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Funkadelic

Though it often took a back chair to its sister group Parliament, Funkadelic furthered the notions of black rock begun by Jimi Hendrix and Sly Stone, blending elements of '60s psychedelia and blues plus the deep groove of soul and funk. The band pursued album statements of social/political commentary while Parliament stayed in the funk singles format, but Funkadelic nevertheless paralleled the more commercial artist's success, especially in the late '70s when the interplay between bands moved the Funkadelic sound closer to a unified P-Funk style.

In the grand soul tradition of a backing band playing support before the star takes the stage, Funkadelic began life supporting George Clinton's doo wop group, the Parliaments. After having performed for almost ten years, the Parliaments had added a rhythm section in 1964 -- for tours and background work -- consisting of guitarist Frankie Boyce, his brother Richard on bass, and drummer Langston Booth; two years later, the trio enlisted in the Army. By mid-1967, Clinton had recruited a new backing band, including his old friend Billy "Bass" Nelson (born January 28, 1951, Plainfield, NJ) and guitarist Eddie Hazel (born April 10, 1950, Brooklyn, NY). After several temporary replacements on drums and keyboards, the addition of rhythm guitarist Lucius "Tawl" Ross (born October 5, 1948, Wagram, NC) and drummer Ramon "Tiki" Fulwood (born May 23, 1944, Philadelphia, PA) completed the lineup.

The Parliaments recorded several hits during 1967, but trouble with the Revilot label backed Clinton into a corner. He hit upon the idea of deserting the Parliaments' name and instead recording their backing group, with the added vocal "contributions" of the former Parliaments -- same band, different name. Billy Nelson suggested the title Funkadelic, to reflect the members' increased inspiration from LSD and psychedelic culture. Clinton formed the Funkadelic label in mid-1968 but then signed the group to Detroit's Westbound label several months later.

Released in 1970, Funkadelic's self-titled debut album listed only producer Clinton and the five members of Funkadelic -- Hazel, Nelson, Fulwood, and Ross plus organist Mickey Atkins -- but also included all the former Parliaments plus several Motown sessionmen and Rare Earth's Ray Monette. Keyboard player Bernie Worrell also appeared on the album uncredited, even though his picture was included on the inner sleeve with the rest of the band.

Worrell (born April 19, 1944, Long Beach, NJ) was finally credited on the second Funkadelic album (1970's Free Your Mind...and Your A** Will Follow). He and Clinton had known each other since the early '60s, and Worrell soon became the most crucial cog in the P-Funk machine, working on arrangements and production for most later Parliament/Funkadelic releases. His strict upbringing and classical training (at the New England Conservatory and Juilliard), as well as the boom in synthesizer technology during the early '70s, gave him the tools to create the horn arrangements and jazz fusion-inspired synth runs that later trademarked the P-Funk sound. Just after the release of their third album, Maggot Brain, P-Funk added yet another big contributor, Bootsy Collins. The throbbing bass line of Collins (born October 26, 1951, Cincinnati, OH) had previously been featured in James Brown's backing band, the J.B.'s (along with his brother, guitarist Catfish Collins). Bootsy and Catfish were playing in a Detroit band in 1972 when George Clinton saw and hired them.

The Clinton/Worrell/Collins lineup premiered on 1972's America Eats Its Young, but soon after its release several original members left the camp. Eddie Hazel spent a year in jail after a combination drug possession/assault conviction, Tawl Ross left the band for medical reasons relating to an overdose of LSD and speed, and Bill Nelson quit after more financial quarrels with Clinton. Funkadelic hired teenaged guitar sensation Michael Hampton as a replacement, but both Hazel and Nelson would return for several later P-Funk releases.

Funkadelic moved to Warner Bros. in 1975 and delivered its major-label debut, Hardcore Jollies, one year later to lackluster sales and reviews. The same year, Westbound raided its vaults and countered with Tales of Kidd Funkadelic. Ironically, the album did better than Hardcore Jollies and included an R&B Top 30 single, "Undisco Kidd." In 1977, Westbound released The Best of the Early Years while Funkadelic recorded what became its masterpiece (and arguably the best P-Funk release ever), 1978's One Nation Under a Groove.

During the most successful year in Parliament/Funkadelic history, Parliament hit the charts first with "Flash Light," P-Funk's first R&B number one. "Aqua Boogie" would hit number one as well late in the year, but Funkadelic's title track to One Nation Under a Groove spent six weeks at the top spot on the R&B charts during the summer. The album, which reflected a growing consistency in styles between Parliament and Funkadelic, became the first Funkadelic LP to reach platinum (the same year that Parliament's Funkentelechy Vs. the Placebo Syndrome did the same). In 1979, Funkadelic's "(Not Just) Knee Deep" hit number one as well, and its album (Uncle Jam Wants You) reached gold status.

At just the point that Funkadelic appeared to be at the top of its powers, the band began to unravel. As is sometimes the case, commercial success began to dissolve several old friendships. In 1977, original Parliaments members Fuzzy Haskins, Calvin Simon, and Grady Thomas had left the P-Funk organization to record on their own. In early 1981, they hit the R&B charts with a single called "Connections and Disconnections," recorded as Funkadelic. To confuse matters more, the original Funkadelic appeared on the charts at the same time, with the title track to The Electric Spanking of War Babies.

During 1980, Clinton began to be weighed down by legal difficulties arising from Polygram's acquisition of Parliament's label, Casablanca. Jettisoning both the Parliament and Funkadelic names (but not the musicians), Clinton began his solo career with 1982's Computer Games. He and many former Parliament/Funkadelic members continued to tour and record throughout the '80s as the P-Funk All Stars, but the decade's disdain of everything to do with the '70s resulted in critical and commercial neglect for the world's biggest funk band, especially one which in part had spawned the sound of disco. During the early '90s, the rise of funk-inspired rap (courtesy of Digital Underground, Dr. Dre, and Warren G.) and funk rock (Primus and Red Hot Chili Peppers) re-established the status of Clinton & co., one of the most important forces in the recent history of black music. ~ John Bush, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: The Naz (Single)

Comments

Funkadelic never received credit for the baddest vocalists that they are!! This group can SING!!
San Diego,Calif. . U n i t e d States Navy
Balboa Hospital..NC O Club RTC/NTC
18y/o"Hospit a l Corpman-E-3. . E n j o y i n g
The "Funk"..Stra i g h t to"USS Kitty Hawk thru OUT"The Phillipines- S u b i c Bay"..Good"M e m o r i e s
Danced to this at a few parties! Freakin 10 minutes long! This wast the bomb back in the day and it is still the bomb!
M m. !,,,
M
& ,
I have every album they made. Use to kick back herbing off of maggot brain. pretty funky
Something about the music, she's a big old freak.
where is george clinton
Just simply one of the GREATEST SONGS ever recorded!!
Good morning to all . On the job jamming to ( funkadelic ) funking in the (am) life is good. Lol. :) !!!!!!!!
jamesmoses46
fantasy iz reality!!
Friday night and I'm feeling the funk!
ajikedeinbo
One of my favorites, by funkadelic, knee deep!
i'm dancing as i post this comment. Feet Don't fail me now!!!
so_bo
Nappy Dugout from the Cosmic Slop album is so funky! I love it!
This song got yu.a** on the dance flood...
This is pure funk and I love it
You wasn' at the Jock House in Cape Girardeau ,Mo. , then you wasn't there to party so take your Black A** Home!!!
Get it Phillipe Wynne (RIP) in the extended version of Knee Deep!!!
Knee Deep is my JAM; especially the extended version!!!
Funkiest of all times!!!!!!! ! ! ! ! !
Feet don't fail me now!
Ants in my pants and I need to dance!!!!
My Jayem! I'm a Funkateer for life--nothin g but da funk!
1 Nation!!!!
soccergirl09 9 8 7
Don't read this because it actually works. You will be kissed on the nearest Friday by the love of your life. Tomorrow will be the best day of your life. However If you don't post this you will die in two days. Now you've started reading this so don't stop. This is so scary put this on at least 5 songs in 143 minutes when done press f6 and your lovers name will appear on the screen in big letters this is so scary because it works!
carl_ashley_ 1 9 9 9
Hey Ya'll,it's like I gave up some things but not the Music this stuff woke me into the Nite an started & ended my days w/Funk + Mom said a couple songs moved her ,it was old old music back in her day and that AquaBoggie blew in Dallas off that Marvin.D.Lov e Expressway in a apartment complex which is A Churchcamp an not far from there the GoodTimesVan Assembly Yard .Time jus keeps movin on an on.
Dis my song was in the Army nothin but memories
I was just groovin to this song when they performed @ Yoshi's...go o d times!!!
The second generation of Funkmeisters !
all hail the funk apostles!
pb34me
FUUUUUUUNKY! ! ! !
This song is number 2 of clinton. Clyde
njkidd_92
Good to know that this music is still appreciated and that one of the members is from my hometown. Saw them in person as a young child and will never forget them. Long live P-Funk
carl_ashley_ 1 9 9 9
Hey the Hilite for me was that song Oh How Happy You Have Made Me, after that for me the Bomb went Off,my Mother had one of those Old Radios that stood about 4or5ft in a Mahogony Brown sitting off North/287 & Hiway/66 this Radio would pullin Denver,Chica g o , and some Stations East,then she had Ms. Mahalia Jackson,an all Black Spirituals,b u t us kids had 16,33,45,78 plus a QuadSystem all Vinyls an it got hard to find needles,but but still got vinyls plus 2/am,w/3spee d turntables plus an RCA Tv an A
nuttin like funk. I miss it
Took my wife to see them at vanderbilt university in late 90's. one of the highlights of my life. Still have my Sir Nose Dollars.
Getting down, just for the Funk of it!!!!!!!
By far this was the jam back in the day. God I miss this stuff.
P-funk regime!!!
i love them !!!!!!!!!!!! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
dukeminusdeg r o o v e
Glen Goins was magnificent. . .
the funk is here to stay
reginabazemo r e
This is a long a** song! Whew..
Skating off of Not Just Knee Deep (the extended version) was the BEST back in the day in the LOU!!! Everyone was tired, out of breath, and sweaty when the song finally ended!!
hartzavi
Pfunk. Foreva!!!!!! ! ! ! ! !
do u got your sunglass on out there
funking my ear durms
standin on the verge of getting it on
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