Producer/songwriter/singer George Clinton never intended to have only one hit band: after unproductive stints at Motown and several years in the laboratory synthesizing a monstrous brew of soul psychedelia he scooped up key members of James Brown's band plus Ohio Player Junie Morrison and his own home-grown talent, and dominated the emerging funk scene from roughly 1975 to 1979 with an ungodly amount of top-quality music: transgressive but readily graspable, thought-provoking but gut-level, musicially sophisticated and crude simultaneously. Since then, George and his associates (known collectively as "the Funk Mob") have largely gone their separate ways, creating a few more great records and a lot of mediocre ones. The rise of digital sampling in hip-hop in the late 1980s brought the Parliafunkadelicment Thang back into the public consciousness, resulting in rereleases, from-the-vaults compilations and greatest hits packages.
Generally, Parliament released the most accessible music, mostly limited to funk and soul, usually with horns and almost no heavy guitar or guitar solos. Funkadelic, as the name implies, played funky psychedelic rock; almost no horns or strings, the most freaky of Clinton's projects. Bootsy's Rubber Band was co-produced by Bootsy Collins and has his distinctive style; Bootsy's efforts after 1982 are mostly without George and not infrequently with producer Bill Laswell. Bernie Worrell put out one solo album during the Funk Mob years, and several more after. The Brides of Funkenstein and Parlet were George's two attempts at girl groups. The Horny Horns played mostly instrumental funk. And after things fell apart in 1980 or so, Clinton started releasing records under his name, with or without the P-Funk All-Stars, or using any combination of the above monikers.
The personnel on the following is almost impossible to pin down; when the original albums list musicians, it's usually to conform to whatever lineup George had told the record company he would be using, for example once Bootsy Collins was signed to Warner Bros. he was no longer listed as playing bass on Parliament records, even though he was the main bass player (and also played drums on many key Parliament tracks). So I'll just list the first-string Funk Mob members and leave it at that:
Drums: Jerome Brailey, Tiki Fulwood, Bootsy Collins, Larry
Free Your Mind And Your Ass Will Follow (Funkadelic:
I've reviewed a show or two on our concerts page, and a book or two on the books page. There's an amazing P-Funk web site, which includes album reviews and lots more, though I don't know if it's been kept up to date. (DBW)