I Got You (I Feel Good)

"I Got You (I Feel Good)" is a song by American singer James Brown. First recorded for the album Out of Sight and then released in an alternate take as a single in 1965, it was his highest-charting song and is arguably his best-known recording.

"I Got You (I Feel Good)"
I Got You (I Feel Good) by James Brown and the Famous Flames US vinyl.png
US vinyl release
Single by James Brown and the Famous Flames
from the album I Got You (I Feel Good)
B-side"I Can't Help It (I Just Do-Do-Do)"
ReleasedOctober 1965 (1965-10)
RecordedMay 6, 1965 (1965-05-06)[1][2]
StudioCriteria Studios, Miami
LabelKing 6015
Songwriter(s)James Brown
Producer(s)James Brown
James Brown and the Famous Flames singles chronology
"Try Me"
"I Got You (I Feel Good)"
"Lost Someone"


"I Got You (I Feel Good)" is a twelve-bar blues with a brass-heavy instrumental arrangement similar to Brown's previous hit, "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag". It also features the same emphasis "on the one" (i.e. the first beat of the measure) that characterizes Brown's developing funk style. The lyrics have Brown exulting in how good he feels ("nice, like sugar and spice") now that he has the one he loves, his vocals punctuated by screams and shouts. The song includes an alto sax solo by Maceo Parker.


"I Got You (I Feel Good)" developed from an earlier Brown-penned song, "I Found You", with a nearly identical melody and lyrics. "I Found You" had been recorded by Brown's back-up singer Yvonne Fair and released as a single (King 5594) in 1962, with little success.[3][4]

In 1964, Brown recorded an early version of "I Got You (I Feel Good)" with a different arrangement, including a stuttering rhythm and prominent baritone sax line, under the title "I Got You". This version appeared on the Smash Records album Out of Sight and in the 1965 film Ski Party, in which Brown lip synchs his performance on June 30. It was intended for a single release but was withdrawn due to a court order from King Records, with whom Brown was involved in a contract dispute.[5]


In 1965, after visiting Criteria Studios in Miami and being impressed by the sound of the studio's custom recording console, King Records owner Syd Nathan booked a recording session for Brown, during which he recorded the version of "I Got You (I Feel Good)" released by the label as a single.[6]


The song entered the Billboard charts on November 13, 1965 following an October release, and reached number three on December 18.[7] Of Brown's 91 hits to reach the Billboard Hot 100, "I Got You (I Feel Good)" is Brown's highest-charting song. The song remained at the top of the Billboard Rhythm and Blues Singles chart for six non-consecutive weeks, after his previous single, "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag", held the number-one spot for eight weeks.[7] Brown's screams at the beginning and end of the song have been sampled a number of times for hip hop and dance songs. The song has also been covered many times by other performers, and is frequently played at sporting events. The song is played at the Zentralstadion whenever RB Leipzig scores a goal.

Cash Box described it as a "rhythmic, funky ode about a real lucky guy who wants nothing more than to be near his gal."[8]

In 2000, "I Got You (I Feel Good)" reached No. 21 on VH1's 100 Greatest Songs in Rock and Roll and No. 75 on VH1's 100 Greatest Dance Songs, one of only seven songs to make both lists. In 2004, "I Got You (I Feel Good)" was ranked No. 78 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

Appearances in film and televisionEdit

In 1965, James Brown, and his vocal group, the Famous Flames (Bobby Byrd, Bobby Bennett and Lloyd Stallworth) performed the song in a cameo in the American International Pictures comedy film Ski Party.[9] Since then, the song has appeared in numerous film soundtracks.


with the James Brown Orchestra:

  • Ron Tooley — trumpet
  • Joe Dupars — trumpet
  • Levi Rasbury — trombone
  • Mike Ridley — trumpet
  • Nat Jones — alto saxophone, Hammond organ
  • St. Clair Pinckney — tenor saxophone
  • Eldee Williams – tenor saxophone
  • Al "Brisco" Clark – tenor saxophone
  • Maceo Parker — alto saxophone
  • Jimmy Nolen — electric guitar
  • David "Hooks" Williams – bass guitar
  • Melvin Parker — drums

Chart positionsEdit

Year Chart Peak
1965 US Billboard Hot 100[10] 3
US Billboard Rhythm and Blues Singles[7] 1
UK Singles (OCC)[11] 29
1992 Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[12] 49

Other versionsEdit

Live recordingsEdit

Brown performs the song on the live albums Live at the Garden (1967), Live at the Apollo, Volume II (1968), Soul Session Live (1989), and Live at the Apollo 1995 (1995).

1975 remakeEdit

Brown re-recorded the song for his 1975 album Sex Machine Today. This version was featured in the film White Men Can't Jump, the video game Rock Band 3, and Don King Presents: Prizefighter.

Paul Dakeyne remixEdit

In 1992, producer and remixer Paul Dakeyne released a 12" remix of "I Got You (I Feel Good)" on FBI Records under the title "James Brown v. Dakeyne – I Got You (I Feel Good) (The Remixes)". It reached No. 72 on the UK Singles Chart.


  1. ^ Marc (December 18, 2015). "Criteria Studios - Layla, 461 Ocean Blvd & Rumors Recorded Here". History Of Rock Music. Retrieved January 24, 2023.
  2. ^ "Recording "I Got You (I Feel Good)" by James Brown - MusicBrainz". musicbrainz.org. Retrieved January 24, 2023.
  3. ^ Finnis, Rob and Rounce, Tony. Booklet with CD "You Heard It Here First". Ace Records CDCHD1204. 2008.
  4. ^ Leeds, Alan (1998). "Message from the Soul Sisters". In James Brown's Original Funky Divas [CD booklet]. New York: PolyGram Records.
  5. ^ Leeds, Alan and Weinger, Harry (1991). "Star Time: Song by Song". In Star Time (pp. 46–53) [CD booklet]. New York: PolyGram Records.
  6. ^ Cogan, Jim; Clark, William (2003). Temples of Sound: Inside the Great Recording Studios. San Francisco, United States: Chronicle Books. p. 212. ISBN 0-8118-3394-1.
  7. ^ a b c Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1542–2009. Record Research. p. 84.
  8. ^ "CashBox Record Reviews" (PDF). Cash Box. November 6, 1965. p. 24. Retrieved January 12, 2022.
  9. ^ John Enriquez. ""I Feel Good" – James Brown & The Famous Flames (1965)". YouTube. Archived from the original on December 22, 2021. Retrieved January 29, 2019.
  10. ^ "The Hot 100: Week of January 1, 1966". Billboard. Retrieved December 16, 2020.
  11. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved August 4, 2013.
  12. ^ "James Brown – I Got You (I Feel Good)" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved August 4, 2013.