Friday, July 07, 2006


Of late, I've been indulging in my love of 70's funk. Not your soft core, kind of bouncy with a backbeat cool of James Brown 'Sex Machine' era (which is still cool), but more the wear-nappies-on-stage, funk yourself into oblivion, funk-as-a-way-of-life mania! In other words, P-Funk.
Parliament-Funkadelic, one band made of two bands, over 50 musicians, one message. The Funk.

It really began with Eddie Hazels 9 minute guitar solo on the opening, title track of 1971's 'Maggot Brain'. Legend has it that frontman George Clinton told Hazel to 'play like yo' momma just died', and the result was pressed to vinyl. Clinton had the good sense to move any other band members way into the background and let the wailing solo do the talking. Maggot Brain set the standard, switching from barber shop to gospel to more rock, but always with the funk in the foreground.
but P-Funk really kicked into gear with Parliament's 'Mothership Connection', possibly the only record ever to wear the label of pure funk. There is no rock, no soul, no gospel. This is funk as it only could be. Also providing Parliament with their biggest single, "Give up tha Funk (Tear the Roof Off the Sucka)" the album cover sports Clinton wearing thigh length silver boots and spaceman costume, spreadeagle from the door of a flying saucer. And that's about as close a representation of the music within as a photo could get.
Standing on the Verge of Getting it On" is the best funk-rock until Rage Against the Machine took funk and tore it a new arsehole, while "One Nation Under a Groove" is P-Funk at its danceable best.
No matter the occasion, funk is the music that anyone can listen to and not complain about. It is universal, danceable and groovy.
This is one back catalogue you need to have.


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