Get Up Offa That Thing
|"Get Up Offa That Thing"|
|Single by James Brown|
|from the album Get Up Offa That Thing|
|B-side||"Release the Pressure"|
|Recorded||April 1976, Criteria Studios, Miami, FL|
|James Brown charting singles chronology|
"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. It would be Brown's biggest hit during his late-1970s career decline. The song's lyrics urge listeners to "Get up offa that thing / and dance 'til you feel better." Brown's declamatory vocals include slights directed at his musical competitors, including Barry White, the Ohio Players, and K.C. and the Sunshine Band. Due to his troubles with the IRS for failure to pay back taxes, Brown credited authorship of the song to his wife Diedre 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.
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.
- James Brown - lead vocal
with The J.B.'s:
- Russell Crimes - trumpet
- Holly Ferris - trombone
- St. Clair Pinckney - tenor saxophone
- Peyton Johnson - tenor saxophone
- Joe Poff Jr. - alto saxophone
- Jimmy Nolen - guitar
- Robert Coleman - guitar
- Charles Sherrell - clavinet
- Melvin Parker - drums
- Will Lee - bass
- Other players unknown
Appearances in other media
- "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.
- 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 called the song "a mixture of jazz and funk - junk."
- The horn samples of this song were sampled extensively for 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 the character Ian Wallace) in the 2003 film What a Girl Wants.
- A modified version of this song is performed alongside 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.
- The song appeared in the documentary "Hunt vs Lauda: F1's Greatest Racing Rivals" on BBC Two.
- White, Cliff (1991). "Discography". In Star Time (pp. 54–59) [CD booklet]. New York: PolyGram Records.
- Leeds, Alan, and Harry Weinger (1991). "Star Time: Song by Song". In Star Time (pp. 46–53) [CD booklet]. New York: PolyGram Records.
- Brown, James, and Bruce Tucker (1986). James Brown: The Godfather of Soul, 245. New York: Thunder's Mouth Press.
- Smith, R.J. (2012). The One: The Life and Music of James Brown, 310. New York: Gotham Books.
- Johnson, Kevin. "Stories Behind the Songs: Will Lee". No Treble. Retrieved 8 August 2013.
- "Mallory Hagan, Miss New York, Wins Miss America 2013 Title (PHOTOS)". The Huffington Post. 2013-01-12. Retrieved 2013-01-13.