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Funked Up - The Very Best of Parliament

Parliament

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Album Review

Funked Up: The Very Best of Parliament is a full-priced, one-disc summation of Parliament's recordings for Casablanca Records (since absorbed into what is now Universal and discontinued, hence the issuance on Universal's Mercury imprint), meant to supplant the 1984 LP compilation Greatest Hits (The Bomb) and provide consumers with something in between the more expensive two-CD set Tear the Roof Off 1974-1980 and the discount-priced 20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of Parliament. The album's focus, writes annotator Tom Vickers, is "chart success," and it includes among its 16 tracks 14 of Parliament's 19 R&B singles chart entries on Casablanca, including all of their R&B Top 40 hits except "Party People" (which crested at number 39 in Billboard). Also included are two album tracks, "All Your Goodies Are Gone" from Up for the Down Stroke and "Let's Take It to the Stage" from Live: P-Funk Earth Tour. Parliament was more of an albums act than a singles act (and more of a live act than a recording act), and only six of these tracks reached the R&B Top Ten, with two, "Flash Light" and "Aqua Boogie (A Psychoalphadiscobetabioaquadoloop)," hitting number one, while just two, "Tear the Roof Off the Sucker (Give Up the Funk)" and "Flash Light," made the pop Top 20. So, a singles collection makes for a less definitive overview of the group's career than might be true for others. Hence, if the consumer has a few more bucks to spend, Tear the Roof Off 1974-1980 is much the preferred compilation. But all of Parliament's big hits and most of its lesser ones are here.

Biography

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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