James Brown Songs List for a Guitar Playing Party Playlist

Last Updated: July 24, 2023 | 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


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Best James Brown Songs List

#1 I Got You (I Feel Good)
Released in 1965 on the 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 in their life.

Most Meaningful Lyrics:

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 the album Get Up Offa That Thing

The song wants people to get onto the dance floor and feel better.

Most Meaningful Lyrics:

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 the 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.

Most Meaningful Lyrics:

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

Next, check out Chuck Berry tracks for a wedding ceremony and reception.

#4 Living In America
Released in 1985 on the album Rocky IV and Gravity

The song is played in the Rocky IV film as Apollo Creed’s entrance music referencing his patriotism.

Most Meaningful Lyrics:

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 the album The Payback

The song talks about revenge a man plans to take against a man who betrayed him.

Most Meaningful Lyrics:

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 as a single.

The song reached number fifteen on the Billboard Hot 100.

Most Meaningful Lyrics:

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 the 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 claims that it all would “mean nothing without a woman or a girl.

Most Meaningful Lyrics:

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 the album I Got the Feelin’

The song reached number six on the Billboard Hot 100.

Most Meaningful Lyrics:

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 the album Hell

Did you know the full-length version is almost fourteen minutes long?

Most Meaningful Lyrics:

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 the album Please Please Please

James Brown had backup singers on this song known as The Famous Flames.

Most Meaningful Lyrics:

Try me Try me
Darlin tell me
I need you

song on Amazon

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

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

About Matthew Campbell

DJ, Editor, Music Lover


Matthew (Matt) Campbell is the founder/editor of My Wedding Songs from his experience as a wedding DJ. He is the author of two wedding planners: ‘Wedding Songs Planner’ and ‘The Wedding Music Toolkit’. Matt is the host of the ‘Wedding Songs Podcast’. He shares music inspiration in his weekly newsletter the ‘Wedding MusicLetter’. His articles have been published on Rolling Stone, DJ Life Magazine, and DJ Times. Matt resides in the wedding capital of the world – Las Vegas.

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