PARLIAMENT

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Parliament was a funk band most prominent during the 1970s. It and its sister act Funkadelic, both led by George Clinton, began the funk music culture of that decade.

Parliament was originally The Parliaments, a doo-wop vocal group based at a Plainfield, New Jersey barber shop. The group was formed in the late 1950s and included George Clinton, Ray Davis, Fuzzy Haskins, Calvin Simon, and Grady Thomas. Clinton was the group leader and manager. The group finally had a hit single in 1967 with "(I Wanna) Testify" on Revilot Records. To capitalize, Clinton formed a backing band for a tour, featuring teenage barbershop employee Billy Bass Nelson on bass and his friend Eddie Hazel on guitar, with the lineup eventually rounded out by Tawl Ross on guitar, Tiki Fulwood on drums, and Mickey Atkins on organ. During a contractual dispute with Revilot, Clinton temporarily lost the rights to the name "The Parliaments,"
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Mothership Connection [LP]Mothership Connection [LP]
Mercury 2015
$19.99
$17.61 (used)
5 Classic Albums5 Classic Albums
Spectrum 2016
$12.42
$14.75 (used)
Chocolate City (Remastered)Chocolate City (Remastered)
Extra tracks · Remastered
Mercury 2003
$11.98
$5.64 (used)
Funkentelechy vs. the Placebo SyndromeFunkentelechy vs. the Placebo Syndrome
Reissued
Casablanca Records 1990
$8.22
$2.64 (used)
The Best Of Parliament: Give Up The FunkThe Best Of Parliament: Give Up The Funk
Island Def Jam 1995
$7.41
$4.99 (used)
Up For The Down StrokeUp For The Down Stroke
Extra tracks · Remastered
Mercury 2003
$6.85
$4.99 (used)
Funked Up: The Very Best Of ParliamentFunked Up: The Very Best Of Parliament
Remastered
Mercury 2002
$6.79
$1.99 (used)
The Clones Of Dr. FunkensteinThe Clones Of Dr. Funkenstein
Mercury 1994
$13.34
$3.41 (used)
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PARLIAMENT Discography

PARLIAMENT albums / top albums

PARLIAMENT Osmium (aka Rhenium) album cover 3.75 | 4 ratings
Osmium (aka Rhenium)
Funk 1970
PARLIAMENT Up for the Down Stroke album cover 3.66 | 4 ratings
Up for the Down Stroke
Funk 1974
PARLIAMENT Chocolate City album cover 3.88 | 5 ratings
Chocolate City
Funk 1975
PARLIAMENT Mothership Connection album cover 4.81 | 11 ratings
Mothership Connection
Funk 1975
PARLIAMENT The Clones of Dr. Funkenstein album cover 3.12 | 3 ratings
The Clones of Dr. Funkenstein
Funk 1976
PARLIAMENT Funkentelechy vs. the Placebo Syndrome album cover 3.89 | 5 ratings
Funkentelechy vs. the Placebo Syndrome
Funk 1977
PARLIAMENT Motor Booty Affair album cover 2.42 | 3 ratings
Motor Booty Affair
Funk 1978
PARLIAMENT Gloryhallastoopid (Or, Pin the Tail on the Funky) album cover 3.75 | 2 ratings
Gloryhallastoopid (Or, Pin the Tail on the Funky)
Funk 1979
PARLIAMENT Trombipulation album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Trombipulation
Funk 1980
PARLIAMENT Parliament - Funkadelic : P-Funk All Stars Presents Dope Dogs album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Parliament - Funkadelic : P-Funk All Stars Presents Dope Dogs
Funk 1994
PARLIAMENT Medicaid Fraud Dogg album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Medicaid Fraud Dogg
Funk 2018

PARLIAMENT EPs & splits

PARLIAMENT live albums

PARLIAMENT Live: P.Funk Earth Tour album cover 1.10 | 2 ratings
Live: P.Funk Earth Tour
Funk 1977
PARLIAMENT Live 1976-93 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Live 1976-93
Funk 1994

PARLIAMENT demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

PARLIAMENT re-issues & compilations

PARLIAMENT Uncut Funk - The Bomb (The Best Of Parliament) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Uncut Funk - The Bomb (The Best Of Parliament)
Funk 1984
PARLIAMENT Parliament's Greatest Hits (The Bomb) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Parliament's Greatest Hits (The Bomb)
Funk 1984
PARLIAMENT The Best Nonstop Mix Compilation album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Best Nonstop Mix Compilation
Funk 1991
PARLIAMENT Tear the Roof Off: 1974-1980 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Tear the Roof Off: 1974-1980
Funk 1993
PARLIAMENT First Thangs (aka The Early Years) album cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
First Thangs (aka The Early Years)
Funk 1994
PARLIAMENT Give Up the Funk: The Best of Parliament album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Give Up the Funk: The Best of Parliament
Funk 1995
PARLIAMENT The 12 0.00 | 0 ratings
The 12" Collection and More
Funk 1999
PARLIAMENT 20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: The Best of Parliament album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: The Best of Parliament
Funk 2000
PARLIAMENT The Universal Masters Collection: Classic Parliament album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Universal Masters Collection: Classic Parliament
Funk 2000
PARLIAMENT Get Funked Up: The Ultimate Collection album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Get Funked Up: The Ultimate Collection
Funk 2000
PARLIAMENT Funked Up album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Funked Up
Funk 2002
PARLIAMENT Gold album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Gold
Funk 2005

PARLIAMENT singles (0)

PARLIAMENT movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

PARLIAMENT Reviews

PARLIAMENT Live: P.Funk Earth Tour

Live album · 1977 · Funk
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Chicapah
I have a well-respected musician friend who related in an interview a few years ago that when he was in his early teens he thought that playing bass guitar “funky” meant playing the instrument badly. His story of youthful naiveté is hilarious for the innocent irony involved but shouldn’t be taken too seriously. Yet if one was to judge the entire musical genre known as funk by Parliament’s “Live: P-Funk Earth Tour” double album one might draw a similar conclusion. I won’t mince words. It’s one of the worst in-concert recordings I’ve ever encountered. I can hear the excuses already. It was 1977. Folks just wanted to party. Funk was a legitimate movement that was infiltrating R&B, jazz and rock by leaps and bounds and Parliament’s head honcho George Clinton was simply basing his unique form of satire upon that foundation and capitalizing on its growing popularity. Therefore it’s just a glimpse into a wild & wooly era that won’t be repeated and should be viewed as nothing more than a historical curiosity. I’ll readily agree to all of that. But there’s no excuse for sloppy musicianship. I recall that Frank Zappa did much the same thing as Mr. Clinton with his sarcastic brand of humor yet on stage he and his cohorts steadfastly maintained the same high level of professional integrity that they insisted on in the studio environment. I expected to hear something equivalent to that mindset when I sat down to listen to this album. I was wrong to do so.

The show begins with over 6 minutes of "P-Funk (Wants To Get Funked Up)," a loose jam in which the band members seem to be slowly finding their assigned spots while the drums, trombone, sax and electric piano vamp without a trace of urgency. Their leader George delivers a rambling spoken introduction to the mumbling crowd that eventually leads to an ensemble-warbled chorale that’s hard to understand. An imperceptible segue to "Dr. Funkenstein's Supergroovalisticprosifunkstication Medley" ensues. It sports the same lazy vibe but this time a thumping bass guitar is more involved as it becomes obvious to me that the audience participation aspect of the presentation is going to take precedence over the music. That’d be fine if this was a video but that’s not the case. My ears are all I’ve got to go by and they’re starving already. At least on “Do That Stuff” the drums lay down a solid beat for the bass to lock onto and the song is a tad more organized but the group as a whole is still stuck in a stifling, one-dimensional rut. "The Landing (Of The Holy Mothership)" is next and it’s a snippet-filled, mostly pre-recorded comedy routine that’s impossible to follow, much less to find anything to laugh about. Maybe the stage props gave it relevancy. I hope so. For "The Undisco Kidd (The Girl Is Bad!)" a pattern surfaces that involves the rhythm section laying down a basic funk base but, alas, it never evolves into anything engaging. Instead, you get a long soliloquy punctuated by a hook line chorus that’s pointless unless you happened to be there that night and were able to merrily join in the communal sing-along. Those of us wanting to hear some great musicianship are out of luck, I suppose.

"Children Of Productions" is the shortest cut and that’s a shame because it’s the apex (relatively speaking) of the album. It’s a unison chant with brassy horns and decently layered harmonies but it passes by like a rare cool breeze in the middle of August and is gone. "Mothership Connection (Star Child)" is a rowdy jam that rumbles behind a repeated refrain and features enthusiastic exhortations aimed at the audience. After a long spell the track inexplicably evaporates into the ether and then fades back in as "Swing Down, Sweet Chariot." The same gospel-tinged mantra continues but a male vocalist scats on and on for a full five minutes till you reach the number’s noisy ending. That’d be okay if it was special but it ain’t. Suddenly you’re whisked away from the live festivities and treated to a studio take of "This Is The Way We Funk With You." It’s vaguely reminiscent of what Sly Stone was up to in the early 70s but it’s also not terribly original or inspiring. Monotonous describes it best. We’re then returned to the scene of the crime to endure a quarter of an hour of "Dr. Funkenstein." Due to the gathered throng’s reaction there must’ve been some kind of visual stimuli happening to enhance the moment but aurally it’s a lot of the same old shtick involving a crowd-sung chorus echoed ad nauseum. There’s a solo from the guitarist and an ARP ride to fill up some space but I found myself drifting into a coma waiting for something entertaining to occur. "Gamin' On Ya!" actually resembles a tune and by now that’s a plus. The full horn arrangement is very Famous Flames-worthy but all that does is cause you to yearn for James Brown’s inimitable charisma to give it life. Next comes their "Tear The Roof Off The Sucker Medley" and it’s an admirable rendition of one of their more recognizable ditties but it does sound very different from the rest of the album which begs the question “Is it live or is it Memorex?” At this juncture I don’t care but the suspicious fade-in to the closer, "Night Of The Thumpasorus People," gives the inquiry credence. By now the well-oiled show attendees are in a stimulant-induced frenzy so, while there’s plenty of excitement in the hall for the reveler in you to soak up, there’s not much for the jazz enthusiast to celebrate. It’s just another rave up that goes nowhere near interesting.

Released in the Spring of ’77 when George Clinton’s eclectic entourage was enjoying tremendous popularity in urban markets all across the civilized world, this 2-disc set sold and went gold. If you were one of the spunky pups who got to witness one of their stops along the P-Funk Earth Tour then I have no doubt that your memory of the event is a fabulous one. I wasn’t there but it was undoubtedly a hoot to treasure forevermore even if the music had to take a seat in the back of the bus. However, this album doesn’t do it any justice on one side or the other. Future generations who want to sample what went on at one of those concerts will not conclusively find out what the fuss was about from listening to this discombobulated mess. As a rule, a little bit of craziness goes a long, long way and then it quickly becomes ridiculous and a waste of valuable time. This proves it. To use their own grossly overused term, “What the funk?”

PARLIAMENT Osmium (aka Rhenium)

Album · 1970 · Funk
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Warthur
Parliament's debut album sounds more like Funkadelic, presenting a guitar-driven sound which is differentiated from the material on the Funkadelic albums of the era mainly through its focus on short-form structured songs as opposed to improvisational jams. Of course, from Maggot Brain onwards Funkadelic would incorporate songs such as this alongside their longer freakouts, leaving the Parliament name rather redundant until it was resurrected in 1974 as a home for P-Funks more horn-driven and funk-leaning and less psych-drenched material. This leaves Osmium as a real oddity in the P-Funk catalogue - but a catchier and more compelling oddity you'd struggle to find.

PARLIAMENT Motor Booty Affair

Album · 1978 · Funk
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Warthur
Another high-concept Parliament album in the tradition of The Clones of Dr Funkenstein and others from the mid-to-late 1970s. This time around the album is let down by what to my ears sounds like a rather lacklustre musical backing underpinning George Clinton's fanciful narration, which once again is to obtrusive for my tastes. Given that Funkadelic were proving themselves to still be extremely inventive and musically capable at around the same time, I suspect this might be a consequence of the division of labour George Clinton hit upon - Funkadelic does the credible music, Parliament play in the background whilst Clinton talks. Not thrilling.

PARLIAMENT Funkentelechy vs. the Placebo Syndrome

Album · 1977 · Funk
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Warthur
Another Parliament album in which, like The Clones of Dr Funkenstein, George Clinton's heavy-handed strategy for telling the story of his concept albums and expanding on the band's mythology obscures the decent musical backing provided by the group. On tracks such as Sir Nose D'Voidoffunk and others a swinging backing track is talked all over by band members using various distorted and manipulated voices expounding on the P-Funk cosmology to an extent where at points it feels to me like I'm attending a lecture on Funkology.

The overall anti-disco message seems kind of crass too - it's a little too neat that the evil and corruptive propaganda force created by capitalism to dumb down the music business just so happens to be a music genre which was competing very successfully against George and company at the same time; the idea that the funk business wasn't in any shape or form as capitalistic or profit-motivated as disco was at the time seems mildly absurd. Still, absurdity is precisely what you come to Parliament-Funkadelic for.

On balance, this is another album with meaty bass, swinging horn sections, and the standard George Clinton sense of humour. It's just that at this point that sense of humour begins to grate a little.

PARLIAMENT The Clones of Dr. Funkenstein

Album · 1976 · Funk
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Warthur
Recorded hot on the heels of Mothership Connection, The Clones of Dr Funkenstein suffers in comparison to the preceding Parliament, and when you consider that the P-Funk collective was also bringing together Hardcore Jollies on the Funkadelic side of things at around the same time it does seem that at around this point in time they were overstretching them. The over-long, over-repetitive songs on Clones all sound a little like rejected ideas from Mothership Connection, with comedy monster dialogue here and there cluttering up the tracks. That said, the spritely horn section does add a little class to proceedings and saves the album from being outright tedious.

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