Thursday, December 24, 2015

mothership connection

Parliament tore the roof off the sucker to swing down and deliver the uncut extraterrestrial supergroovalistic prosifunkstication with this sweet conscience grumbling space age chariot.    The ever-changing lineup of musicians in the Parliament-Funkadelic collective had released three albums as Parliament (Osmium in 1970,   Up for the Down Stroke in 1974,  and  Chocolate City in 1975)  and   seven as Funkadelic  (Funkadelic   and    Free Your Mind... and Your Ass Will Follow in 1970,    Maggot Brain in 1971,   America Eats Its Young in 1972,   Cosmic Slop in 1973,   Standing on the Verge of Getting It On  in 1974,  and   Let's Take It to the Stage in 1975) before taking things to the next level.   Borrowing from the Afro-futurism of Sun-Ra, they developed a concept called The Mothership which was, in part, a re-appropriation of the African slave ship.

Clinton considers:   "We had put black people in situations nobody ever thought they would be in, like the White House. I figured another place you wouldn't think black people would be was in outer space. I was a big fan of Star Trek, so we did a thing with a pimp sitting in a spaceship shaped like a Cadillac, and we did all these James Brown-type grooves, but with street talk and ghetto slang."

George Clinton produced the sessions at United Sound in Detroit, Michigan, and Hollywood Sound in Hollywood, California that resulted in Mothership Connection.

George Clinton, Calvin Simon, Fuzzy Haskins, Raymond Davis, Grady Thomas, Gary Shider, Glen Goins, Bootsi Collins
HORNS: Fred Wesley, Maceo Parker, Michael Brecker, Randy Brecker, Boom, Joe Farrell
BASS:Bootsie Collins, Cordell Mosson
GUITARS:Gary Shider, Michael Hampton, Glen Goins, Bootsie Collins
DRUMS AND PERCUSSION: Tiki Fulwood, Jerome Brailey, Bootsie Collins, Gary Cooper
HORN ARRANGEMENTS: Fred Wesley, Bernie Worrell
RHYTHM ARRANGEMENTS: Bootsie Collins, George Clinton
EXTRATERRESTIAL VOICES & GOOD TIME HAND CLAPPERS: Gary Cooper, Debbie Edwards, Taka Kahn, Archie Ivy, Bryna Chimenti, Rasputin Boutte, Pam Vincent, Debra Wright and Sidney Barnes

 Clinton:   "Whenever I hear something, if parents or older musicians say, “Man, that ain’t music. That ain’t shit,” that’s when I jump on it because that’s gonna be the next music. As soon as older musicians start dissing or parents start dissing, I try to jump on that because that’s what actually gives it the energy to become the next music. When old folks hate it, kids are gonna love it ... When we stopped doing Motown [Records-sounding music], they said, “What the fuck are y’all doing?” It was too White for Black folks and too Black for White folks. I saw all these rock and rollers from England coming over here. We were already at Motown at that time. We were already cool and slick. Then things started to change. Things started to look like the Ink Spots, which I had seen in the 1950s - The Platters and things - just started looking like things got old all of a sudden. So then we started doing the Funkadelic stuff, for the kids in college, that was like the new Rock & Roll. Then after we did that, after everyone else started doing [what we were doing], we started doing Mothership Connection, Chocolate City, you know. Deejays stopped talking on the radio. Radio stations stopped talking and just played the music and you didn’t know who was doing it. So we just started talking on our own records. We started becoming our own deejays on the record. Before you knew it, Mothership Connection was out and went platinum. Even though Sly [& The Family Stone] and all them were around, they still weren’t doing it with the Funk in it. They were being slick, but they were being too slick. Sly [Stone] was my man. He was funky as hell, but he could do both sides of it. We was already at Motown, which was the slickest shit that you could do. You couldn’t get no slicker than the shit we was doing over there. So we said, “Stax Records was already around with the horns and stuff, could you imagine it’s gonna be as funkier as they are in New Orleans and still have the slick horns and things?” So we started doing Mothership Connection."

Mothership Connection landed at number thirteen on the US pop chart and number four on the R&B album chart.  It has been certified platinum. 


"Give Up the Funk (Tear the Roof off the Sucker)"  sent a whole lot of rhythm goin' 'round and became the band's biggest pop hit, turning the mother out at number fifteen on the pop chart and five on the R&B chart.

Mothership Connection
full album:

Side One
1. 00:00  "P. Funk (Wants to Get Funked Up)"   George Clinton, Bootsy Collins, Bernie Worrell 7:41
2. 07:41  "Mothership Connection (Star Child)"   Clinton, Collins, Worrell 6:13
3. 13:54  "Unfunky UFO"   Clinton, Collins, Garry Shider 4:23
Side Two
4. 18:18   "Supergroovalisticprosifunkstication"   Clinton, Collins, Shider, Worrell 5:03
5. 23:23  "Handcuffs"   Clinton, Glenn Goins, John McLaughlin 4:02
6. "Give Up the Funk (Tear the Roof off the Sucker)"   Jerome Brailey, Clinton, Collins 5:46
7. 33:15  "Night of the Thumpasorus Peoples"   Clinton, Collins, Shider 5:10
bonus track
8. 38:26  "Star Child (Mothership Connection)" (Promo Radio Version) Clinton, Collins, Worrell 3:08

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