James Brown - Get Up (I Feel Like Being A) Sex Machine - 1970


James Brown's "Get Up (I Feel Like Being A) Sex Machine" is a landmark song in the history of funk music and has had a profound influence on many genres that followed. Released in 1970, this song showcases Brown's unique style, blending soul, funk, and R&B elements, and is known for its energetic rhythm, catchy horn sections, and Brown's distinctive vocal performance.

Background and Release

James Brown, often referred to as the "Godfather of Soul," was already an established figure in the music industry by 1970. "Get Up (I Feel Like Being A) Sex Machine" marked a significant moment in his career, as it was one of the first songs to feature the stripped-down, interlocking rhythms that would become a hallmark of funk music. The song was recorded with his new band, The J.B.'s, which included notable musicians like Bootsy Collins on bass and Jabo Starks on drums.

Musical Style and Influence

The song is characterized by its driving bassline, sharp, syncopated drum patterns, and punctuating horn sections. Brown's vocal performance is both commanding and charismatic, encouraging listeners to get up and dance. This track is often cited as a key influence in the development of various music genres, including hip-hop, disco, and contemporary R&B.

Legacy and Cultural Impact

Over the years, "Get Up (I Feel Like Being A) Sex Machine" has been sampled and referenced by numerous artists, making it an enduring symbol of funk's lasting legacy. The song's message of self-expression and empowerment has resonated with audiences for decades.


Upon its release, the song was both a commercial success and critically acclaimed. It is frequently listed among the greatest songs in music history and has been included in various "best of" lists by music critics and publications.

Further Reading

  1. James Brown's Life and Career
  2. The Evolution of Funk Music
  3. Music in the 1970s
  4. The Influence of Soul in Popular Music
  5. The Art of Music Sampling

Interactive Tasks

Quiz: Questions on the song

What year was "Get Up (I Feel Like Being A) Sex Machine" released? (1970) (!1968) (!1972) (!1969)

Which instrument is particularly prominent in "Get Up (I Feel Like Being A) Sex Machine"? (Bass) (!Guitar) (!Piano) (!Violin)

Who were key members of James Brown's band, The J.B.'s, during the recording of this song? (Bootsy Collins and Jabo Starks) (!Maceo Parker and Clyde Stubblefield) (!Fred Wesley and Pee Wee Ellis) (!John "Jabo" Starks and Fred Thomas)

In which genre is "Get Up (I Feel Like Being A) Sex Machine" primarily categorized? (Funk) (!Soul) (!Disco) (!Rock)

What theme is central to "Get Up (I Feel Like Being A) Sex Machine"? (Self-expression and empowerment) (!Love and relationships) (!Political activism) (!Personal struggles)

Quiz: Questions on the Performer

What is James Brown commonly known as? (The Godfather of Soul) (!The King of Pop) (!The Prince of Funk) (!The Duke of Dance)

Before focusing on funk, which genre was James Brown primarily associated with? (Soul and R&B) (!Jazz) (!Blues) (!Rock)

In which state was James Brown born? (South Carolina) (!Georgia) (!Mississippi) (!Alabama)

What was a notable feature of James Brown's live performances? (Energetic dance moves) (!Elaborate costumes) (!Extended guitar solos) (!Pyrotechnics)

Which James Brown song is considered a predecessor to "Get Up (I Feel Like Being A) Sex Machine" in terms of its funk style? ("Papa's Got a Brand New Bag") (!"I Got You (I Feel Good)") (!"It's a Man's Man's Man's World") (!"Please, Please, Please")

Quiz: Questions on the lyrics

What does James Brown repeatedly encourage listeners to do in "Get Up (I Feel Like Being A) Sex Machine"? (Get up and dance) (!Fight for rights) (!Celebrate love) (!Remember the past)

How does James Brown refer to himself in the song? (Sex Machine) (!Soul Brother) (!Funk Master) (!Dance King)

Which phrase is repeatedly used in the song's chorus? ("Get up, get on up") (!"Stay on the scene") (!"Shake your money maker") (!"Hit me")

What does James Brown say the song's subject can do "all night long"? (Stay on the scene) (!Dance) (!Sing) (!Play the guitar)

Which instrument does James Brown specifically mention in the lyrics? (The bass) (!The drums) (!The guitar) (!The saxophone)


Create a memory game with matching pairs for this topic.

James Brown The Godfather of Soul
1970 Year of release for "Get Up (I Feel Like Being A) Sex Machine"
Funk Main genre of the song
Bootsy Collins Bass player for The J.B.'s
"Get up, get on up" Repeated phrase in the song

Open Tasks


  1. Explore Different Genres: Listen to a variety of funk, soul, and R&B songs from the 1970s. Note the similarities and differences in their musical style and themes.
  2. James Brown's Dance Moves: Watch a live performance of James Brown and try to mimic his dance moves. Share your experience.
  3. Lyric Analysis: Write a paragraph on what the lyrics of "Get Up (I Feel Like Being A) Sex Machine" mean to you.


  1. Create a Playlist: Curate a playlist of songs that were influenced by James Brown's music.
  2. Musical Instruments Research: Research the instruments used in funk music and write about their role in creating the genre's distinctive sound.
  3. James Brown's Influence: Write an essay on how James Brown influenced other music genres.


  1. Compose a Funk Song: Create your own funk music track, taking inspiration from "Get Up (I Feel Like Being A) Sex Machine".
  2. Music and Social Movements: Investigate the role of funk music in social movements of the 1970s.
  3. Biography Project: Create a multimedia presentation on the life and career of James Brown.

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Oral Exam

  1. Discuss the Evolution of Funk: Talk about how funk evolved from the 1960s to the 1970s, using "Get Up (I Feel Like Being A) Sex Machine" as a reference point.
  2. James Brown's Performance Style: Discuss how James Brown's performance style influenced later musicians and performers.
  3. Funk and Social Context: Explain the social and cultural context in which funk music, including "Get Up (I Feel Like Being A) Sex Machine", was created and performed.
  4. Compare and Contrast Genres: Compare the musical elements of funk with those of another genre of your choice.
  5. Music Sampling: Discuss the role of music sampling in hip-hop and how it relates to funk music, particularly James Brown's work.

OERs on the Topic


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