Black Music History "Group Session" – Day 3: Parliament Funkadelic (P-Funk)

6 Degrees of Soul (or Funk in this case): The Main Ingredient from Day 2 had several songs written by Leon Ware. Before he wrote I Wanna Be Where You Are for Michael Jackson, Ware wrote songs for The Parliaments. This 60’s doo-wop group was spearheaded by Dr. Funkenstein. Also known as George Clinton who created the brainchild that is Day 3:  Parliament Funkadelic.

Although, they are two separate groups it is hard to take the P (Parliament) from the Funk (Funkadelic). Initially, it was the against-the-grain Funkadelic that was established after Clinton lost the rights to “The Parliaments”. The band was inspired by the events surrounding the Vietnam War and the explosion of Funk lead by James Brown. However, it was the latter group Parliament, created due to contract disputes and a label change, that produced most of the mainstream hits. The core sound evolved from Clinton’s recruitment of Bernie Worrell (keyboards), Bootsy Collins (bass), Fred Wesley (trombone) and Maceo Parker (saxophone). Collins, Wesley and Parker were all former members of James Browns band, The J.B.s. With that base Parliament-Funkadelic created some of the greatest music in the American soundscape and a following like none other. 
…before there was P-Funk… there was The Parliaments… and their main hit (I Wanna) Testify
…then they began to “Get Up for the Down Stroke”… giggidy…
…before there was Barack… we had “Chocolate City” in 1975, where Ali was President, Aretha was the 1st Lady, Richard Pryor was Minister of Education, Stevie Wonder was Secretary of Fine Arts and Rev. Ike was Secretary of Treasury… “Chocolate City is no dream… and we’re gaining on ya!”
…after they put Blacks in the White House… Parliament went out of this world… both in sales and musically… the 1st album featuring the former J.B.’s, Maceo & Fred Wesley, was Mothership Connection… the next three cuts are all off that album… “P-Funk (Wants To Get Funked Up)”, “Mothership Connection (Star Child)” and “Give Up The Funk (Tear the Roof off the Sucker)”… time to get funked up…
…released a year after Mothership Connection was “Do That Stuff”… first single off the album The Clones of Dr. Funkenstein… you can certainly hear the influence this song had on the later work of Outkast… as well as this Nice & Smooth track
…as funky as those above are… if I had to choose just one P-Funk song to play… it would be “Bop Gun (Endangered Species)”… it may be because it’s my Wednesdays suck-at-work anthem… “i got to get over the hump… i got to get over the hump…”
“Bop Gun” is the opening track off of Funkentelechy Vs. the Placebo Syndrome… the closer of that album is much like Mariano Rivera… the groups first R&B chart topping hit… and most influential song… “Flash Light”… just wished I was able to find the extended 10:32 version…
…”Aqua Boogie (A Psychoalphadiscobetabioaquadoloop)”… with a title like that… I don’t think there’s more that I can say…
…we close this tribute to P-Funk with two songs released under the Funkadelic name… “One Nation Under A Groove” and “Knee Deep”… dig in…
Hope it was funky enough for you…
Check you tomorrow,
– dre’ of

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