Cosmic Slop (1973)

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Track Listing: 

Nappy Dugout
	{G Clinton, Garry Shider, Cordell Mosson}  4:33  lyrics
You Can't Miss What You Can't Measure
	{G Clinton, Sidney Barnes}  3:03  lyrics
March to the Witch's Castle
	{G Clinton}  5:59  lyrics
Let's Make It Last
	{G Clinton, Eddie Hazel}  4:08  lyrics
Cosmic Slop
	{G Clinton, B Worrell}  5:17  lyrics
No Compute
	{G Clinton, Garry Shider}  3:03  lyrics
This Broken Heart
	{W Franklin}  3:37  lyrics
Trash A-Go-Go
	{G Clinton}  2:25  lyrics
Can't Stand the Strain
	{G Clinton, E Hazel}  3:27  lyrics

Keyboards & Melodica, Strings on 'Broken Heart': Bernard Worrell
Bass: 'Boogie' Mosson 
Percussion: Tyrone Lampkin 
Lead & Rhythm Guitar: Gary Shider 
Lead & Rhythm Guitar: Ron Bykowski 
Guest Funkadelic Maggot: Tiki Fulwood, Drums on 'Nappy Dugout'

Song-Specific Personnel:

 "You Can't Miss"
Lead Vocals: Garry Shider, Ray Davis, George Clinton

 "Let's Make It Last"
Lead Vocals: Garry Shider

 "March To The Witch's Castle"
Lead Vocals: George Clinton

 "Cosmic Slop"
Lead Vocals: Garry Shider
Guitars: Garry Shider, Ron Bykowski

 "No Compute"
Lead Vocals: George Clinton

 "This Broken Heart"
Lead Vocals: Calvin Simon

 "Can't Stand The Strain"
Lead Vocals: Garry Shider

Rating: GZ **** RC **** MM ?


RC: Without Eddie, the sound becomes a whole lot cleaner but less interesting. This is countered by the weirdest lyrics on almost any P.Funk release. At the same time, there's some beautiful singing on some almost Motownish tunes like "Can't Stand The Strain" and "You Can't Miss...". Doesn't match up with the funk-rock that would be produced next, but a unique sound for Funkadelic. Contains the live favorite "Cosmic Slop", a tale of a mother who is forced to sell her body to make money for her children. Unbelievably, this was viewed as a more commercial song than their earlier stuff, and they hoped it would be a big hit! It wasn't, but it is a classic. Gary Shider's finest moment. Like Maggot Brain, this album passes through a schizophrenic number of musical styles. Moreover, the album is even more schizophrenic lyrically. Half the tunes ("You Can't Miss What You Can't Measure", "Let's Make It Last", "This Broken Heart", and "Can't Stand The Strain") are more-or-less traditional soul tunes, with Parliament-like lead vocal swapping, harmonies and typical R & B love themes. They're all done extremely well, and each has a twist: odd production values, loopy keyboards (Bernie Worrell is truly the star of this album), or weird little raps. The other songs are extremely heavy, dealing with drugs, Vietnam, prostitution and casual sex. "March To The Witch's Castle" is one of the first songs to deal with Vietnam and the 'nightmare of readjustment', touching on issues like addiction. While quite deep, it never reaches preachy. "Cosmic Slop" is a rocker that talks all about what a mother needs to do to survive. "No Compute" is a bizarre little number with an upbeat swing keyboard tune, dealing about a man on the prowl who ends up with someone who may be a transvestite, and "Trash A Go-Go" (where did they come up with this title?), is a story about a man on trial for using his girlfriend as a prostitute in order to feed his habit. 'The judge and jury just frowned at me.' This album featured fewer players than any P.Funk project before or since, and the tightness of the band really helps bring it through. That, and the expert direction of Bernie Worrell.

BTW, "You Can't Miss..." is a reworking of the old Parliaments tune "Heart Trouble", from way back in 1965. "This Broken Heart" is a cover of the Sonics' old song. "Can't Stand The Strain" uses the same tune as the Rose Williams, George Clinton & the Funkedelics (sic) song, "Whatever Makes My Baby Feel Good".

This was the first album to feature the cover artwork of Pedro "Sir Lleb" Bell. His fantastic, grotesque drawings make owning these albums on vinyl a must. Particularly amusing are his drawings accompanying each song listed, giving a little 'summary' of each tune.

Harvey "Geezer" McGee claims to be the drummer on "This Broken Heart".

JJ: Gary was just a tike of about 21 for the studio version of "Cosmic Slop." The 'Space People' intro part used to be sung live by Fuzzy Haskins, since '78 it was sung by Ron Ford (when he's there) or Lige Curry.