“We were in the studio so much, and we weren’t on the road, we were in the studio. We just kept cuttin’ and cuttin’ and cuttin’. And being able to get record deals, helped.”- Bernie Worrell 1999.
“Continuity was nothing. Someone would sing half the song, then they had to go to work or some place, and then someone else would finish it. So you ended up having 50 people on a record.”- George Clinton 1999
“It was like, a positive competition. Everybody wanted to get into the studio, to do their thang. And whoever came up with a thang, they would draw everyone else around into it.”- Bootsy Collins 1999
And there you have it. Three quotes from the three Kings of Funk that attempt to put the Parliament-Funkadelic studio experience in the clearest context possible. Unlike most bands, P-Funk generally doesn’t record albums in the traditional sense. They record tracks that can end up on albums by anyone in the P-Funk stable. Many tracks intended for one project could easily end up somewhere else. For example, Parliament’s “Flash Light” started life as a Bootsy Collins track. Out of this unorthodox process would emerge the most important recordings of the Funk genre and beyond.
So on that note, we bring you Part One of the 25 most essential tracks of the Parliament-Funkadelic empire.
1) “Flash Light”-Parliament
2) “One Nation Under A Groove”-Funkadelic
3) “Atomic Dog”-George Clinton
4) “Tear The Roof Off The Sucker”-Parliament
5) “(not just) Knee Deep”-Funkadelic
6) “Bootzilla”-Bootsy’s Rubber Band
7) “Maggot Brain”-Funkadelic
8) “Aqua Boogie”-Parliament
9) “The Pinocchio Theory”-Bootsy’s Rubber Band
10) “Never Buy Texas From A Cowboy”-Brides Of Funkenstein
11) “Standing On The Verge Of Getting It On”-Funkadelic
12) “P-Funk (Wants To Get Funked Up)”-Parliament
Photo: Parliament-Funkadelic, 1978 (Getty)