James Brown passed away in 2006, but fans are now getting to hear a never-before-heard recording from the Godfather of Soul. 

The previously unreleased tune, “We Got to Change,” features Brown’s band the J.B.’s, with William “Bootsy” Collins on bass, Phelps “Catfish” Collins on guitar and “Funky Drummer” Clyde Stubblefield.

“James Brown always leaned into the social tip,” Bootsy shares of the song’s themes. “He always was trying to keep the youngsters informed and the people informed on what’s going on.” He adds, “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.” 

The song was recorded August 16, 1970, at Miami’s Criteria Studios, and also features Brown’s longtime musical comrade Bobby Byrd on the chorus.

You can listen to “We Got to Change” now via digital outlets and on YouTube

“We Got to Change” is part of a three-track EP which is available now. The release comes ahead of the new two-night James Brown A&E documentary, James Brown: Say It Loud, executive produced by Mick Jagger and Questlove. It airs February 19-20.

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