Friday, July 10, 2009

Rock of Ages: Parliament - "Give Up The Funk (Tear The Roof Off The Sucker)" (1976)

Funk music is forever entwined with rock and roll. Although it's the party animal of the genre, it's still a definitive part in rock history. Sly & the Family Stone and James Brown were already noted and now Parliament makes their mark. Funk in the 70s is, for my dime, the best side of dance music. Disco has moments of clarity and goodness (select Bee Gee's hits and more) but Funk always got my motor running when looking at the decadent decade of the 70's. George Clinton and Parliament definitely rode the wave high in the latter period of 70's funk. "Give Up the Funk (Tear the Roof Off the Sucker)" is one of those jams that just beats its intense beat and droning riffs and pounds it into submission. Bootsy Collins' bass is the epitome of funky and George Clinton the circus ring leader brings it all together. The music has a vibe of a family of freaktastic monks whoa re channeling the grooves of the universe, condensing them into one jam and rocking your brain. Just look at the album art! These guys know how to have fun.

"Give Up the Funk (Tear the Roof Off the Sucker)" takes a page out of the James Brown funk book with a mostly static song that rarely veers off the track of it's main riff. With plenty of grooves in a single riff, it's really powerful how much greatness can come from it. Parliament paved the way for more great funk and even can be seen influencing the likes of Michael Jackson and Red Hot Chili Peppers. Funk music is party music and Parliament are the kings of the party. Freaked out costumes, intense gang vocals and just sheer dancing juice poured into the veins of the music make Parliament a viable candidate for one of the best groups of all time.

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