FUNK MATTERS: 10 George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic Songs You Need to Know
  • THURSDAY, JULY 07, 2016

  • Posted by: Robert Steiner

Aside from James Brown, there is no other artist as important to funk and hip-hop as Parliament Funkadelic. Even if you think youve never heard their music or their decades worth of records, you most definitely have. Have you ever listened to Dr. Dre, De La Soul, A Tribe Called Quest, NWA, Tupac, Snoop Dogg, Wu-Tang Clan, Nas, or Kendrick Lamar at some point in your life? Because what do ya know, Geroge Clinton and P-Funk have been sampled by all of those artists plus many, MANY more. This band is so incredibly influential that the term P-Funk has pretty much become a genre itself!!

In light of the passing of original P-Funk keyboardist Bernie "The Wizard of Woo" Worrell, here are ten songs to help any P-Funk virgins out there board the Mothership and get funked up for a while

1. P. Funk (Wants to Get Funked Up) [1975]:

There is no better way to kick off this list than with the opener from the legendary 1975 album, Mothership Connection. This song gives you a glimpse of what the band is all about, and is arguably one of the best album intros of all time.

2. "(I Wanna) Testify" [1967]

Now, to take a step back to when the band was known as The Parliaments, before George Clinton embraced psychedelia and created the cosmic sound the band is known for. Even when they were still a more standard doo-wop and soul band, the songs unstoppable groove shows where P-Funk was heading by the time the 1970s came around.

3. "I Bet You" [1970]

The hit track of their debut album as Funkadelic, George Clinton and Co. further laid the groundwork for their signature mix of soul, rock, and experimentation. While it's an already pretty strange track, the band would go further down the rabbit hole for the rest of their career.

4. "Give Up The Funk (Tear The Roof Off This Sucker)" [1975]

One of the band's most well-known songs, and the highlight of Mothership Connection, this track helped cement P-Funks place in music history and became a highlight of their freaking insane live shows from the 1970s (side note: they are STILL playing shows if you want to experience the funk in person).

5. "Maggot Brain" [1971]

Not really much to say about this about this track, other than that it's pretty much a mind-crushing 10-minute guitar solo from P-Funk guitarist Eddie Hazel. Its probably one of P-Funk's most minimalist songs in terms of instrumentation, but its a beautiful slow burn of raw emotion and pure musicianship that you will not want to skip.

6. "Standing On The Verge Of Getting It On" [1974]

This song's opening lines are, "Hey lady, wont you be my dog/and Ill be your tree, and you can pee on me." Strange? Yes. An irresistible track with a grooving bass line, plenty of sexual innuendo, and sounds like James Brown on acid? You bet.

7. "Who Says A Funk Band Can't Play Rock?!" [1978]

The title says it all, folks. A song to silence any fools who would even try to call P-Funk just another funk band, it's a fantastic blend of funk, rock, and blues that would make Jimi Hendrix proud.

8. "(Not Just) Knee Deep" [1979]

While its probably better known as the sample in De La Soul's 1989 hit, "Me, Myself and I," the original is still worth checking out. With the full cut being over 15 minutes long, you're bound to find something to love in this behemoth.

9. "Mothership Connection" [1975]

There's no better way to describe this song other than, party in space. It's packed with so much energy, charisma, and good old-fashioned groove that all you have to do is close your eyes to be transported to the "Mothership" and the funkiest get-together in the galaxy.

10. "Flashlight [1978]

Saving the best for last, theres no way to talk about P-Funk without mentioning their biggest hit and most beloved song. This is by far the best song to show you what George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic is all about: Getting together with friends, spreading some love, and having a damn funky good time.

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