1977, Music

Funkentelechy vs. the Placebo Syndrome (1977) by Parliament

So i didn’t love Clones of Doctor Funkenstein at all. In the interim, I don’t know if I’ve changed (I think I am more accepting of the general zaniness of P-Funk now than I was) or maybe this is just a lot better.

The mythology of P-Funk remains utterly inane if you pay attention to it. But I think my problem with some of Funkadelic’s music and much of Parliament’s is that I often don’t find the music compelling enough to ignore the groany lyrics.

But that’s entirely missing the point; not only are the lyrics intentionally ridiculous (at least I like to think so) but that is not the point of this music. (It may be a secondary point, especially the social comment songs, but it’s hardly the primary reason to listen to funk.) So I should just relax about the lyrics. Listening to this record, either the lyrics or better or I’ve relaxed.

Despite the goofiness of this one, I’m not bothered by them this time (even on the really dumb ones, or when they insist on pronouncing placebo as if it rhymes with classical). Instead, I find the music much more compelling than the last Parliament effort. It’s still not as much my thing as Funkadelic but the more I listen to both of these bands (and bands not as good as these ones) the more I’m inured to the more ridiculous parts.

This is a solid set of extremely funky vamps with characteristically goofy lyrics and scenarios. The overall vibe is extremely… well, funky. You might say this is exactly what you would expect P-Funk to sound like.

8/10

  1. “Bop Gun (Endangered Species)” George Clinton, Garry Shider, Bootsy Collins 8:31
  2. “Sir Nose d’Voidoffunk (Pay Attention – B3M)” George Clinton, Bootsy Collins, Bernie Worrell 10:04
  3. “Wizard of Finance” George Clinton, Ronald Ford, Glenn Goins 4:23
  4. “Funkentelechy” George Clinton, Bootsy Collins 10:56
  5. “Placebo Syndrome” George Clinton, Billy Nelson 4:20
  6. “Flash Light” George Clinton, Bootsy Collins, Bernie Worrell 5:46
  • Vocals – George Clinton, Ray Davis, Glenn Goins, Garry Shider, Debbie Wright, Jeanette Washington, Lynn Mabry, Dawn Silva, Cordell Mosson, Mallia Franklin
  • Keyboards and synthesizers – Bernie Worrell
  • Guitars – Michael Hampton, Glenn Goins, Garry Shider; Phelps Collins on “Flash Light”
  • Bass guitar – Cordell Mosson
  • Drums and percussion – Jerome Brailey; Bootsy Collins on “Flash Light”
  • Horns – Fred Wesley, Maceo Parker, Rick Gardner, Richard Griffith, Clay Lawrey, Darryl Dixon, Valerie Drayton, Danny Cortez
  • Extra-extra terrestrial funk bearing alumni – Strokers, Chokers, Clappers and Chanters – Bootsy Collins, Phelps Collins, Frank Waddy, Rick Gilmore, Gary Cooper, Robert Johnson, Billy Nelson, Ron Ford, Lou Goldman, Joel Johnson, Bootsy’s Rubber Band, The Brides of Funkenstein, Parlet, and The Horny Horns.
  • Produced by George Clinton
  • Engineered by Jim Vitti
  • Mixing assistance by Bernie Worrell

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