Papa's Got a Brand New Bag

"Papa's Got a Brand New Bag" is a song written and recorded by James Brown.[2] Released as a two-part single in 1965, it was Brown's first song to reach the Billboard Hot 100 Top Ten, peaking at number eight, and was a number-one R&B hit, topping the charts for eight weeks.[3][4] It won Brown his first Grammy Award, for Best Rhythm & Blues Recording.[5]

"Papa's Got a Brand New Bag Part I"
Single by James Brown
B-side"Papa's Got a Brand New Bag Part II"
ReleasedJune 1965 (1965-06)
RecordedFebruary 1965
StudioArthur Smith Studios, Charlotte, North Carolina
  • 1:55 (Part I)
  • 2:12 (Part II)
LabelKing (5999)
Songwriter(s)James Brown
Producer(s)James Brown
James Brown charting singles chronology
"Have Mercy Baby"
"Papa's Got a Brand New Bag Part I"
"Try Me"
Audio sample

Consolidating the rhythmic innovations of earlier James Brown recordings such as "I've Got Money" and "Out of Sight", "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag" is considered seminal in the emergence of funk music as a distinct style. As Brown sings the praises of an old man brave enough to get out on the dance floor of a nightclub ("brand new bag" meaning new interest, taste, or way of doing something[6][7]), his band provides a horn-heavy backdrop with a prominent rhythm and an electric guitar riff for a hook. Both singer and musicians place overwhelming emphasis on the first beat of each measure ("on the One"). The song is Brown's first recording to feature Jimmy Nolen on guitar.

The taped recording of "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag" was edited and sped up for its single release, increasing the tempo and raising the pitch by a half step. In 1991, the recording was released in unedited form at its original speed on the box set Star Time.[8] The track includes lead-in studio chatter, with Brown throatily (and presciently) shouting "This is a hit!" just before the drum and horn intro.