James Brown X We Got To Change

James Brown X We Got To Change


Three-Track We Got To Change EP Features Storming J.B.’s Lineup Starring Brothers Catfish and Bootsy Collins and “Funky Drummer” Clyde Stubblefield

Set Will Preface Feb. 19-20 Premiere of Two-Night A&E Documentary Event James Brown: Say It Loud from Executive Producers Mick Jagger and Questlove

FEBRUARY 1, 2024 (Santa Monica, CA) – UMe/Republic Records will release James Brown’s We Got To Change, a three-track EP featuring the previously unheard title track, on Feb. 16. Pre-order HERE

“We Got To Change” was recorded August 16, 1970, at Criteria Studios in Miami, during a pivotal period in the world of James Brown, as longtime members of his famed James Brown Orchestra had walked out a few months earlier.

Brown quickly assembled a new group anchored by guitarist Phelps “Catfish” Collins and bassist William “Bootsy” Collins, two young brothers from Cincinnati. 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 would 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.

“We Got To Change” is another example of James Brown’s social outreach (and outrage), seen in singles like “Don’t Be a Dropout,” “Say It Loud I’m Black and I’m Proud,” “Get Up, Get Into It, Get Involved” and “King Heroin.” It is also 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.”

“The James Brown Revue invented the Funk,” says Funk author Rickey Vincent, “and the J.B.’s perfected it.” Newly unearthed and hitherto unheard, “We Got to Change” adds a critical page to the history of that perfection’s evolution.

The release of We Got to Change will precede James Brown: Say It Loud, a two-part, four-hour documentary about the life and music of the late “Godfather of Soul” that premieres February 19 and 20 at 8pm ET/PT on A&E. on A&E February 19 and 20.  “James  Brown: Say It Loud” is directed by Deborah Riley Draper and produced for A&E by Inaudible Films in association with Polygram Entertainment and GroupM Motion Entertainment, and in cooperation with the owner/custodian of the James Brown Estate, Primary Wave. Peter Afterman serves as Executive Producer for Inaudible Films along with Executive Producer Mari Keiko Gonzales and Producer Sarah Haber. Executive Producers for Jagged Entertainment are Mick Jagger and Victoria Pearman. Executive Producers for Two One Five Entertainment are Ahmir ‘Questlove’ Thompson, Tariq 'Black Thought' Trotter, Shawn Gee, and Zarah Zohlman. David Blackman and Bruce Resnikoff serve as an Executive Producers with Madeline Post and Robert Komadina as co-executive producers for Polygram Entertainment. Richard Foster and Chet Fenster serve as Executive Producers for GroupM Motion Entertainment. Charlie Cohen serves as Executive Producer for Warner Music Group. Elaine Frontain Bryant and Brad Abramson serve as Executive Producers for A&E Network. A&E holds worldwide distribution rights to “James Brown: Say it Loud.”


Roots Of Fight has created a unique capsule collection paying tribute to Mr. Dynamite and his new song “We Got To Change” Roots Of Fight is a media, lifestyle and apparel brand that celebrates the improbable achievements of today’s most legendary athletes, innovators, and cultural icons.  



Song-Word Art House will be paying tribute to the lyrics and music of James Brown, one of the world’s most dynamic performers and innovative songwriters, admired for his pioneering influence in funk, soul, and hip-hop music.  The collection of original artworks by internationally acclaimed artists from around the world features a mixture of canvases, sculptures, and mixed media artworks, representing select lyrics from songs throughout James Brown’s illustrious career.  More info here.


For more information about James Brown, visit www.jamesbrown.com

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We Got To Change - Digital EP Track List

  1. “We Got To Change” 3:45
  2. “We Got To Change” (Extended version) 4:35
  3. “We Got To Change” (Pixal Remix) 3:35


Media Contacts:


Brian O’Neal, Reybee: brian@reybee.com

Sujata Murthy, UMe: sujata.murthy@umusic.com



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