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There Was a Time

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"There Was a Time"
Single by James Brown
from the album I Can't Stand Myself When You Touch Me
A-side "I Can't Stand Myself (When You Touch Me)"
B-side "I Feel All Right (maxisingle)"
Released November 1967 (1967-11)
Format 7"
Recorded June 24–25, 1967, Apollo Theater, New York, NY
Genre Funk
Length 3:35
Label King
  • James Brown
  • Bud Hobgood
Producer(s) James Brown
James Brown charting singles chronology
"I Can't Stand Myself (When You Touch Me)"
"There Was a Time"
"You've Got to Change Your Mind"

Not to be confused with "Once There Was a Time", sung by Tom Jones.

"There Was a Time" is a song written and performed by James Brown.

Release history

"There Was a Time" was recorded in July 1967 during a live performance at the Apollo Theater in a medley with "Let Yourself Go" and "I Feel All Right", and was first released November 1967 in edited form as the B-side of the single "I Can't Stand Myself (When You Touch Me)". The song charted #3 R&B — higher than the A-side — and #36 Pop.[1] This edit of the song also appeared on the 1968 album I Can't Stand Myself When You Touch Me.[2] A 14-minute-long edit of the Apollo medley was issued on Brown's 1968 album Live at the Apollo, Volume II. Though it was nominally only one song in the medley, "There Was a Time" became the colloquial name for the entire sequence.[3] The complete medley was finally issued on the Deluxe Edition of Live at the Apollo, Volume II, released in 2001.[4]

Other recordings

Brown made additional recordings of the "There Was a Time" with the acoustic jazz combo the Dee Felice Trio for his 1969 album Gettin' Down to It, and with the Louie Bellson big band for 1970's Soul on Top, in a performance cut from the original LP release but restored for its 2004 CD reissue. A live performance from 1969 appears on the 1970 album Sex Machine.[5] Another live recording of "There Was a Time", from an August 1968 concert in Dallas, Texas, was first issued on the 1991 Star Time box set,[6] then remastered for the 1998 release Say It Live and Loud: Live in Dallas 08.26.68.[7] Brown also performs the song in the concert films James Brown: Man to Man and Live at the Boston Garden: April 5, 1968.

An instrumental version of "There Was a Time" with saxophonist Alfred "Pee Wee" Ellis was released in 1968. It was an overdubbed version of the tune credited to The Dapps.

Cover versions

"There Was a Time" was part of The Jackson 5's repertoire beginning early in their career. They perform it in concert on the album Live at the Forum. In a famous incident, Michael Jackson and Prince performed the song while sharing the stage with Brown and his band at Los Angeles' Beverly Theater in 1983.[8]

Other artists who have recorded the song include Gene Chandler, Eddie Harris, and The Blue Sky Boys.


  1. ^ White, Cliff (1991). "Discography". In Star Time (pp. 54–59) [CD booklet]. New York: PolyGram Records.
  2. ^ Leeds, Alan, and Harry Weinger (1991). "Star Time: Song by Song". In Star Time (pp. 46–53) [CD booklet]. New York: PolyGram Records.
  3. ^ Smith, R.J. (2012). The One: The Life and Music of James Brown, 175. New York: Gotham Books.
  4. ^ (2001). "Disc Two". In Live at the Apollo, Volume II: Deluxe Edition (p. 22) [CD booklet]. New York: Universal Records.
  5. ^ Weinger, Harry. Sex Machine [CD liner notes]. New York: PolyGram Records.
  6. ^ Leeds, Alan, and Harry Weinger (1991).
  7. ^ (1998). Say It Live and Loud: Live in Dallas 08.26.68 (p. 17) [CD booklet]. New York: PolyGram Records.
  8. ^ Brown, James, and Bruce Tucker (1986). James Brown: The Godfather of Soul, 263-264. New York: Thunder's Mouth Press.

External links

This page was last edited on 22 October 2018, at 17:00
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