FUNKADELIC — Free Your Mind...And Your Ass Will Follow

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FUNKADELIC - Free Your Mind...And Your Ass Will Follow cover
3.73 | 8 ratings | 3 reviews
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Album · 1970


A1 Free Your Mind And Your Ass Will Follow 10:00
A2 Friday Night, August 14th 5:20
B1 Funky Dollar Bill 3:14
B2 I Wanna Know If It's Good To You 5:54
B3 Some More 2:55
B4 Eulogy And Light 3:29

Total Time: 31:17


- George Clinton / vocals
- Ray Davis / backing vocals
- Fuzzy Haskins / backing vocals
- Calvin Simon / backing vocals
- Grady Thomas/ backing vocals
- Eddie Hazel / lead guitar
- Tawl Ross / rhythm guitar
- Bernie Worrell / keys
- Billy Bass Nelson / bass guitar
- Tiki Fulwood / drums

About this release

Westbound Records ‎– WB 2001 (US)

Recorded At Audio Graphic Services; United Sound Systems; GM Studios

Thanks to silent way, js, dreadpirateroberts, snobb for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

There's an inordinate amount of messing around on this album - it really does sound like everyone is trashed. Nearly everything is awash with distortion or reverb, or is at least treated in some way (Worrell's piano for instance) and the mix sounds as if Clinton and co had stumbled into the control room and started wrestling with dials and knobs in a gleeful quest to unsettle the listener - a kind of acid experiment.

He claims as much in the reissue liner notes and despite the attempt, the pyrotechnics don't completely conceal a few actual songs alongside the freakout experiments. Beneath the heavy blanket of psychedelia the P-Funk team play the blues with 'Some More' or protest-funk songs like the catchy 'Funky Dollar Bill' (an attack on materialism) or the excellent rocker, 'Friday Night, August 14th' which features typical Hendrix-inspired Hazel (not a bad thing.)

But 'Free Your Mind and Your Ass will Follow' is dominated by two longer jams, one being 'I Wanna Know if it's Good to You?' and the opener, title track and ten minute sonic exploration, touching on space rock keys while the guitars play the blues, albeit a heavily (almost casually somehow) distorted blues. Clinton fills the song with snippets of vocals rather than anything resembling a song, basically riffing as it were, while the piece eventually leads into a massively distorted organ before Hazel solos the song off to a fade.

An album with much more in common with its predecessor than with its stellar successor, 'Free Your Mind...' has its moments, and it's certainly interesting sonically, but the songwriting had yet to peak. This one's still fun, but not my favourite Funkadelic release.
Free Your Mind and Your Ass will Follow’ is Funkadelic’s second album and picks up where the first one left off with loose psychedelic blues-rock jams, channeled through echoplexes and restless panning techniques, topped by improvised ensemble vocals. There are some improvements this second time around as they took the time to write some actual songs with hooks and also gave keyboard whiz Bernie Worrell more room to direct and orchestrate these songs. The first song, which also bears the album’s name, shows the band’s new keyboard led direction as Bernie plays psychedelic melodies on a distorted B3 that gives the band that trippy Doors/Pink Floyd proto prog-rock sound. This is followed by ‘Friday Night August the 14th’ which shows that they can actually write catchy songs without losing their substance derived ambience.

Side two opens with ‘Funky Dollar Bill’ which continues with the smart songwriting plus one of the most bizarre piano solos I’ve ever heard. It sounds like there are aluminum pie plates laying on the piano strings as well as who knows what stuck in the key hammers. Bernie uses this tacky sound to good effect as he seems to channel Eddie Palmieri or some Latin classical composer in extravagant dramatic chords against the almost incongruous wah-wah guitar rhythms. Its wonderful chaotic tacky ghetto art damage heaven. Side two continues with more mind warping psychedelia featuring screaming guitar solos, gothic keyboard passages and those relentless panning techniques.

The album closes with ‘Eulogy and Light’, a spoken word piece with analog synth sound effects and backwards gospel voices in which a bottom feeding wannabe hustler comes face to face with his meaningless existence in a harrowing moment of chemical induced paranoia. Although most attempts to sound lyrically heavy on this album come across as kitsch, this one actually connects and gets downright sobering for a few moments. Materialism is one hell of a slave master.

Funkadelic’s long time band leader, George Clinton, has admitted that this album was recorded and mixed in one day while they were tripping. Considering the odds they were up against, this album came out surprisingly good, and only a few seconds of listening will easily confirm that Clinton’s story is not made up.

Members reviews

On Free Your Mind And Your Ass Will Follow, Funkadelic mix up wild bluesy psychedelic jams reminiscent of their debut album with more structured songs that reveal the funky path the band would eventually take. Both of these approaches come together on the classic title track, a pulsating, pounding funk masterpiece which is the first sign of the band emerging from the shadow of Jimi Hendrix and carving out a brilliant new direction of their own. The groovy Funky Dollar Bill is probably the best of the structured songs, whilst the closing Eulogy and Light (on a similar anti-capitalist theme) finds Clinton indulging in avant-garde tape experiments. Although this outro gets a little tedious, the album otherwise shows fantastic levels of musical development over the debut and points the way to the classic Maggot Brain.

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  • Decao
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