol. 1
Various Artists
Cayenne Records / Zebralution