Funkadelic (1970)

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Track Listing:

Mommy, What's a Funkadelic?
	{G Clinton}  9:04  lyrics
I Bet You
	{G Clinton, Pat Lindsey, Sidney Barnes}  6:10  lyrics
Music For My Mother
	{G Clinton}  5:37  lyrics
I Got a Thing, You Got a Thing, Everybody's Got a Thing
	{Clarence Haskins}  3:52  lyrics
Good Old Music
	{G Clinton}  7:59  lyrics
Qualify and Satisfy
	{G Clinton, Billy Nelson, Eddie Hazel}  6:15  lyrics
What is Soul
	{G Clinton}  7:40  lyrics


Lead Guitar: Eddie Hazel
Rhythm Guitar: Tawl Ross
Bass: Billy Nelson
Organ: Mickey Atkins
Drums: Tiki Fulwood
Vocals: George Clinton, Fuzzy Haskins, Grady Thomas, Calvin
Simon, Ray Davis

Song-Specific Personnel:

 "Mommy, What's a Funkadelic":
Lead Vocals: George Clinton
Guitars: Dennis Coffey, Ray Monette
Keyboards: Ivy Hunter
Bass: Bob Babbit

 "I Bet You"
Vocals: Parliament, Eddie Hazel
Guitar: Eddie Hazel
Keyboards: Earl Van Dyke
Bass: Bob Babbit
Drums: Tiki Fulwood

 "Music For My Mother"
Vocals: Herb Sparkman
Bass: Billy Nelson
Guitar: Eddie Hazel
Drums: Brad Innis

 "I Got a Thing..."
Lead Vocals: Fuzzy Haskins
Guitar: Ray Monette
Drums: Tiki Fulwood

 "Qualify and Satisfy"
Lead Vocals: Calvin Simon
Drums: Tiki Fulwood

 "What is Soul"
Lead Vocals: George Clinton

Rating: GZ **** RC ****1/2 MM *****


RC: A very rough album with many sparks of genius. Brilliant, screeching guitar by Eddie throughout. "What Is Soul" is hilarious and acid-drenched, "Mommy..." kicks off the Funkadelic Era in grand style..."If you will suck my soul, I will lick your funky emotions." The polish on later albums makes them more listenable than the feedback-fest here, but there's a great feeling of unity and a solid backbeat. Much of the album was recorded with the aid of assorted Motown session men. Features two blues tunes in "Qualify & Satisfy" and "Music For My Mother". The other interesting thing about this album is the large number of different lead vocalists used. Clinton comes up with a large number of his raps that would be repeated on future albums and tours here, like 'Ain't nothin' good unless you play with it, and all that is good is nasty.' "What Is Soul" also contains the sounds of bong hits being taken, with that tell-tale cough afterwards.

"Mommy..." establishes a number of Funkadelic-isms straight away. An aggressive bassline sets the stage for the song, and it stays rock- solid the whole way through. Yet it never veers off into solo territory. An infectious chant is used to continue a groove, and George launches into one of his weird raps, saying that Funkadelic 'is not of this world', but that they 'will do you no harm, other than pee in your Afro.' Like many of the early songs, it then goes into an extended jam session at the end, turning single-length songs into something far weirder. "I Bet You" has one of those irresistable riffs and a great drum intro, with lyrics so Motown-ish that the Jackson 5 later covered it! This was a song that had been recorded by the Parliaments earlier on. "Music For..." features another great chant, a superior vocal performance, and interesting mock-harmonica vocals. "I Got A Thing..." is the album's standout cut, with one of their most memorable chants and an 'all-the-way-off' solo by Motown session man Ray Monette. A number of session men were still being used at this point, as the classic Funkadelic lineup (Fulwood, Hazel, Ross, Nelson) was still mainly used as a live band. "Good Old Music" is another Parliaments remake, but it goes on a bit too long, as does "Qualify & Satisfy". The latter song is a straight-up blues that later soars away into psychedelia. "What Is Soul" is a fitting bookend on this album, featuring another of Clinton's strangest, funniest raps, more chants, and another roaming guitar riff. Considering that Clinton knew next to nothing about producing a record at this point, the results are remarkable. Not clean, but a lot of the album's 'mistakes' are its best points.