Sex Machine (album)

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Sex Machine
Studio album and live album by
ReleasedSeptember 1970
GenreFunk, soul[1]
ProducerJames Brown
James Brown chronology
It's a New Day – Let a Man Come In
Sex Machine
Hey America
James Brown live albums chronology
Live at the Apollo, Volume II
Sex Machine
Revolution of the Mind: Recorded Live at the Apollo, Vol. III
Singles from Sex Machine
  1. "Lowdown Popcorn"
    Released: August 9, 1969
  2. "Brother Rapp"
    Released: April 1970
  3. "Get Up (I Feel Like Being A) Sex Machine"
    Released: July 1970
  4. "Spinning Wheel"
    Released: 1971
Professional ratings
Review scores
Christgau's Record GuideA[3]
Rolling Stone[5]
Yahoo! Music(favorable)[7]
Zagat Survey[8]

Sex Machine is a 1970 double album by James Brown. It showcases the playing of the original J.B.'s lineup featuring Bootsy and Catfish Collins,[10] and includes an 11-minute rendition of the album's title song, different from the original recording of the title song which was released as a two-part single in 1970.

Sex Machine purports to be a live recording. However, the first LP's worth of material consists of tracks recorded in studio settings with added reverberation and overdubbed applause (some of which subsequently were released in unadulterated mixes, most notably on the 1996 Funk Power compilation CD.). All but one track of the second LP apparently were recorded live in concert in Brown's hometown of Augusta, Georgia, although this material, too, features added reverb and overdubbed applause.[citation needed] It charted #4 R&B and #29 Pop.

Sex Machine is often considered to be one of the greatest and most important funk records of all time, and arguably the high point of Brown's creative heyday from 1967 to 1971. It was ranked 1st in SPIN magazine's 25 greatest albums of all time in 1989, and 96th in a 2005 survey held by British television's Channel 4 to determine the 100 greatest albums of all time.[11] Sex Machine was also voted the 34th greatest album of all time in a VH1 poll of over 700 musicians, songwriters, disc jockeys, radio programmers, and critics in 2003.[12] In Rolling Stone's 2020 edition of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, it was ranked number 439.[13]


All tracks on sides one and two and "Lowdown Popcorn" on side three are studio recordings with added reverberation and audience noise. All other tracks on sides three and four were recorded live at the Bell Auditorium in Augusta, GA.

"Brother Rapp" and "Lowdown Popcorn" are the same studio performances initially released as singles. Audience-free studio versions of "Get Up I Feel Like Being a Sex Machine" and "Give It Up or Turnit a Loose" appear on the CD compilation Funk Power 1970: A Brand New Thang, along with a previously unreleased take of "There Was a Time" from the same session. "Mother Popcorn", which was indeed recorded live, appears without added audience noise and with a longer running time on the CD compilation Foundations of Funk: A Brand New Bag 1964-1969. In addition, the album Motherlode includes a live rendition of "Say It Loud - I'm Black and I'm Proud" purportedly from the same Augusta concert. The full 1969 Augusta concert was released in 2019 as Live At Home With His Bad Self.

Track listing[edit]

Side one (studio tracks produced to sound live)
1."Get Up I Feel Like Being a Sex Machine"James Brown, Bobby Byrd, Ron Lenhoff10:48
2."Brother Rapp (Part I & Part II)"Brown5:06
Total length:15:54
Side two (studio tracks produced to sound live)
1."Bewildered"Teddy Powell, Leonard Whitcup6:09
2."I Got the Feelin'"Brown1:07
3."Give It Up or Turnit a Loose"Charles Bobbit6:26
Total length:13:42
Side four
1."There Was a Time"Brown, Bud Hobgood4:04
2."It's a Man's Man's Man's World"Brown, Betty Jean Newsome3:42
3."Please, Please, Please"Brown, Johnny Terry2:26
4."I Can't Stand Myself (When You Touch Me)"Brown1:28
5."Mother Popcorn"Brown, Ellis5:50
Total length:17:30


Brown on the TV show The Music Scene in September 1969

Get Up (I Feel Like Being a) Sex Machine, Medley

Bell Auditorium, Augusta, GA


  1. ^ a b Huey, Steve. "James Brown: Sex Machine" at AllMusic. Retrieved September 22, 2011.
  2. ^ "Billboard Album Reviews". Billboard. September 19, 1970. p. 59. Retrieved September 22, 2011.
  3. ^ Christgau, Robert (1981). "Consumer Guide '70s: B". Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies. Ticknor & Fields. ISBN 089919026X. Retrieved February 22, 2019 – via
  4. ^ "Sex Machine: James Brown". Rhapsody. Retrieved September 22, 2011.
  5. ^ Hoard, Christian (2004). The new Rolling Stone album guide. New York: Simon & Schuster. pp. 109–113. ISBN 978-0-7432-0169-8. Alt URL
  6. ^ "The 25 Greatest Albums of All Time". Spin (Volume Five Number One). April 1989. ISSN 0886-3032. Retrieved September 22, 2011. {{cite journal}}: |issue= has extra text (help)
  7. ^ "Sex Machine by James Brown". Yahoo! Music. Retrieved September 22, 2011.
  8. ^ Movies & music pack 2004 : top films & albums of all time. New York: Zagat Survey. 2003. ISBN 978-1-57006-543-9. Retrieved September 22, 2011.
  9. ^ g, manos (August 1, 2013). "Review: CD James Brown – Sex Machine Album". Sputnikmusic. Retrieved 2013-11-08.
  10. ^ "James Brown". Sex Machine. Retrieved January 30, 2007.
  11. ^ "The 100 Greatest Albums". BBC Four. Archived from the original on April 19, 2005. Retrieved January 30, 2007.
  12. ^ "James Brown – Sex Machine".
  13. ^ "The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time". Rolling Stone. 2020-09-22. Retrieved 2020-10-27.

External links[edit]