Get Up Offa That Thing

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"Get Up Offa That Thing"
Single by James Brown
from the album Get Up Offa That Thing
B-side"Release the Pressure"
ReleasedMay 1976 (1976-05)
RecordedApril 1976
StudioCriteria Studios, Miami, Florida
  • 4:11 (Get Up Offa That Thing)
  • 5:27 (Release the Pressure)
  • Deanna Brown
  • Deidre Brown
  • Yamma Brown
Producer(s)James Brown
James Brown charting singles chronology
"(I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons"
"Get Up Offa That Thing"
"I Refuse to Lose"

"Get Up Offa That Thing" is a song written and performed by James Brown. It was released in 1976 as a two-part single (the B-side, titled "Release the Pressure", is a continuation of the same song). It reached #4 on the R&B chart, briefly returning Brown to the Top Ten after a year's absence, and #45 on the Billboard Hot 100.[2][3] Thanks to its chart success, the song became Brown's biggest hit of the late 1970s. The song's lyrics urge listeners to "Get up offa that thing / and dance 'til you feel better." Due to his troubles with the IRS for failure to pay back taxes, Brown credited authorship of the song to his wife Deidre and their daughters, Deanna and Yamma Brown.


According to Brown, the inspiration for "Get Up Offa That Thing" came to him during a club performance in Fort Lauderdale:

The audience was sitting down, trying to do a sophisticated thing, listening to funk. One of the tightest bands they'd ever heard in their lives, and they were sitting. I had worked hard and dehydrated myself and was feeling depressed. I looked out at all those people sitting there, and because I was depressed they looked depressed. I yelled, "Get up offa that thing and dance til you feel better!" I probably meant until I felt better.[4]

Unlike most popular music of the time, which made sophisticated use of multitrack recording and other techniques, "Get Up Offa That Thing" was recorded live in the studio in only two takes.[5]

Brown re-recorded "Get Up Offa That Thing" for the Doctor Detroit soundtrack album. He also performs the song during his guest appearance in the film. Other performances of the song appear on the albums Hot on the One, Live in New York, Live at Chastain Park, and Live at the Apollo 1995.

Credits and personnel[edit]

  • James Brown – lead vocal

with The J.B.'s:

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1976) Peak
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 45
U.S. Billboard National Disco Top 40[7] 19
U.S. Billboard Hot Soul Singles 4

Appearances in other media[edit]

  • "Get Up Offa That Thing" was performed as a mash-up with "Dancing in the Street" by the nuns of Sister Act 2 as led by Whoopi Goldberg.
  • It was played during the "Soccer" episode of The Wonder Years with the beginning of the opening game.
  • The song is used twice in Jim Henson Pictures' 1999 film Muppets from Space when Gonzo rides the lawnmower.
  • The song is featured in the 2009 British film Fish Tank.
  • The song is used in the closing sequence of Paramount's 1996 film Harriet the Spy and Blue Sky Studios' 2005 computer-animated film Robots. In the latter film, Robin Williams' character, Fender, called the song, "a fusion of jazz and funk, it's called junk."[8]
  • The horn samples of this song were sampled extensively for late 1980s and early 1990s hip-hop.
  • The scream in the opening of the song was sampled in Gloria Estefan's 1985 hit single "Conga".
  • The song is performed by Oliver James (as Ian Wallace) in the 2003 film What a Girl Wants.
  • A modified version of this song is performed along with Dan Aykroyd in the Player's Ball sequence of the 1983 film Doctor Detroit.
  • The song appeared in the Volkswagen commercial for the 2012 Super Bowl "The Dog Strikes Back".
  • Miss America 2013 Mallory Hagan performed a tap dance to this song as her talent.[9]
  • The song appeared in the documentary "Hunt vs Lauda: F1's Greatest Racing Rivals" on BBC Two.[10]
  • It was also heard during a Walmart commercial to support Black Friday.
  • The song is featured in Martin Lawrence's 2001 film Black Knight.
  • The song is played at Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox during the 4th inning to encourage fans to get up and stretch and dance. Similarly, if the game goes 13 innings, the song plays again.
  • The song was used as a parody called "Get Up Offa That Tail" for the toy; Dance Star Mickey.
  • The song is featured in the 2019 film Shaft.
  • The song was sampled by Chris Classic for Rey Mysterio's entrance theme "619" from the compilation album WWE Anthology.
  • Was sampled by Jazzy Jay from his song "(This) Def Jam".
  • The song is used in Another World in the final episode of the series. Cass is held hostage by a gorilla and the wedding guests must sing along to the song for the gorilla to release him.
  • The funk sound played 19 seconds after the start of the song is used 47 years later in the famous Indie game Pizza Tower, and plays whenever Peppino taunts.
  • The song was also heard in a Canadian KFC commercial from 2000.


  1. ^ Breithaupt, Don; Breithaupt, Jeff (October 15, 1996). "Boogie Down: The Dawn of Disco". Precious and Few - Pop Music in the Early '70s. St. Martin's Griffin. p. 183. ISBN 031214704X.
  2. ^ White, Cliff (1991). "Discography". In Star Time (pp. 54–59) [CD booklet]. New York: PolyGram Records.
  3. ^ Leeds, Alan, and Harry Weinger (1991). "Star Time: Song by Song". In Star Time (pp. 46–53) [CD booklet]. New York: PolyGram Records.
  4. ^ Brown, James, and Bruce Tucker (1986). James Brown: The Godfather of Soul, 245. New York: Thunder's Mouth Press.
  5. ^ Smith, R.J. (2012). The One: The Life and Music of James Brown, 310. New York: Gotham Books.
  6. ^ Johnson, Kevin. "Stories Behind the Songs: Will Lee". No Treble. Retrieved 8 August 2013.
  7. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Hot Dance/Disco: 1974–2003. Record Research. p. 44.
  8. ^ "ROBOTS (The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)".
  9. ^ "Mallory Hagan, Miss New York, Wins Miss America 2013 Title (PHOTOS)". The Huffington Post. 2013-01-12. Retrieved 2013-01-13.
  10. ^ "BBC Two – Hunt vs Lauda: F1's Greatest Racing Rivals". 2015-07-04. Retrieved 2016-10-11.

External links[edit]