James Brown Songs & Biggest Hits – Top 10 All-Time

Last Updated: May 27, 2022 | Written by Matthew Campbell (Editor of My Wedding Songs and wedding DJ)

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Jump back! We created a list of James Brown’s Top 10 Songs. James Brown is an American (South Carolina) musician. James’ nickname is “The Godfather of Soul”.

Brown holds the record as the artist to have charted the most singles on the Billboard Hot 100 which did not reach number one on that chart. In 1986, James Brown was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

top james brow -songs

Have you heard of the band The Famous Flames? Well, James Brown was a member and eventually emerged as the lead singer. Their first professional recording song was “Please, Please, Please” released in 1956.

Brown did not go solo until 1959 and had his first single solo hit “I Want You So Bad”.

Spotify James Brown Playlist


Best James Brown Songs List

#1 I Got You (I Feel Good)
Released in 1965
On Album I Got You (I Feel Good)
The song was Brown’s highest-charting song on the Billboard Hot 100 and peaked at number three. The song describes how a person feels when they found the person they love of their life.

I feel nice, like sugar and spice
So nice, so nice, I got you

song on Amazon

#2 Get Up Offa That Thing
Released in 1976
On Album Get Up Offa That Thing
The song wants people to get onto the dance floor and feel better.

Get up offa that thing
And shake it, sing it now!
Get up offa that thing
And shake ’till you feel better

song on Amazon

#3 Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag, Pt. 1
Released in 1965
On Album Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag
Brown tells a story in the song giving credit to an old man brave enough to get out on the dance floor.

He’s not too fancy, but his line is pretty clean
He ain’t no drag
Papa’s got a brand new bag

song on Amazon

#4 Living In America
Released in 1985
On Album Rocky IV and Gravity
The song is played in the Rocky IV film as Apollo Creed’s entrance music referencing his patriotism.

Hand to hand, across the nation
Living in America
Got to have a celebration
Rock my soul

song on Amazon

#5 The Payback
Released in 1974
On Album The Payback
The song talks about revenge a man plans to take against a man who betrayed him.

The brother getting ready, that’s a fact
Get ready you mother, for the big payback
Let me hit ’em, hit ’em Ren, hit ’em

song on Amazon

#6 Get Up (I Feel Like Being A) Sex Machine (Pt. 1 & 2)
Released in 1970
The song was released as a single.
The song reached number fifteen on the Billboard Hot 100.

Stay on the scene like a sex machine
You got to have the feelin’, sure as you’re born
Get it together, right on, right on

song on Amazon

#7 It’s a Man’s, Man’s, Man’s World
Released in 1966
On Album It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World
The song’s story is of all the works of modern civilization to the efforts of men, but claim that it all would “mean nothing without a woman or a girl.

This is a man’s, man’s, man’s world
But it wouldn’t be nothing, nothing without a woman or a girl

song on Amazon

#8 I Got the Feelin’
Released in 1968
On Album I Got the Feelin’
The song reached number six on the Billboard Hot 100.

Sometimes, I roam
But I’ll be coming back home
Sometimes I seem to be fly
I just don’t know when to say bye bye

song on Amazon

#9 Papa Don’t Take No Mess, Pt. 1
Released in 1974
On Album Hell
Did you know the full-length version is almost fourteen minutes long?

Papa digs the chicks
If she looks real slick hoo!
Papa rap is very quick
You devil it ain’t no trick

song on Amazon

#10 Try Me
Released in 1958
On Album Please Please Please
James Brown had backup singers on this song known as The Famous Flames.

Try me Try me
Darlin tell me
I need you

song on Amazon

Do you have a favorite James Brown song, not on our list? Please share the song below so that we can add it!


James Brown Highest-Ranking Singles – R&B

  • #1 Try Me, 1958
  • #1 Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag – Part 1, 1965
  • #1 I Got You (I Feel Good), 1965
  • #1 It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World, 1966
  • #1 Cold Sweat – Part 1, 1967
  • #1 I Got the Feelin’, 1968
  • #1 Say It Loud – I’m Black and I’m Proud – Part 1, 1968
  • #1 Give It Up or Turnit a Loose, 1968
  • #1 Mother Popcorn (You’ve Got to Have a Mother for Me) – Part 1, 1969
  • #1 Super Bad – Parts 1 & 2, 1970
  • #1 Hot Pants – Part 1, 1971
  • #1 Make It Funky – Part 1, 1971
  • #1 Talkin’ Loud and Sayin’ Nothing, 1972
  • #1 Get on the Good Foot – Part 1, 1972
  • #1 The Payback – Part 1, 1974
  • #1 My Thang, 1974
  • #1 Papa Don’t Take No Mess – Part 1, 1974
  • #2 Baby You’re Right, 1961
  • #2 Lost Someone, 1961
  • #2 Licking Stick – Licking Stick – Part 1, 1968
  • #2 Let a Man Come In and Do the Popcorn – Part 1, 1969
  • #2 Brother Rapp – Parts 1 & 2, 1970
  • #2 Get Up (I Feel Like Being A) Sex Machine – Part 1, 1970
  • #2 I’m Real, 1978
  • #3 There Was a Time, 1967
  • #3 I Don’t Want Nobody to Give Me Nothing (Open Up the Door, I’ll Get It Myself) – Part 1, 1969
  • #3 Ain’t It Funky Now – Part 1, 1969
  • #3 It’s a New Day”—Parts 1 & 2, 1970
  • #3 Soul Power – Part 1, 1970
  • #3 I Got a Bag of My Own, 1972
  • #4 I Don’t Mind, 1961
  • #4 Don’t Be a Drop-Out, 1966
  • #4 I Can’t Stand Myself (When You Touch Me), 1967
  • #4 Get Up, Get into It, Get Involved – Part 1, 1970
  • #4 There It Is – Part 1, 1972
  • #4 I Got Ants in My Pants – Part 1, 1973
  • #4 Stoned to the Bone – Part 1, 1973
  • #4 Funky President (People It’s Bad), 1974
  • #4 Get Up Offa That Thing, 1976
  • #5 Night Train, 1962
  • #5 Let Yourself Go, 1967
  • #5 Static, 1988

Other music artists’ song lists to read:

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About Matthew Campbell

DJ, Editor, Music Lover

Meet Matthew (Matt) Campbell, the passionate wedding DJ and music expert behind My Wedding Songs. With years of experience in the industry and a keen ear for the latest trends, Matt knows just what it takes to create the perfect soundtrack for your special day. From classic love ballads to upbeat party anthems, his articles are jam-packed with insider tips and top recommendations that will have you and your guests on your feet all night long.

But Matt isn’t just a music aficionado – he’s also an active member of wedding planning and DJ communities, sharing his expertise and learning from other professionals along the way. Matt is the author of the Wedding Songs Planner and has articles published on Rolling Stone, DJ Life Magazine, and DJ Times. He is a member of the Rolling Stone Culture Council and Vegas Wedding Chamber. You can listen to his tips as the host of the Wedding Songs Podcast. 

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