An immensely influential band that truly lived up to their name, Funkadelic was the brainchild of George Clinton, originally formed as a back-up group to support Clinton's early doo wop crew, the Parliaments (who eventually became Parliament). Blending expert musicianship, gut-bucket funk, and drug-fuelled experimentation, Funkadelic was introduced as a separate entity in 1970 (partially as a way to get around record contract constricts), when they released their self-titled debut LP. One of the group's key players (literally and figuratively) was keyboardist Bernie Worrell, whose psyched-out synth-scapes were a big part of their unique sound. Funkadelic's second album Free Your Mind...And Your Ass Will Follow dropped later that year and Maggot Brain soon followed, but it was their fourth full-length that really set the stage for major crossover success. The 1972 addition of legendary bassist Bootsy Collins, previously a member of James Brown's crack squad the J.B.s, was a huge pick-up and the core line-up of Bootsy, Bernie, and George shined incandescently on America Eats Its Young. The hit-or-miss album Hardcore Jollies appeared in 1975 (after the band signed with Warner Brothers) and included the only mildly successful single called... Read More|
... "Undisco Kidd." All the while, Clinton and company were still performing, recording and releasing new records as Parliament. In 1978 things really exploded for both groups, Funkadelic released the undeniably classic LP One Nation Under A Groove, and hit number one with the title track. Almost simultaneously, Parliament also topped the charts with "Aqua Boogie" and "Flash Light." As the seventies came to a close, the group splintered with financial disagreements forcing several members out on their own. They put together a few more albums, but the initial magic seemed to be missing. Both Clinton and Bootsy began work on solo projects and ever-rotating members continued to tour for several decades as the P-Funk All Stars. Clinton's drug problems and legal woes continued through the years, but his music would play a crucial role in the development of hip-hop (especially on the West Coast), as various rap producers concocted new songs based on older Funkadelic tracks. In particular, Dr. Dre's landmark gangsta rap masterpiece The Chronic introduced a whole new generation to the wonders of P-Funk.