James Brown Is Dead

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"James Brown Is Dead"
LA Style - JB is Dead single cover.jpg
Single by L.A. Style
from the album L.A. Style
Released 19 August 1991
Format CD single, 12" single, 12" maxi, 7" single
Recorded 1991
Length 5:38
Label ZYX Records
Decadance Records
Arista Records
Watts Music
Songwriter(s) Denzil Slemming
Producer(s) Denzil Slemming
L.A. Style singles chronology
"James Brown Is Dead"
"I'm Raving"
"James Brown Is Dead"
"I'm Raving"
Music video
"James Brown Is Dead" on YouTube

"James Brown Is Dead" is a song by Dutch electronic dance music duo L.A. Style. It was released in August 1991 as the lead single from their debut album, L.A. Style. The song was a major hit across Europe, reaching number-one in Belgium, the Netherlands, and Spain. The song also reached the top 10 in Australia, Germany, Italy, Sweden, and Switzerland. It also peaked at number 59 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.[4] The song inspired multiple answer songs. The song is considered a "Techno classic" with artists like DJ Irene mixing it into their sets.[4] In 2001, Wessel van Diepen and Arista Records released "James Brown Is Dead 2001", a new version of the L.A. Style original.[5]

Track listing[edit]

Europe; CD single - 1991[edit]

  1. "James Brown Is Dead" (Radio Edit) - 3:32
  2. "James Brown Is Dead" - 5:38
  3. "James Brown Is Dead" - 5:09

US; CD single - 1992[edit]

  1. "James Brown Is Dead (7" Version Of Original Mix (Without Rap))" 3:06
  2. "James Brown Is Dead (7" Version Of Original Mix (With Rap))" - 3:30
  3. "James Brown Is Dead (Rock Radio Mix)(Vocals – Chris Randall of Sister Machine Gun)" - 3:20
  4. "James Brown Is Dead (Crossover Radio Mix)" - 3:57
  5. "James Brown Is Dead (Original Mix (Without Rap))" - 5:38
  6. "James Brown Is Dead (Original Mix (With Rap))" - 6:04
  7. "James Brown Is Dead (Deadly Remix)" - 5:26
  8. "James Brown Is Dead (Wide Awake Remix)" _ 5:21
  9. "James Brown Is Dead (Take Outs)" - 0:55

Answer songs[edit]

In the wake of "James Brown Is Dead" the song "James Brown Is Still Alive" was released that same year by Holy Noise, a techno group also from the Netherlands. Although the first song's lyrics do actually assert that James Brown (1933–2006), "the hardest working man in show biz is alive," the Holy Noise song is regarded as an answer to the L.A. Style song.[6][7]

After Holy Noise many other artists jumped on the bandwagon with songs in which James Brown got often replaced with the name of other celebrities.

The song is featured in the 2012 film Here Comes The Boom.

List of songs inspired by this song:

  • Holy Noise - "James Brown is still alive" (1991)
  • DJ K - "James Brown Est ..." (1991)
  • Phenomenia - "Who is Elvis?" (1991)
    • Elvis died August 16, 1977
  • Traumatic Stress - "Who the Fuck is James Brown" (1991)
  • 7-Sons – "Vater Abraham Ist Tod" (1991)
    • Father Abraham is still alive as of 2016.
  • Y-Decibel - "J.B. On Dope" (1991)
  • The Dead Kirks - "Mr. Kirk, Your Son Is Dead" (1991)
  • Raimunda Navarro – "James Brown Has Sex" (1991)
  • X.P.C. – "Laura P Is Dead" (1991)
  • Big Boss - "Who The Hell Is James Brown?!" (1991)
  • The Ambassador - "Communism is gone" (1991)
  • J.Y. Factory - "James Brown Is Dead Or Alive!?!?" (1992)
  • Total Rewind - "James Brown Is Brown" (1992)
  • Imrichvideozone - "Jimi Hendrix is not dead" (1992)
    • Jimi Hendrix died September 18, 1970
  • Imrichvideozone - "Who is Mečiar?" (1992)
    • Mečiar was prime minister of Slovakia for much of the 1990s. He is still alive as of 2016.
  • Obscure FM – "Michael Jackson Is In Heaven Now!" (1992)
    • Michael Jackson died June 25, 2009
  • Kranz - "Helmut Kohl Ist Tot" (1992)
    • Helmut Kohl was Chancellor of Germany for much of the 1980s and 1990s. He died 16 June 2017.
  • Memo Ríos - "Pedro Infante Murio" (1992)
    • Pedro Infante Cruz died April 15, 1957
  • Mr. Oizo - "Bruce Willis Is Dead" (1998)
    • Bruce Willis is still alive as of 2016.
  • Organ Donors – "James Brown Is Queer" (2001)[citation needed])

Chart positions[edit]

Charts (1991-1992) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[8] 7
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[9] 24
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[10] 1
Germany (Official German Charts)[11] 6
Italy (FIMI)[12] 4
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[13] 1
Spain (AFYVE)[14] 1
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[15] 7
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[16] 2
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[17] 59
U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs 4