Give It Up or Turnit a Loose

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For the En Vogue song, see Give It Up, Turn It Loose.
"Give It Up or Turnit a Loose"
Single by James Brown
from the album Ain't It Funky
B-side "I'll Lose My Mind"
Released January 1969 (1969-01)
Format 7"
Recorded October 29, 1968, Criteria Studios, Miami, FL
Genre Funk


6:24 (1970 version)
Label King
Writer(s) Charles Bobbit
Producer(s) James Brown
James Brown charting singles chronology
"Tit for Tat (Ain't No Taking Back)"
"Give It Up or Turnit a Loose"
"Soul Pride (Part 1)

"Give It Up or Turnit a Loose" is a funk song recorded by James Brown. Released as a single in 1969, the song was a #1 R&B hit and also made the top 20 pop singles chart.[1][2] "Give It Up or Turnit a Loose" appeared as an instrumental on the Ain't It Funky album, removing Brown's vocals and adding guitar overdubs.

Recorded history[edit]

"The original 'Give It Up or Turnit a Loose' appeared as a single in early '69, arranged by the '60's bandleader 'Pee Wee' Ellis. A year later, reinvigorated by his new band, Mr. Brown would readdress 'Give It Up.' Where the original version percolated with jazzy overtones, this revisit was kinetic, raw, uncut. This monster funk bomb exploded in the underground in '73, when a young Bronx DJ named Kool DJ Herc would load on the turntables two copies of the Sex Machine album and between them he would run an extended cut 'n' mix of the percussion breakdown. Hip-hop was born. The shockwaves have been felt ever since"

—Stephen Ivory[3]

Brown recorded "Give It Up or Turnit a Loose" again with The J.B.'s for his 1970 double album Sex Machine. Over five minutes long, this later recording used a substantially different instrumental arrangement, with an added organ riff and a florid bassline, as well as different lyrics. A remix of this recording by Tim Rogers appears on the 1986 compilation album In the Jungle Groove. The remixed version has been extensively sampled. A genuine live version of the song appears on the album Live at Chastain Park.

In 1974 Lyn Collins recorded the song, with Brown producing.

Dick Hyman recorded a synthesizer version of "Give It Up or Turnit a Loose" on his 1969 album The Age of Electronicus.


Chart (1969) Peak
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 15
U.S. Billboard Hot Black Singles 1


1969 version[edit]

  • James Brown - lead vocals

with the James Brown Orchestra:

Preceded by
"Everyday People" by Sly & The Family Stone
Billboard Hot R&B Singles number-one single
March 8, 1969 – March 15, 1969 (two weeks)
Succeeded by
"Runaway Child, Running Wild" by The Temptations


  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 84. 
  2. ^ White, Cliff (1991). "Discography". In Star Time (pp. 54–59) [CD booklet]. New York: PolyGram Records.
  3. ^ Ivory, Stephen (2000). The Funk Box (CD box set booklet). Hip-O Records. p. 12. 314 541 789-2. 
  4. ^ Leeds, Alan, and Harry Weinger (1991). "Star Time: Song by Song". In Star Time (pp. 46–53) [CD booklet]. New York: PolyGram Records.

External links[edit]