Gnarls Barkley unveiled plans to release four versions of the song "Who's Gonna Save My Soul," a cut from their forthcoming album of the same name Wednesday.
"It's the first song we did for the new record. There was that nod of agreement and sigh of relief that we're starting, and... we're off!," group member Cee-Lo green told Billboard.
Due in stores Nov.11 via Atlantic, "Who's Gonna Save My Soul" features a live version of the popular track "Neighbors" from the 40-Watt Club in Athens, GA and the non-album track "Mystery Man."
"The song was written about James Brown -- from an admirer's perspective ... someone who had truly personified everything that we are," he says. Gnarls Barkley played a 2006 show in London the same night Brown was playing, and had been offered the chance to attend by Brown's manager. But the timing didn't work out, and Brown died a few months later.
"It disappointed me so bad," Cee-Lo says. "It was almost like he was about to pass a torch to me. It's my assumption but that's also my aspiration. When I say, 'I lay my own soul down,' it's like, I will have to be my own hero. I will have to save my own soul. Therefore, it is very painful, but there's also a silver lining."
"This song really showed that we had other places to go and things to do," Danger Mouse adds. "We tried it a couple different ways, and each time it still had a really great impact."