Free Your Mind and Your Ass Will Follow (1971)

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Track Listing:

Free Your Mind and Your Ass Will Follow 
	{G Clinton, Eddie Hazel, Ray Davis} 10:00  lyrics
Friday Night, August 14th
	{G Clinton, Billy Nelson, E Hazel}  5:20  lyrics
Funky Dollar Bill
	{G Clinton, E Hazel, R Davis}  3:14  lyrics
I Wanna Know If It's Good to You 
	{G Clinton, B Nelson, E Hazel, Clarence Haskins}  5:54  lyrics
Some More
	{G Clinton, Ernie Harris}  2:55  lyrics
Eulogy and Light
	{E Harris}  3:29  lyrics


Lead Guitar: Eddie Hazel
Rhythm Guitar: Tawl Ross
Keyboards: Bernie Worrell
Drums: Tiki Fulwood
Bass: Billy Nelson
Vocals: Parliament (George Clinton, Ray Davis, Fuzzy Haskins, Grady Thomas,
 Calvin Simon)

Song-Specific Personnel:

 "Free Your Mind"
Lead Vocals: George Clinton, Ray Davis

 "Friday Night"
Lead Vocals: Billy Nelson?

 "Funky Dollar Bill"
Lead Vocals: Tawl Ross
Piano: Bernie Worrell

 "I Wanna Know..."
Vocals: Billy Nelson, Eddie Hazel
Guitar: Eddie Hazel
Organ: Bernie Worrell

 "Some More"
Vocals: Eddie Hazel?

 "Eulogy & Light"
Vocals: George Clinton

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


RC: I like this album the more I hear it, but it's so short. A third of it is taken up by the annoyingly non-musical title track. The feedback gets to me here, despite some great stuff from Eddie. The rest of the album is very good, with "I Wanna Know..." and "Funky Dollar Bill" being classics. "Eulogy And Light", a rap with all the music backmasked, is one of Funkadelic's most interesting experiments. It's an urban remake of the Lord's Prayer and the 23rd Psalm. The whole album was recorded in a single day, with George saying the idea behind it was 'let's see if we can cut a whole album while we're all tripping on acid.' This album is one of the most popular amongst the new generation of Funkadelic fans, especially those who are coming into it from a hard rock/alternative bent.

"Free Your Mind..." actually has a lot of interesting things going on in it under the feedback, but I'm glad that Funkadelic's feedback experiments more-or-less ended here. "Friday Night..." is another strange track featuring more singing and some interesting echo effects. "Funky Dollar Bill" is one of the true standouts, featuring superb work from Hazel and Billy Bass. Great lyrics, too, about what we do for money. Features some remarkable freakout organ from Bernie. "I Wanna Know..." is one of Funkadelic's all-time greatest songs, featuring a mix of some of their oldest lyrics and some wicked new ones, 'your love tastes sweeter than the honey that replaced the rain since I met you.' Also has one of the greatest guitar riffs in the history of mankind. "Some More" actually features some lyrics from an old Clinton production called "Headache In My Heart", and would almost be Motown-ish if not for the production values. "Eulogy & Light" is the strange ending to the experience, with a rap over a 1969 Funkadelic tune, "Open Our Eyes", played backwards (special props to MW for that info). The result is a frightening song, especially matched with the menacing vocal. Heady acid music indeed. The words are sometimes used in concert as an intro to "Maggot Brain."

MM: Free Your Mind is entertaining. The sound quality is really bothersome, however. Also, they should have rocked on the title track, starting around 2:00. Instead, it fades into a bunch of noise (which may be the point).

MV: Free Your Mind merits more than the given three stars. In fact, it merits five stars. An excellent, organic amalgam of funk rock, LSD, feedback and primitive studio manipulation, every cut is strong and the LP certainly hangs together conceptually. A masterpiece which is in fact the group's coherent early LP, conceptually and musically.