PARLIAMENT — Chocolate City

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PARLIAMENT - Chocolate City cover
3.88 | 5 ratings | 2 reviews
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Album · 1975

Filed under Funk
By PARLIAMENT

Tracklist

A1 Chocolate City 5:35
A2 Ride On 3:39
A3 Together 3:59
A4 Side Effects 3:10
A5 What Comes Funky 2:22
B1 Let Me Be 5:39
B2 If I Don't Fit (Don't Force It) 2:07
B3 I Misjudged You 5:13
B4 Big Footin' 4:40

Total Time: 37:08

Line-up/Musicians

- Bootsie Collins / bass, guitar
- Cordell Mosson / bass, guitar
- Perkash John / bass
- Gary Shider / guitar, vocals
- Tiki Fullwood / drums
- Tyrone Lampkin / drums
- Bernie Worrell / keyboards
- George Clinton / vocals
- Calvin Simon / vocals
- Fuzzy Haskins / vocals
- Grady Thoms / vocals
- Raymond Davis / vocals
- Eddie Hazel / vocals
- additional uncredited horn and string players (Toronto Symphony?) and additional back-up vocals

About this release

Casablanca NBLP 7014 (US)

Recorded At United Sound Systems & Hollywood Sound Recorders

Thanks to EZ Money, snobb for the updates

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PARLIAMENT CHOCOLATE CITY reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

js
This is the third installment by the mad geniuses of funk otherwise known as Parliament, and this one finds them getting much closer to the perfect balance of humor and cliché smashing creativity that will serve them well through the rest of the 70s. Some big differences on this album include the arrival of multi-talented wunderkid Bootsy Collins and a heightened role for stacked keyboard wizard Bernie Worrell. The only element missing that will arrive with their next release is the wacky science fiction themes that will provide the structure for Clinton’s disparate ideas.

Chocalate City shows Clinton and his gang moving forward in their use of outrageous vocals and bizarre vocal arrangements. ‘Side Effects’ in particular has the band taking bold chances with crazy vocal exchanges that sound like classic Temptations on LSD and nitrous oxide. You have to admire this band’s courage because although crazy vocals were encouraged in rock, they were a big no-no in the world of RnB and going too far with your vocal deliveries could mean financial suicide. There were certainly a lot of RnB and funk fans who refused to take Parliament seriously because of their vocals and humor.

The star instrumentalist on here is keyboardist Bernie Worrell whose mix of classical, jazz, prog-rock, gospel and wacky silliness has always been Parliament’s most special defining feature. No other keyboardist in the world can do what Worrell does. A close second in distinctive contributions is bassist Bootsy Collins. Not only are Bootsy’s funky bass lines the best in the business, but his ability to understand Clinton’s humor and expand on it gave a George a very powerful ally and second hand man.

This is a great album, but its still not quite Parliament at their peak. The music on here is still sometimes similar to older RnB styles which will disappear on the next Parliament releases when they finally lock on to their definitive p-funk style.

Members reviews

Warthur
Chocolate City's title is based on a serious concept - the demographic shift in US cities in the 1970s - but if you were expecting Parliament to deliver a serious take on it, you don't know George Clinton very well. That said, the sci-fi P-Funk concepts that would soon lyrically dominate Parliament still haven't crystallised yet, making this one of the more direct political statements by the band. Although a bit more commercially-inclined than Funkadelic's whacked-out Let's Take It To the Stage, and with more connections to mainstream RnB, Chocolate City still demonstrates George Clinton's Zappa-esque levels of inventiveness and willingness to combine lyrical strangeness with instrumental accomplishment.

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  • Sean Trane
  • Tychovski

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