Papa Don't Take No Mess

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"Papa Don't Take No Mess Part I"
Single by James Brown
from the album Hell
B-side "Papa Don't Take No Mess Part II"
Released August 1974 (1974-08)
Format 7" (stereo)
Recorded August 23, 1973, International Studios, Augusta, GA
Genre Funk
  • 4:30 (Part I)
  • 5:00 (Part II)
Label Polydor
Producer(s) James Brown
James Brown charting singles chronology
"My Thang"
"Papa Don't Take No Mess Part I"
"Funky President (People It's Bad)"

"Papa Don't Take No Mess" is a funk song performed by James Brown. An edited version of the song released as a two-part single in 1974 was Brown's final number one R&B hit and peaked at number thirty-one on the Hot 100.[1][2] The full-length version, nearly 14 minutes long, appeared on the double album Hell.

Like "The Payback," "Papa Don't Take No Mess" was originally recorded for a rejected soundtrack to the blaxploitation film Hell Up in Harlem.


  • James Brown - lead vocal

with Fred Wesley and The J.B.'s:

A piano solo, performed by Brown, is included in the longer edit that appears on the Hell album.


Steely Dan covered this song in the band introduction segment of their "Rarities night" concerts in September 2011.


  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 85. 
  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.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"You Haven't Done Nothin'" by Stevie Wonder
Billboard Hot Soul Singles number one single
October 12, 1974
Succeeded by
"Do It ('Til You're Satisfied)" by B.T. Express