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Finest

Funkadelic

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Album Review

Funkadelic's commercial peak occurred during the late '70s, when George Clinton and company issued several hit albums for the Warner Brothers label. And it's that era that serves as the basis for countless Funkadelic compilations, while the group's earlier, more hard rocking releases (for Westbound) receive not nearly the same attention. This is a shame, as this period is just as good (and arguably, even better) than Funkadelic's latter, more renowned work, as evidenced by the 16-track compilation Finest. It wasn't until a year or two after the death of legendary funk-rock trailblazer Jimi Hendrix that Funkadelic truly came into their own — and deservingly, inherited Jimi's vacated funk-rock throne. Covering a five-year period (1970's Funkadelic through 1975's Let's Take It to the Stage), Finest may be the best-assembled Funkadelic collection from this period yet, as both renowned band standards share space with several oft-overlooked tracks, which make their debut on any compilation. The early tracks "I Got a Thing" and "I Wanna Know if It's Good to You" show the bandmembers still honing their eventual rich 'n' funky sound, before they hit their stride with selections from the classic Maggot Brain album. As a result, you get a healthy sampling of some of the best funk the '70s had to offer, including "Hit It and Quit It," "You and Your Folks, Me and My Folks," "Loose Booty," "Cosmic Slop," "Red Hot Mama," and "Get Off Your Ass and Jam." The only disappointment is that a truncated version of the guitar showcase "Maggot Brain" is included, rather than the ten-plus-minute original version. Regardless, Finest is an exceptional sampler for those discovering the wild and wacky universe of Funkadelic.

Biography

Formed: 1968

Genre: R&B/Soul

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

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...
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