Tag Archives: George Clinton

Parliament – Flash Light (1977)

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In 1977, the Parliament ‎entourage released a long player called Funkentelechy Vs. The Placebo Syndrome. Yes, that’s right. Written by George Clinton, Bernie Worrell and Bootsy Collins, the simply named ‘Flash Light’ closes the album on a momentous high; all channelled through Worrell’s killer synth-bassline and Clinton’s otherwordly vocals.

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9 of the best – funk tracks of all time

It’s unclear if this is something anyone’s been wondering about, but this is the perfect funk soundtrack to a bank holiday weekend…

A early example from the Big O (1968) …

Otis Redding – Hard To Handle

The first one from the Prime Minister (1971) …

Funkadelic – Can You Get To That

Funked-up and southern (1971) …

Ann Sexton – You’ve Been Gone Too Long

The Prince Of Soul on drums (1972) …

Marvin Gaye – “T” Plays It Cool

The first one from the Godfather (1972) …

Lyn Collins – Think About It

The one that Prince, Morris Day and Jellybean had in mind (1973) …

Sly And The Family Stone – If You Want Me To Stay

The one with the lover’s groove (1973) …

Ohio Players – Ecstasy

A controversial selection from the main man (1974) …

James Brown – Funky President (People It’s Bad)

The second one from Clinton’s insane mind (1975) …

Parliament – Night Of The Thumpasorus People

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Honourable mentions also go to: Jimi Hendrix for ‘Crosstown Traffic‘ (1968); Marlena Shaw for ‘California Soul‘ (1969); James Brown for ‘Give It Up Or Turn It Loose‘ (1969); Bobby Byrd for ‘I Know You Got Soul‘ (1971); Cymnade for ‘Bra‘ (1972); Bobby Womack for ‘Across 110th Street‘ (1972); Kool & The Gang for ‘Jungle Boogie‘ (1973); The Lafayette Afro Rock Band for ‘Darkest Light‘ (1974). And there you have it – a set of tough, cold decisions …

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Parliament – P. Funk (Wants To Get Funked Up) (1975)

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Parliament-Funkadelic

The same year, this happened. It was 1975 and we can forgive the Mothership’s swipe at Bowie’s early foray into funk. George Clinton was certainly talking funk from a position of strength, atop the chocolate Milky Way. “I want the bomb, I want the P.Funk, I want my funk uncut.” The genre-defining ‘P. Funk’ was the first track and single off their 1975 album Mothership Connection. The LP was the first to feature Maceo Parker and Fred Wesley after their departure from the J.B.s. The mix was a crazy concoction. “Do not attempt to adjust your radio, there is nothing wrong…”

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Funkadelic – (Not Just) Knee Deep (1979)

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Funkadelic 1979

Heavily sampled by De La Soul for their classic single ‘Me, Myself, and I’, ‘(Not Just) Knee Deep’ is a funk track with its own vintage. Taking up most of the first side of Funkadelic’s 1979 album Uncle Jam Wants You, the song is about a girl whose dance never misses a beat. George Clinton is unimpressed by the Jerk, the Monkey, the Moose and the Chicken, but is blown away by her Freak. I’ve been there baby. And as for the splendid use of the cuíca…

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Ohio Players – Love Rollercoaster (1975)

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Ohio Players Honey

After a trio of classic funk albums on Westbound, P-Funk innovator Walter Morrison left the Ohio Players in 1974. “Junie” Morrison would stay on the Westbound label, whereas the Ohio Players found a new home and new heights at Mercury. Three straight platinum-selling albums culminated in ‘Honey’, which contains some of the sweetest funk known to man. I choose ‘Love Rollercoaster’, but it could have been ‘Sweet Sticky Thing’ or ‘Alone’. Junie would have no regrets; he eventually joined George Clinton’s Parliament-Funkadelic, where he became musical director. That said, even he would have been surprised at how far the ‘Players had taken their album covers. Irony – I think not. Have a great weekend.

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Digital Underground – Doowutchyalike (1989)

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Digital Underground

‘Doowutchyalike’ is the fantastic sound of a non-stop party – a party at which George Clinton is the main man. While the West Coast was being saturated by Parliament-Funkadelic infused gangsta-funk, these gents from San Francisco Bay Area remained true to Clinton’s original sensibility – sex and humour. This boastful song features on the aptly named 1989 album Sex Packets, which is full of such debauchery. Digital Underground didn’t take themselves seriously, but they were no novelty act. For starters, Humpty Hump, his false nose and his merry men were the first to bring Tupac Shakur into the studio.

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Major Lazer feat. Amber – Get Free (2012)

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Major Lazer

Many years after Dr Funkenstein, musical alter egos took a new turn in 2001 with the advent of Gorillaz. Just like George Clinton, Damon Albarn used fictional characters as a medium to collaborate. In the same vein, Major Lazer is a current dancehall-inspired project by DJ/producer Diplo to work with the likes of Vybz Kartel, Flux Pavilion, Shaggy, Ms Dynamite. In 2012’s ‘Get Free’, it was the turn of Amber Coffman of the Dirty Projectors – the collaboration sounds great.

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Parliament – Night Of The Thumpasorus People (1975)

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George Clinton

After Funkadelic’s ‘Cosmic Slop‘, George Clinton’s collective Parliament-Funkadelic put a concerted effort into stretching the boundaries of funk. Two different styles of funk, the outputs of Parliament and Funkadelic were operating in parallel. In 1975, Parliament began to explore something far more conceptual than Funkadelic. With the long player Mothership Connection, P-Funk was born. Musicians were switching between the bands and so adopted pseudonyms for contractual reasons. Dr. Funkenstein and his merry men seemed to revel in the pantomime. Full of lyrical nonsense and psychedelic funk, ‘Night Of The Thumpasorus People’ is the victorious final track on the album. In 1992, The Black Crowes would use the funk hook at 40secs to great effect in their rock’n’roll classic ‘Remedy’, going to show how space exploration can bring everyone together.

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Funkadelic – No Compute (1973)

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Funkadelic '73

Originally drawn to Funkadelic’s fifth album, Cosmic Slop, by the relatively conventional soul ballad ‘This Broken Heart’, I quickly zeroed in on ‘No Compute’ – a darkly humourous song in which George Clinton awakens to find it “strange what a man will go for when the hornies set in”. Then, despite the jolly melody, darkness is delivered through the ever revealing lyrics. “Is pig what’s in pork?” Don’t you count on it. “All looks are not alike…”

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Funkadelic – Can You Get to That (1971)

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George Clinton’s men drop their groove in favour of some acoustic rock. Okay, so it’s not your ordinary acoustic rock – let’s call it soulful psychedelia with a funky sounding piano, bass, drums and lyrics inspired by gospel and a Beatles intro. Reads badly, sounds great. 1-2-3, “I once had a life, or rather, life had me.” I include the YouTube clip of the HTC Detour ad rather than the static clip of the Maggot Brain album cover, which I already feature above. Good album cover. Good ad. Have a great weekend.

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