In 1956, a fifteen year-old George Clinton formed a doo-wop group that would later be known as The Parliaments (a name inspired by Parliament Cigarettes).
From there, the project spanned into two sister projects – Parliament and Funkadelic – both spearheaded by Clinton. Parliament and Funkadelic (also referred to as P-Funk) have gone on to influence an endless range of musicians in the worlds of funk, soul, psych, rock, and beyond.
So before George Clinton brings P-Funk to Aussie shores for one final run at next year’s Bluesfest, we thought it fitting that we gather his five most impressive albums.
Ahead of his final Australian tour next April as part of Bluesfest, we’ve gathered George Clinton’s five best P-Funk albums.
Funkadelic – Maggot Brain
“Mother Earth is pregnant for the third time, for y’all have knocked her up. I have tasted the maggots in the mind of the universe. I was not offended. For I knew I had to rise above it all, or drown in my own shit.”
Hearing the opening monologue to Funkadelic’s Maggot Brain for the first time is one of my most vivid musical memories. It was also my introduction into the world of George Clinton.
An absolute freakout of psychedelic funk sounds, Maggot Brain is perhaps Clinton’s most lyrically sparse album, though never fails to be an invigorating listen.
Parliament – Mothership Connection
The home of possibly Clinton’s most well-known jam Give Up the Funk (Tear the Roof Off the Sucker), Mothership Connection is far more than just one song.
An album about connecting with extra-terrestrial life through the power of funk music, this 1975 album is one of Clinton’s most ambitious releases… and for someone like Clinton, that’s really saying something.
With it’s hypnotic blend of jazz, funk, soul, and psych, Mothership Connection will leave any listener in a wonderful trance.
Funkadelic – Cosmic Slop
I suppose George Clinton’s music has always been stuck in something of an identity crisis. For decades, many have been left unsure how to categorise his music… and Cosmic Slop was definitely no help.
With songs titles like Nappy Dugout and March To The Witches Castle, flips between sexy slow-burning soul-funk and explosive psych to deliver an album that’ll leave unsure of what to think.
Parliament – Funkentelechy Vs. The Placebo Syndrome
With a name like this, what did you expect?
A concept album that follows the conceptual conflict between fun, free-flowing freakdom and up-tightness, Funkentelechy Vs. The Placebo Syndrome is damn good time from start to finish.
The battles between the heroic Star Child and the evil anti-dance Sir Nose d’Voidoffunk are some of the greatest battles in music history (not that I can name too many others).
Funkadelic – Funkadelic
It’s with the line “If you will suck my soul, I will lick your funky emotions” that Funkadelic kickstart their 1970 debut album.
With some of the wettest sounding mouth noises you’ve ever heard, the album’s opening song Mommy, What’s A Funkadelic? sounds like some bizarre intergalactic porno flick.
What follows are some of the most immersive and influential sounds to ever be oozed out.
Catch George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic live next April at any of the following dates:
18th-22nd April, 2019 – Bluesfest, Byron Bay
20th April, 2019 – Enmore Theatre Sydney
25th April, 2019 – The Forum Melbourne
Grab tickets and info here.