Now I confess, I get a bit confused with the complex intermingling history of Parliament and Funkadelic, but I do like a bit of funk and this is the biz. Prince was my gateway drug into funk and George Clinton’s rhythmic creations in particular. And this is a super cheap compilation CD that I bought several years back, confusingly with the same title as one of their studio album releases, but not the same.
Funkadelic started life as the support band for Clinton’s doo wop group Parliament, but by the late 60s had become the main focus of his attention freed up from the former’s record label constraints to exhibit a more far-out psychedelic sound and jazz-infused form of funk. What ultimately became the P-Funk conglomerate, saw dozens of artists move through its ranks throughout its 50 year history, not least the classically-trained keyboard player Bernie Worrell and Bootsy Collins, master bassist previously laying down the one for James Brown. The holy trinity of Clinton, Worrell and Collins saw many of Funkedelic’s biggest hits including the opening (and best) track here; from 1978 the 7.5 minutes of pure funk: One Nation Under A Groove.
There was a great little review of how they made this track in the Guardian last year, and I discovered one fantastic albeit grainy video of them performing this for 25 minutes. Once you’re in the groove, there’s nothing stopping you!
I probably first heard George Clinton when he guested on Prince’s We Can Funk track from his 1990 Graffiti Bridge album (which would have been a great-single-but-not-quite-good-enough-as-a-double album). In 1997 parliament Funkadelic were finally inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by none other than Prince himself.
Given the often messy state of their legal and recording affairs it’s not so surprising to discover that they have more compilation albums (18) than actual studio albums. Funnily enough it was only when digging this one out from the back of the cupboard that I also discovered I have more than one Funkadelic compilation CD. It’s still hard to identify which of their 18 comps might be definitive, but it’s probably not this one. It is however still funking good.
Best Bits: One Nation Under A Groove: “Here comes the funk, the whole funk, and nothing but the funk.”
Like This, Try This: Dancing your way out of your constrictions.