Sunday, January 28, 2007

Artist of the Week: George Clinton, Parliament, and Funkadelic

Continuing in the vein of old school funk music, this week I have selected George Clinton, Parliament, and Funkadelic as my Artist of the Week. The amalgamation is due to the fact that Parliament and Funkadelic are essentially the same band with the same members, recording under different names on different record labels. George Clinton has been the leading inspiration and organizer behind the Parliament-Funkadelic musical family. They have also released recordings under George Clinton's name, where he posed as a solo artist in order to circumvent legal disputes involved with the "Parliament" name.
Born in Kannapolis, North Carolina, in 1941, George Clinton grew up in Plainfield, New Jersey, which became the hometown for the bands. Parliament-Funkadelic developed their own musical genre, known as "P-Funk." The heyday for the band was the 1970s. The first Parliament song I heard was "Up For the Downstroke" (1974), but it was the album, "Mothership Connection," (1976) which really got me (and a lot of others) into them. It was their first album to go platinum and I remember myself and every one of my friends buying it. This buying frenzy was driven by the hit single from the album, "Tear the Roof Off the Sucker (Give Up the Funk). Parliament scored their first number one single in the US, with "Flashlight," in 1978.
Meanwhile, back in 1976, I bought my first Funkadelic album, their "Tales of Kidd Funkadelic." As Funkadelic, they achieved number one hits with "One Nation Under a Grove" (1978) and "(Not Just) Knee Deep" (1979). The latter is my favorite Funkadelic song of all time. As Parliament, they also had another number one hit with "Aqua Boogie" (1979). I saw them perform live twice. The first time was mentioned in my previous blog article, "Pam 1" (17 December, 2006). The second time was in Syracuse New York, in 1980.
The 1980s brought legal and financial problems to the P-Funk family, but George Clinton kept struggling on. By the 1990s, most of their albums had been re-released. In 2004, "Rolling Stone Magazine" named Parliament-Funkadelic as number 56 in their 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. George Clinton's P-Funk empire has spun off numerous acts, including Bootsy's Rubber Band, the Parlets, the Brides of Funkenstien, and the Horny Horns. George Clinton and Parliament-Funkadelic still tour, today. Their unique sound combines elements of psychedelic rock with R & B, over a hardcore funk foundation. You can check them out at George Clinton's Myspace: . Add them as "friends" and tell them I sent you. Make my funk the P-Funk.


Post a Comment

<< Home