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James Brown’s Never-Before-Released ‘We Got To Change’ Is Out Now

‘Can you imagine James Brown saying, ‘We got to change’?,’ asked Bootsy Collins. ‘Well, he did…And who’s playing bass? Little ol’ funky me.’

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James Brown - Photo: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
James Brown - Photo: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

A never-before-released James Brown song, “We Got To Change,” is out now courtesy of Republic Records/UMe.

Shop the best of James Brown’s discography on vinyl and more.

Regarding the track, William “Bootsy” Collins said, “Can you imagine James Brown saying, ‘We got to change’?’ Well, he did…And who’s playing bass? Little ol’ funky me. Let’s go!” Check out the new song below.

“James Brown always leaned into the social tip,” Bootsy continued. “He always was trying to keep the youngsters informed and the people informed on what’s going on. The new breed was coming in and certain things were going out. He loved to inform people on what was coming and what was going to be because he felt like he was part of it, and he was.”

Recorded at Miami’s Criteria Studios on August 16, 1970, “We Got To Change” was laid down during a pivotal period in the world of James Brown—a few months earlier, longtime members of his famed James Brown Orchestra had walked out.
Brown quickly assembled a new group anchored by guitarist Phelps “Catfish” Collins and bassist Bootsy Collins, two young brothers from Cincinnati.

We Got To Change (Extended Version)

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They brought a harder edge and a fresh identity to Brown’s music on such singles as “Get Up (I Feel Like Being) a Sex Machine,” “Super Bad,” and “Soul Power.” Brown called them The J.B.’s.

Their Criteria session featured a reunion with one of Brown’s 1960s sidemen: the great Clyde Stubblefield. “The Funky Drummer,” as he was known, would grace several of Brown’s subsequent hits and become one of the most sampled drummers of the hip-hop era. Also on the track is James Brown’s longtime No.2, Bobby Byrd, who is heard alongside Brown on the chorus.

The track is a testament to Brown’s diverse musical language, quoting from Little Jimmy Dickens’ 1949 hit “Take an Old Cold Tater (And Wait)” and the African-American anti-war spiritual, “Down by the Riverside.”

Buy or stream “We Got To Change.”

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Brother Paul

    February 29, 2024 at 10:20 pm

    Why wasn’t it released until 2024? This is some relevant straight up funkarama! Soul Brother number ONE!

  2. David Tomlin

    March 23, 2024 at 4:17 pm

    lue.rollas has Sidney Porter got that I’m cold gone to my ail .

  3. David Tomlin

    March 23, 2024 at 4:20 pm

    Ja my es brown I don’t know him that bun gee ace Jay.

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