P-Funk 67-82 (Two Hours of Music)

A truly heady mix that defies categorization other than being simply amazing. #pfunk #parliament #funkadelic #parlet #bootsy #georgeclinton #bridesoffunkenstein

During this two-hour program, we are going to feature tracks from members of the P-Funk Collective: and mind you, during the period we cover here, it still isn’t all-inclusive. The thing that holds it all together is a musician, bandleader, songwriter and producer originally from North Carolina, George Clinton. Just three weeks ago, he and the members of the two major bands he fronted, Parliament and Funkadelic, aka P-Funk, were given a Lifetime Achievement Grammy award for their contribution to music.

The cover of the debut LP by Parlet, some of the backing singers of P-Funk. Afro-futurism was a common theme among the P-Funk collective. Courtesy of UMG.

And what an achievement it has been. Often credited as one of the pillars in the development of Funk music, he and the literally two dozen people that eventually passed through the ranks of P-Funk (15 of whom were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame some time ago), also included offshoot groups and solo projects he worked on with others. All in all, during the period we cover here, that is almost 30 albums of material in a 15-year stretch, or about two a year on average. Additionally, their live shows were often 2 1/2 to 3 hours in length.

Many, but not all, of the members of Parliament, circa 1976. Courtesy of UMG.

Clinton originally started as teen in Doo-Wop groups, then Soul, with his first recording being released in 1967 with the moniker The Parliaments. Over the years, he not only was able to ride with changing tastes in Black music, he and the P-Funk collective also drew on Heavy Rock, Psychedelic Soul, Pop, Gospel, Acoustic, Hard R&B, Electronic Music, and even simultaneously disco and anti-disco to create a heady type of Funk music. The collective’s sound evolved rapidly over the course of the 1970’s, finally gaining commercial acceptance in 1976 with Mothership Connection. Its resulting tour, featuring financial backing from their indie label Casablanca and utilizing Aerosmith’s sound system, made them huge stars.

The cover of the third Funkadelic LP, Maggot Brain, from 1971. It is considered one of the greatest recordings during the latter half of the 20th Century. Courtesy of Westbound Records.

Sadly, P-Funk, along with many other major Black artists, were often ignored by mainstream stations by the end of the 1970’s due to the less than subtly racist anti-Disco backlash that ended the careers of anyone who performing dance music of any type. Regardless, by the beginning of the decade, Clinton and the collective dropped the horns and turned to electronic instruments. The various members of the P-Funk collective effectively stopped with the release of Computer Games, Clinton’s first solo album in name only.

George Clinton emerging from the Mothership, part of a set design from their 1976 tour. The set is now in the Smithsonian. Courtesy of UMG.

Along the way, the P-Funk collective stressed many things: Afrofuturism, science, humor, community, empowerment and personal freedom were just some of themes that not only struck a chord with many Black youth of the day, they continue to be one of the most highly regarded and sampled artists in history. It is rumoured that the current P-Funk tour may be the last one ever, bringing a close to what was possibly the most exciting and wildly original Black band to ever emerge from the United States.

First Hour

  1. So Goes The Story, 1977, Eddie Hazel, Game, Dames and Guitar Thangs
  2. (I Wanna) Testify, 1967, The Parliaments, single A-side
  3. Dr. Funkenstein, 1976, Parliament, The Clones of Dr. Funkenstein
  4. (Not Just) Knee Deep (single edit), 1978, Funkadelic, Uncle Jam Wants You
  5. Riding High, 1979, Parlet, Invasion of the Booty Snatchers
  6. Mothership Connection (Star Child), 1976, Parliament, Mothership Connection
  7. What’s a Telephone Bill?, 1976, Bootsy Collins, Ahh…The Name Is Bootsy, Baby!
  8. The Electric Spanking of War Babies, 1981, Funkadelic, The Electric Spanking of War Babies
  9. Can You Get to That, 1971, Funkadelic, Maggot Brain
  10. FINALE: Atomic Dog, 1982, George Clinton, Computer Games
To download this program, please click on the three dots at the right side of the player.

Second Hour

  1. Free Your Mind and Your Ass Will Follow, 1970, Funkadelic, Free Your Mind and Your Ass Will Follow
  2. I Call My Baby Pussycat, 1972, Parliament, Osmium (eventually re-released as Rhenium and First Thangs)
  3. Flash Light, 1978, Parliament, Funkentelechy vs. the Placebo Syndrome
  4. Theme From The Black Hole, 1979, Parliament, Gloryhallastoopid (Or Pin the Tale on the Funky)
  5. Open Our Eyes, 1969, Funkadelic, “I’ll Bet You” single B-side
  6. Aqua Boogie (A Psychoalphadiscobetabioaquadoloop), 1978, Parliament, Motor Booty Affair
  7. Nappy, 1978, Brides of Funkenstein, Funk or Walk
  8. Loose Booty, 1972, Funkadelic, America Eats Its Young
  9. Chocolate City, 1975, Parliament, Chocolate City
  10. FINALE: One Nation Under a Groove, 1978, Funkadelic, One Nation Under a Groove
To download this program, please click on the three dots at the right side of the player.

Love to you all.

Ben “Bear” Brown Jr., owner

“Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for ‘fair use’ for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.”

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