Parliament’s 10 Greatest Songs and Greatest Discs (Representative Songs and Hidden Masterpieces)

This time I created a ranking for Parliament.

They are a faction of a group called P-Funk.

P-Funk is a term used to describe the music of Parliament and Funkadelic, led by George Clinton, and their associated musicians.

They are characterized by more than just their music.

They have a rather unique view of the world and have released albums based on a series of stories.

If I had to describe their music in one word, it would be “thick funk”.

Some people may prefer a lighter music to a darker one.

However, their music is so intense that it has a charm that lightly overcomes such a line of defense.

Even if you have good taste and like light music, I think you should experience it at least once.

This blog is an automatic translation of a Japanese blog into English.

Please understand that it may be difficult to read.

No.1「Flash Light」(Album:Funkentelechy vs. the Placebo Syndrome)


■Song Title:Flash Light
■Album Name:Funkentelechy vs. the Placebo Syndrome
■Video link:「Flash Light」

This song is one of their best known songs.

It reached number 16 on the overall singles chart and number 1 on the R&B chart.

What is shocking about this song is the bass line.

There is a sense that Cordell “Boogie” Mosson’s bass dominates this song.

This bass line seems to go on and on, but sometimes it has a high-pitched vibrato that gives it a spastic sound effect.

To listen to their music is to listen to the bass quite a bit.

Not only Cordell “Boogie” Mosson, but also Bootsy Collins and other skilled players, whoever plays it works ace.

Usually in funk, not only the bass but also the drums are important, but in this band, the bass seems to be more important.

Also, Bernie Worrell’s keyboards are wonderful.

The plastic sound that Bernie makes, especially at 1:40, is somewhat Prince-like.

The serious keyboards at about 1:52 seem to have influenced G-Funk.

This song is a milestone of funk.


No.2「Give Up the Funk (Tear the Roof Off the Sucker) 」(Album:Live: P-Funk Earth Tour)


■Song Title:Give Up the Funk (Tear the Roof Off the Sucker)
■Album Name:Live: P-Funk Earth Tour
■Video link:「Give Up the Funk (Tear the Roof Off the Sucker)」

This live album is often referred to as a masterpiece and is filled with a strange sense of exuberance.

I was not sure which song to choose in this album.

I think it would be better to listen to the whole album, but for now, let me introduce one song as an introduction.

The highlight of the song is the bass line.

But if you play it on your computer or smartphone, you won’t be able to hear the bass very well.

I’ve compiled a list of the songs that I think have the most amazing divine bass lines (#1 and #2), so just listen to these two songs with headphones.

The bass line in this song has a slightly different appeal than the previous song.

In the previous song, the bass line was thumping and rumbling, with occasional high notes and ecstatic vibrato.

This one has the same gurgling appeal, but the best part is the small increments like the one from about 18 seconds in.


No.3「The Motor-Booty Affair」(Album:Motor Booty Affair)


■Song Title:The Motor-Booty Affair
■Album Name:Motor Booty Affair
■Video link:「The Motor-Booty Affair」

It is said that their heyday was “Mothership Connection”, “The Clones of Dr. Funkenstein” and “Live: P-Funk Earth Tour”.

But I’d like to add Funkentelechy vs. the Placebo Syndrome and Motor Booty Affair to that list.

In the latter, the music has gotten a little crazier.

Some of the songs even sound like urban funk music.

This song is a representative of that.

In the past, the unorganized arrangements were attractive for better or worse, but in this song, the sound is organized and the music is refined.

Core fans may find it less thrilling or less toxic.

But what if you actually listen to it?

It’s true that the playing is not as outrageous as before, but the swell of the bass is amazing, and it’s not a lazy funk.

The appeal of these days is the quality of the songs.

As the level of songwriting has improved, it may be a natural progression to shift to performances and arrangements that make the most of the songs’ appeal.


No.4「Placebo Syndrome」(Album:Funkentelechy vs. the Placebo Syndrome)


■Song Title:Placebo Syndrome
■Album Name:Funkentelechy vs. the Placebo Syndrome
■Video link:「Placebo Syndrome」

This song is also from the refinement period.

This song has a very mellow feel to it, unlike the funk we’ve heard in the past.

Since “Mothership Connection” or so, they have been developing a story of good and evil.

The good is the Star Child, led by George Clinton.

They flew to Earth from outer space on a UFO.

The “Live: P-Funk Earth Tour” that I mentioned earlier is set up as a live performance by Star Child on Earth.

But they have a nemesis, Sir Nose D’Voidoffunk, who has a nose like an elephant!

“D’Voidoffun” means “lack of funk.”

When the dreaded Sir Nose attacks people with his snooze gun, it causes a “placebo syndrome”, a deficiency of funk.

The name of this song is about that funk deficient “placebo syndrome”.

That’s why it’s not a funk song.

The Star Child, on the other hand, would not go quietly.

They return fire with bop guns.

Those who are shot by the bop gun become funky.

It’s really a sweaty battle, isn’t it?

Will their funk be able to save the earth?


No.5「Chocolate City」(Album:Chocolate City)


■Song Title:Chocolate City
■Album Name:Chocolate City
■Video link:「Chocolate City」

Now, this song was written before they started to present a different worldview as described above.

They were presenting a different worldview at that time.

“Chocolate City” seems to refer to the predominantly black city of Washington.

It’s an idle fantasy song about what it would be like if the president of Washington was Muhammad Ali, Aretha Franklin was the first lady, and Stevie Wonder was the art director.

This tells us something.

They don’t envision white people as their listeners.

Perhaps if they sang about Washington being a black city or Muhammad Ali being president, some white people would be offended.

This was a time when whites were even more dominant than now.

And if you target white people, who have the purchasing power, you can stabilize your sales.

It is clear that they intended to make music for their fellow blacks from that time.

They later reached a point where they dreamed of a grand narrative of building a nation under one groove.

The group’s name “Parliament” means “Parliament” in the first place.

Their music is often sampled by hip-hop people, not only because it is musically great, but also out of respect for them.


No.6「Crush It」(Album:Trombipulation)


■Song Title:Crush It
■Album Name:Trombipulation
■Video link:「Crush It」

The cover of this album has a huge picture of their nemesis, Sir Nose.

The lyrics begin with what appears to be an attack by Sir Nose.

The evil Sir Nose is using his giant nose as a weapon to weaken our funk spirit.

Will the funk army of the righteous be defeated miserably?

But don’t worry. Funk is immortal.

The next verse says, “No, we’ll dance. You can’t crush us.

And then, unexpectedly, he even declares a counterattack: “On the contrary, we will crush you.

It’s as if the funk spirit has returned from the brink of death.

This album, however, is their last album.

With this album, Parliament disbanded, and the same members will continue to work together as P Funk All Stars.

This is the last album under their name.

It is said that the cause of the breakup was a result of internal dissatisfaction, including financial problems, but I think they should have been a righteous band.


No.7「Mothership Connection (Star Child)」(Album:Mothership Connection)


■Song Title:Mothership Connection (Star Child)
■Album Name:Mothership Connection
■Video link:「Mothership Connection (Star Child)」

The mystery of this group is the division of roles between George Clinton and Bootsy Collins.

George Clinton is the leader of this band, participating in the songwriting and developing the unique album concept.

He also seems to be in charge of vocals and keyboards, but I don’t feel that he is leading the band as a single player.

Bootsy Collins, on the other hand, is basically a bassist, although he also plays guitar.

Bootsy probably has a lot of say in the musical side of things.

He has released his own solo albums, but they are less venomous and more straightforward funk music than the group.

After Bootsy joined the band on the second album, the musical style clearly changed.

The funk color became stronger, as in the famous song “Up for the Down Stroke”.

If you listen to this song in that vein, it seems that Bootsy took the lead in this song.

The medium tempo of this song is relatively straightforward funk music for this period.

I’m going to change the subject, but I’d like to compare the management structure of this band to a company.

George Clinton: President 
(President with excellent product development and concept planning skills)

Bootsy Collins: Vice President 
(Anything that can be funked up is good, he’s a field guy)

Barney Worrell: Executive Director 
(General Manager who oversees the company by sending out mysterious radio waves)

Fred Wesley and Maceo Parker: Managing Directors 
 (Competent personnel drawn from other companies in the industry)


No.8「Big Footin」(Album:Chocolate City)


■Song Title:Big Footin
■Album Name:Chocolate City
■Video link:「Big Footin」

This is one of my personal favorite songs. It starts with a slightly crazy voice.

I know I’ve been talking a lot about the bass since earlier, but sometimes the drums stand out in songs like this one and “Do That Stuff”.

With their last album, “Up for the Down Stroke,” they found the funk style that would become their standard.

Their next album, “Up for the Down Stroke,” was a further step forward in the funk direction.

However, this time around was a transition period, and the album also contains songs like this one that retain a sharp, out-of-the-box feel.

Later on, they started to become self-mimetic and the music gradually lost its thrill.

In that respect, at this time, they were still mavericks, packing miscellaneous elements with only momentum.

You can feel the unfinished charm of the song as they are still in the process of climbing up the ladder.


No.9「Little Ole Country Boy」(Album:Osmium)


■Song Title:Little Ole Country Boy
■Album Name:Osmium
■Video link:「Little Ole Country Boy」

This is one of my personal favorite songs. It starts with a slightly crazy voice.

I know I’ve been talking about the bass a lot, but there are songs like this one and “Do That Stuff” where the drums really stand out.

With their last album, Up for the Downstroke, they found a funk style that became their standard.

On their next album, “Up for the Downstroke,” they took the funk direction further.

However, this was a time of transition, and included songs like this one that retained a sharp sense of out-of-the-box thinking.

Later on, they began to become self-mimetic and their music gradually lost its thrill.

In this respect, they were still mavericks at this time, packing miscellaneous elements with only momentum.

You can feel their unfinished charm as they are still aiming for the top.


No.10「Do That Stuff」(Album:The Clones Of Dr. Funkenstein)


■Song Title:Do That Stuff
■Album Name:The Clones Of Dr. Funkenstein
■Video link:「Do That Stuff」

The jacket is the brave face of our Starchild.

He has an Afro, wears weird makeup, and has wings. An angel with a black Afro.

There’s also what looks like a female member.

You might think they don’t look like the side of justice no matter how you look at them, but no, wait.

It’s probably because we’re not funky enough.

There is a new character on this album.

There is a mad scientist named Dr. Funkenstein.

He creates cloned people, and the Star Child is also a clone created by him.

In other words, it seems to be a grand plan to create more and more warriors to spread the funk.

I haven’t explained the song at all, but you can listen to it with that story in mind.


Other「Fantasy is Reality」(Album:Live: P-Funk Earth Tour)


■Song Title:Fantasy is Reality
■Album Name:Live: P-Funk Earth Tour
■Video link:「Fantasy is Reality」

This song is a hidden gem.

You may wonder where it’s hidden, since it’s on one of their most popular albums, “Live: P-Funk Earth Tour”.

“Live: P-Funk Earth Tour” was originally a 2-disc set of analog records.

It was originally a two-CD set, but when the CD was released, it was combined into one disc, but this song was not included due to the recording time.

Incidentally, this album that I have does not include this song. I’m sure there are many people who would like to have it.

Also, this song was cut as a single.

Some best-of albums include this song, but I think most people buy this band by album, so the best-of albums are often overlooked.

This is a unique song that was added to the above live album as a studio recording.

Some of the best-of albums politely include the live version of the song instead of the original studio version.

Due to these various reasons, there are many people who have failed to encounter this song.

The message of this song is very valuable.

They have developed a story with a rather crazy setting, but the song appeals to the audience that “that fantasy is real.

Apparently, we have no choice but to get funky.

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