"Sex Machine" was one of the first songs Brown recorded with his new band, The 's. In comparison with Brown's 1960s solo funk hits such as "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag", the band's inexperienced horn section plays a relatively minor part. Instead, the song centers on the insistent riff played by brothers Bootsy and Catfish Collins on bass and guitar and Jabo Starks on drums, along with the call and response interplay between Brown and Byrd's vocals, which consist mostly of exhortations to "get up / stay on the scene / like a sex machine". During the song's final vocal passages Brown and Byrd started to sing the main hook of Elmore James' blues classic "Shake Your Moneymaker."
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