The Clones of Dr. Funkenstein (1976)

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Track Listing:

	{G Clinton, B Worrell}  1:40  lyrics
Gamin' On Ya
	{G Clinton, W Collins, B Worrell}  3:01  lyrics
Dr. Funkenstein
	{G Clinton, W Collins, B Worrell}  5:46  lyrics
Children of Productions
	{G Clinton, W Collins, B Worrell}  3:57  lyrics
Gettin' To Know You
	{G Clinton, Garry Shider}  5:18  lyrics
Do That Stuff
	{G Clinton, G Shider, B Worrell}  4:47  lyrics
Everything Is On the One
	{G Clinton, W Collins, B Worrell}  3:47  lyrics
I've Been Watching You (Move Your Sexy Body) 
	{G Clinton, G Shider, Glen Goins}  6:00  lyrics
Funkin' For Fun
	{G Clinton, G Shider, G Goins}  5:55  lyrics


Vocals: George Clinton, Calvin Simon, Fuzzy Haskins, Raymond Davis, 
 Grady Thomas, Garry Shider, Glen Goins, Bootsy Collins
Horns: Fred Wesley, Maceo Parker, Rick Gardner, Michael Brecker,
 Randy Brecker
Bass: Bootsy Collins, Cordell Mosson
Guitars: Garry Shider, Michael Hampton, Glen Goins
Drums & Percussion: Jerome Brailey, Bootsy Collins, Gary Cooper
Keyboards & Synthesizers: Bernie Worrell
Extra Singing Clones: Debbie Edwards, Taka Khan, Gary Cooper

 "Dr. Funkenstein"
Lead Vocals: George Clinton
Trombone Solo: Fred Wesley

 "Gettin' To Know You"
Lead Vocals: Garry Shider
Sax Solo: Michael Brecker
Piano Solo: Bernie Worrell

 "Do That Stuff"
Co-Lead Vocals: George Clinton, Glenn Goins, Garry Shider, Taka Kahn (harmony)
Trumpet Solo: Rick Gardner

 "I've Been Watching You"
Lead Vocals: Glenn Goins

 "Funkin' For Fun"
Lead Vocals: Glenn Goins

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


RC: This album follows directly from Mothership Connection in terms of concept, but not in its musical daring. The tone is lighter, friendlier, one might even say more commercial. George has even admitted as much. Horns and vocals dominate this album, with guitars being mostly an afterthought, and the jazzier inclinations of Bernie & Bootsy being reigned in somewhat. That being said, it's still an incredibly funky album that in many ways is an excellent starting point for new P.Funk fans. The songs are full of lyrical and musical hooks, the lyrics are clever, and the band is still at their peak. Starchild's mentor, Dr. Funkenstein, is introduced, and we are told that aliens laid the secrets of funk in the pyramids, and they are now returning to set us free.

"Prelude" basically gives us the whole premise of the album, which is most closely followed on the first few songs. "Gamin' On Ya" has the keyboards and horns way out front, with the vocalists chanting a line from the earlier Parliament song, "Come In Out Of The Rain": 'People keep waitin' on a change, but they ain't got enough sense to come in out of the rain.' Dr. Funkenstein's name is invoked, as though this was the warm up act for the Doctor himself. The song features precise and tasteful horn arrangements, and it's catchy without being overly repetitive. "Dr. Funkenstein" features some more of that squirmy- sounding keyboard from Bernie, with another of Clinton's best vocal performances, as the Doc is 'preoccupied and dedicated to the preservation of the motion of hips.' It features another great horn arrangement, with some irresistable hooks. For all that, it still sounds 'light', as though it were trying to hard to be a hit; it sounds like some of the more challenging parts of the song were toned down on the musical end. "Children Of Productions" is the closest thing to a message song on the album, continuing in the same theme. The Children are the Doc's clones, created to 'blow the cobwebs out your mind.' This is an early references to the divisions in society created by those in power, in order to keep people fighting each other. The song features a nice horn solo and fine singing. "Gettin' To Know You" deviates from the theme, but is one of the best songs on the album. The bass is much more out front on this one, but the song's real star is vocalist Garry Shider. "Do That Stuff" was the album's hit, obviously the most commercial song there, but it's still chock full of little touches that make it a gem. There's a driving guitar riff, excellent drumming & percussion, great singing, and the upfront but still tastefully restrained horns. "Everything Is On The One" is my favorite song, an absolutely irresitable, cheerful tune. It features some an addictive and catchy horn arrangement, funky bass playing (listen hard and you'll be amazed just how funky), and more synth madness from Bernie for variety. The message is one of harmony, remembering that we're all part of life's rhythm. "I've Been Watching You" is another Glen Goins vocal tour-de-force, beginning with a fuzzy guitar intro unusual on Parliament albums. It's propelled by the usual suspects: drummer Jerome Brailey and the horn section. "Funkin' For Fun" is a revisitation of the harder dance-funk of earlier albums, building up to furious and funky pace by the end of the song.

This album is similar to Chocolate City in that most of the songs sound pretty similar and that there's not a lot of lyrical depth, but these flaws are quickly forgiven because of the fantastic skill and soul of the musicians and vocalists. The album deserves to be considered as one of Parliament's best albums.

MW: When you play the "Prelude" backwards, you'll hear Dr. Funk saying 3 or 4 times, "Listen while I tell you of the Clones."

MM: This is also a very well rounded album. There are really no weak links. "Gamin On Ya" is nice, "Do That Stuff", "I've Been Watching You", and "Gettin To Know You" are all good songs. "Dr. Funkenstein" is my personal favorite.