Parliament-Funkadelic: the 100 most inspiring musicians of all time

Parliament-Funkadelic: the 100 most inspiring musicians of all time

The original members were George Clinton (b. July 22, 1941, Kannapolis, N.C., U.S.), Raymond Davis (b. March 29, 1940, Sumter, S.C., U.S.), Calvin Simon (b. May 22, 1942, Beckley, W.Va., U.S.), Fuzzy Haskins (b. June 8, 1941, Elkhorn, W.Va., U.S.), and Grady Thomas (b. Jan. 5, 1941, Newark, N.J., U.S.). Later members included Michael Hampton (b. Nov. 15, 1956, Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.), Bernie Worrell (b. April 19, 1944, Long Beach, N.J., U.S.), Billy Bass Nelson (b. Jan. 28, 1951, Plainfield, N.J., U.S.), Eddie Hazel (b. April 10, 1950, Brooklyn, N.Y., U.S.—d. Dec. 23, 1992), Tiki Fulwood (b. May 23, 1944, Philadelphia, Pa., U.S.—d. Oct. 29, 1979), Bootsy Collins (b. Oct. 26, 1951, Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.), Fred Wesley (b. July 4, 1943, Columbus, Ga., U.S.), Maceo Parker (b. Feb. 14, 1943, Kinston, N.C., U.S.), Jerome Brailey (b. Aug. 20, 1950, Richmond, Va., U.S.), Garry Shider (b. July 24, 1953, Plainfield, N.J., U.S.), Glen Goins (b. Jan. 2, 1954, Plainfield, N.J., U.S.—d. July 29, 1978, Plainfield), and Gary (“Mudbone”) Cooper (b. Nov. 24, 1953, Washington, D.C., U.S.)

Parliament-Funkadelic, also known as P-Funk, was a massive group of performers that greatly influenced black music in the 1970s. The group scored 13 Top Ten rhythm-and-blues and pop hits from 1967 to 1983 (including six number one rhythm-and-blues hits) under a variety of names, including the Parliaments, Funkadelic, Bootsy’s Rubber Band, and
the Brides of Funkenstein, as well as under the name of its founding father, Clinton.

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The band combined the hard rock of Jimi Hendrix, the funky rhythms of James Brown, and the showstopping style of Sly and the Family Stone to fashion an outrageous tribal funk experience. P-Funk emphasized the aesthetics of funk as a means of self-fulfillment; to “give up the funk”
meant to achieve transcendence.

Organized and produced by Clinton, the original Parliaments began as a doo-wop quintet based in Plainfield. The group’s first charting single, “(I Wanna) Testify,” in 1967 led to their first tour, but legal problems that arose with the demise of their record company resulted in the loss of the group’s name. Performing throughout the northeastern United States and recording in Detroit, the group began to emphasize its backing band, Funkadelic. Led by bassist Nelson, guitarist Hazel, drummer Fulwood, and
classically trained keyboardist Worrell, Funkadelic incorporated the influence of amplified, psychedelic rock into its distinctive sound.

By 1970 Clinton was producing albums for both the renamed Parliament and Funkadelic—essentially the same entity recording for different labels. In the process he recruited key new performers: Collins on bass, Wesley on
trombone, and Parker on saxophone (all from James Brown’s band the JBs), along with drummer Brailey, vocalist Cooper, lead guitarist Hampton, and vocalist-guitarists Shider and Goins. Success came in 1976 with the release of Parliament’s album Mothership Connection and the single “Give Up the Funk (Tear the Roof Off the Sucker),” which earned a gold record. Other hit singles followed, including “Flash Light” (1977) by Parliament, “One Nation Under a Groove” (1978) by Funkadelic, and “Atomic Dog” (1982) by Clinton.

P-Funk reached its peak in the late 1970s, sporting a massive stage act (with more than 40 performers) that showcased Clinton’s visionary album concepts, Collins’s spectacular bass effects, and Worrell’s synthesizer innovations. However, by the early 1980s the large overhead and
multifaceted legal identity of the group led to a collapse of the enterprise.

P-Funk defined the dance music of its time and influenced a range of styles from hard rock to house music. The P-Funk catalog is among the most sampled by rap music producers. Parliament-Funkadelic was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997.

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Parliament-Funkadelic -Funkadelic (1970) (Full Album)

Track List:

00:00 Mommy, What’s a Funkadelic? 09:05 I Bet You 15:16 Music for My Mother 20:56 I Got a Thing, You Got a Thing, Everybody’s Got a Thing 24:49 Good Old Music 32:50 Qualify and Satisfy 39:07 What Is Soul

The 10 Best Parliament-Funkadelic Albums Ranked

Parliament Funkadelic

Parliament-Funkadelic is a funk music collective that was founded in the late 1960s and headed by George Clinton. Unlike a band that has set band members, this collective has rotating musicians. This collective predominantly consists of the original band members of the sister bands Parliament and Funkadelic, which were both formed in the 1960s. Initially, Funkadelic was a band, while Parliament was a group of backing vocalists. The style of music is a combination of funk, funk rock, progressive soul, and psychedelic funk. They were inspired by and created their style from extravagant fashion, science fiction, surreal humor, and psychedelic culture. Both their musical style and image inspired many groups and artists in the 1980s and 1990s. Although the group went their separate ways in the late 1980s to focus on solo projects, they have retained a fan base, and their music continues to sell. In 2019, they received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. Here are the 10 best Parliament-Funkadelic albums ranked.

10. Let’s Take It to the Stage, Funkadelic (1975)

‘Let’s Take It to the Stage’ was Funkadelic’s seventh album, released in 1975. The style of the music is a lot simpler than some of their previous albums, but it makes pleasant listening. An unusual fact about this album is that it features a track with a guitar solo from a musician that the band did not know. Clinton claims that they were recording the album when a drug addict walked in from the street and asked if he could play. Although they paid him $50 for his efforts, they never found out the man’s name. Two singles were released from this album, including the title track.

9. Hardcore Jollies, Funkadelic (1976)

Released in 1976, ‘Hardcore Jollies’ was the collective’s ninth album. The album features Eddie Hazel as an uncredited guitarist. It has just eight tracks on the album, all of which were co-written by Clinton. The songs had the weird style and lyrics for which Parliament-Funkadelic had become known. This album peaked at number 12 on the R&B albums chart.

8. Up for the Down Stroke, Parliament (1974)

The title track from the 1974 Parliament album ‘Up for the Down Stroke’ gave Parliament their first appearance in the top 10 on the Billboard R&B charts. It is one of the upbeat tracks on the album, as some have a much more soulful feel. It was Parliament’s second album and was released on Casablanca Records. The only track not co-written by George Clinton was ‘I Just Got Back (From the Fantasy, Ahead of Our Time in the Four Lands of Ellet).’

7. Maggot Brain, Funkadelic (1971)

‘Maggot Brain’ was the third studio album of Funkadelic and the last one to feature the original lineup. The best track on this album is probably the title track, which features lead guitarist Eddie Hazel playing a eulogy to Jimi Hendrix. This album was included on the 2003 Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.

6. Standing on the Verge of Getting It On, Funkadelic (1984)

Rate Your Music lists Funkadelic’s ‘Standing On the Verge of Getting It On’ as one of the best Parliament-Funkadelic albums of all time. It was the collective’s sixth studio album, and it featured Eddie Hazel for the first time since he left in 1971 following the release of ‘Maggot Brain.’ This album ranked in 13th position on the R&B charts in the United States.

5. Mothership Connection, Parliament (1975)

The fourth album released by Parliament was ‘Mothership Connection.’ It is a concept album based on science-fiction themes, and it is consistently ranked as one of the best Funkadelic-Parliament albums. It was the first album to features the horn players Fred Wesley and Maceo Parker. Due to the influence the album had on dance, rock, and jazz music, it was added to the Library of Congress’s National Recording Registry in 2011.

4. America Eats Its Young, Funkadelic (1972)

‘America Eats Its Young’ was Funkadelic’s fourth album and the first to feature all the House Guests, including Catfish Collins, Bootsy Collins, Rob McCollough, Chicken Gunnels, and Kash Waddy. The album also features United Soul. They recorded the album in various locations, including the UK and Toronto and Ontario in Canada. When the album was originally released, it came with a poster. One of the tracks from the album is ‘Philmore,’ which was Bootsy Collins’ first songwriting effort for Parliament-Funkadelic.

3. Funkentelechy vs. the Placebo Syndrome, Parliament (1977)

‘Funkentelechy vs. the Placebo Syndrome’ ranked at number two on the US R&B charts and number 13 on the US Billboard 200. It was also certified Platinum in the United States. The single spawned the number one single ‘Flashlight.’ An unusual fact about this album is that the track ‘Sir Nose d’Voidoffunk (Pay Attention-B3M)’ contains lyrics from the nursery rhymes ‘Three Blind Mice’ and ‘Baa, Baa, Black Sheep.’

2. Cosmic Slop, Funkadelic (1973)

‘Cosmic Slop’ was Funkadelic’s fifth studio album. Despite being a commercial favor, ‘Cosmic Slop’ has consistently received favorable reviews from critics and is widely praised by fans of ‘Cosmic Slop.’ It also produced some great tracks. The title song from this album has been remade several times since its initial release. One of the most unusual songs on the album is ‘March to the Witch’s Castle,’ which combines gospel sounds with a horror-movie feel.

1. Funkadelic, Funkadelic (1970)

According to AZ Central, one of the best Parliament-Funkadelic albums was the 1970 debut album of the group. All the tracks on the album except two were written or co-written by George Clinton, the group’s founder. From the album, the group released the singles ‘I’ll Bet You’ and ‘I Got a Thing, You Got a Thing, Everybody’s Got a Thing.’ The album reached number eight on the US Billboard Soul Albums chart.

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