James Brown is an instrumental figure in the creation and evolution of Funk. Without him, Funk music would probably not exist in the form it does today. In a scene with such an impressive amount of musical talent and innovation, that is a staggering legacy.
Nicknamed the Godfather of Soul, Brown’s influence on Black music is almost without equal, and many of his biggest hits are timeless, as well as being an invitation to wear out the soles of your shoes!
“I Got You (I Feel Good)” is relatively early in the development in his sound, although not very early: he was making music in the late 50s, although at that point his career was struggling.
This song is recognisably a funk song, and features a call and response between James Brown’s vocals, and the wavy brass section.
The bassline runs smoother than later funk, which tends to have a much more syncopated rhythm section.
The song was released in 1964 at first, but as a different version which was more stripped back. The famous version is from 1965, and was released due to a copyright dispute.
He had written a song in 1962 called “I Found You” for another artist, but it wasn’t successful. It did, however, have the same lyrics.
It was also released on an album of the same name in 1966. It remains his highest charting song ever, reaching number 3 on the US Billboard Hot 100.