Out of Sight (song)

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"Out of Sight"
Single by James Brown
from the album Out of Sight
B-side"Maybe the Last Time"
ReleasedJuly 1964 (1964-07)
RecordedMay 1964
Songwriter(s)Ted Wright
Producer(s)Fair Deal Record Corp.
James Brown charting singles chronology
"The Things That I Used to Do"
"Out of Sight"
"Have Mercy Baby"

"Out of Sight" is a funk song recorded by James Brown in 1964. A twelve-bar blues written by Brown under the pseudonym "Ted Wright",[citation needed] the stuttering, staccato dance rhythms and blasting horn section riffs of its instrumental arrangement were an important evolutionary step in the development of funk music.


In his 1986 autobiography Brown wrote that

"Out of Sight" was another beginning, musically and professionally. My music - and most music - changed with "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag", but it really started on "Out of Sight" ... You can hear the band and me start to move in a whole other direction rhythmically. The horns, the guitars, the vocals, everything was starting to be used to establish all kinds of rhythms at once... I was trying to get every aspect of the production to contribute to the rhythmic patterns.[2]

"Out of Sight" was the third single Brown recorded for Smash Records in the midst of a contract dispute with his main label, King. A significant pop hit, it reached #24 on the Billboard Hot 100,[3] and #5 on the Cashbox R&B chart.[4] (Billboard had temporarily suspended its R&B listings at the time.) It was also the last song he would record for over a year, as the court's ruling in his dispute with King barred him from making vocal recordings for Smash.

"Out of Sight" was one of Brown's first recordings to feature the playing of saxophonist Maceo Parker. Its B-side, "Maybe the Last Time", was his last studio recording with the Famous Flames. Besides its single release, "Out of Sight" appeared on an album of the same name, which was quickly withdrawn from sale. It was re-released on King in 1968 with one track missing under the title James Brown Sings Out of Sight.


Bruce Springsteen described the song as, "Pure excitement, pure electricity, pure 'get out of your seat, move your ass'. Pure sweat-filled, gospel-filled raw, rock and roll, rhythm and blues. It's like a taut rubber band."[5]

Other recordings[edit]

Performances of "Out of Sight" appear on the album Live at the Garden and in the concert film T.A.M.I. Show.

Cover versions[edit]


with the James Brown Band:


  1. ^ "100 Greatest Funk Songs". Digital Dream Door. August 7, 2008. Archived from the original on September 25, 2010. Retrieved October 7, 2021.
  2. ^ Brown, James, with Bruce Tucker. James Brown: The Godfather of Soul (New York: Macmillan Publishing Company,1986), 149.
  3. ^ White, Cliff (1991). "Discography". In Star Time (pp. 54–59) [CD booklet]. New York: PolyGram Records.
  4. ^ Top Rhythm & Blues Records (Top R&B Hits)
  5. ^ "Which eight songs would Bruce Springsteen take to a desert island?". BBC.
  6. ^ 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]