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James Brown

The Payback

  • Funk
  • Soul
  • Space
  • Disco
  • Rock
song from
  • 1974
  • 1986
  • 1973
  • 2006
  • 1971

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“The Payback” (sometimes known as just “Payback”) is a funk song by James Brown, the title track from his 1973 album of the same name. The song’s lyrics, originally written by trombonist and bandleader Fred Wesley but heavily revised by Brown himself soon before it was recorded, concern the revenge he plans to take against the man who betrayed him and stole his money and his woman. The song is notable for its spare, open instrumental arrangement and its use of wah-wah guitar - a relative rarity in Brown’s previous funk recordings. Released as a two-part single (featuring a radio announcer at the beginning of part one) in February 1974, it was the first in an unbroken succession of three singles by Brown to reach #1 on the R&B charts that year - the last chart-toppers of his... Read on...

Song lines: ♪ Payback

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More songs by James Brown (See Charts): Stoned To The Bone, Hustle!!! (Dead On It), Hot Pants, I Got Ants In My Pants (And I Want To Dance), Get Up, Get Into It, Get Involved, Summertime, I Can't Stand Myself (When You Touch Me), Funky President (People It’s Bad), Get On The Good Foot, and Slaughter Theme.

Popular in Soul (See Charts): Man In The Mirror, On The Line, Music And Me, Fall Again, I'll Be There, It's A Man's Man's World, Stand By Me, I Got You (I Feel Good), (Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay, and Upside Down.


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