Doing It to Death
|"Doing It to Death"|
|Single by Fred Wesley & The J.B.'s|
|from the album Doing It to Death|
|B-side||"Everybody Got Soul"|
|Recorded||January 29, 1973, International Studios, Augusta, GA|
"Doing It to Death", also known as "Gonna Have a Funky Good Time", is a funk song recorded by The J.B.'s featuring James Brown. It was released as a single in 1973 and peaked at number one on the soul singles chart and number twenty-two on the Hot 100. Although the song has a lead vocal by Brown (who also wrote the tune and the lyrics), the recording is credited to "Fred Wesley & The J.B.'s". It was the first J.B.'s recording to feature saxophonist Maceo Parker, who had returned to work with Brown again after attempting a career as a bandleader.
"Doing It to Death" contains an uncommon key change in which Brown tells the band to modulate downward from F to D ("In order for me to get down, I have to get down in D"). Composers who place key changes in tunes typically have them modulate upwards. Unusually for a James Brown song, the actual words "doing it to death" appear nowhere in the song's lyrics, which feature the hook "we're gonna have a funky good time." The title came from a figure of speech Brown heard Wesley use.
A 10-minute, two-part version of "Doing It to Death" was included on a J.B.'s album of the same name. The complete, unedited and nearly 13-minute-long original recording of the song was first issued on the 1995 J.B.'s compilation Funky Good Time: The Anthology. Performances of the song also appear on the albums Live at Chastain Park and Live at the Apollo 1995.
- James Brown - lead vocal
with Fred Wesley & The J.B.'s:
- Fred Wesley - trombone
- Darryl "Hasaan" Jamison - trumpet
- Jerone "Jasaan" Sanford - trumpet
- Ike Oakley - trumpet
- Maceo Parker - alto saxophone and flute
- St. Clair Pinckney - tenor saxophone
- Eldee Williams - tenor saxophone
- Jimmy Nolen - guitar
- Hearlon "Cheese" Martin - guitar
- Fred Thomas - bass
- John "Jabo" Starks - drums
- Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 617.
- Leeds, Alan (1995). Discography. In Funky Good Time: The Anthology [CD booklet]. New York: PolyGram Records.
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