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Parliament: Gold

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Album Review

The differences between this two-disc set and 1993's like-sized Tear the Roof Off will only be apparent to Parliament fanatics who don't really need either release. Any of those people will tell you that you need at least seven of the eight studio albums the group released between 1974 and 1980 and — you know? — they're absolutely right. But we can't all have what we need. If you cannot take a plunge into the albums, Gold is no small consolation, containing all the radio hits and plenty of the standout album cuts. It turns out to be Tear the Roof Off's replacement, containing a very similar track selection — the preferable 11-minute mixes of "Flash Light" and "Funkentelechy" are thankfully kept, along with the ten-minute version of "Aqua Boogie," but you get "Handcuffs" instead of the less-essential live version of "Children of Production" — while benefiting from remastered sound, and it will placate those hungry for more than what the succinct single-disc The Best of Parliament: Give Up the Funk has to offer. As with all the other editions in Chronicles' Gold series, the accompanying booklet contains several photos, plenty of information, and liner notes that are insightful and descriptive (this time from the great Greg Tate, reprinted from Tear the Roof Off).


Formed: 1970 in Detroit, MI

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Inspired by Motown's assembly line of sound, George Clinton gradually put together a collective of over 50 musicians and recorded the ensemble during the '70s both as Parliament and Funkadelic. While Funkadelic pursued band-format psychedelic rock, Parliament engaged in a funk free-for-all, blending influences from the godfathers (James Brown and Sly Stone) with freaky costumes and themes inspired by '60s acid culture and science fiction. From its 1970 inception until Clinton's dissolving of Parliament...
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