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.