Parliament: Bootsy Collins (vocals, guitar, bass instrument, drums); Eddie Hazel (vocals, guitar); George Clinton (vocals); Fred Wesley, Maceo Parker, Michael Brecker, Randy Brecker (horns); Bernie Worrell (keyboards, synthesizer); Dennis Chambers (drums); Philippe Wynne (background vocals).
Liner Note Author: Greg Tate.
It's hard to keep up with George Clinton's P-Funk mob. From the late 1960s through the early '80s (though the band continued in different incarnations well into the 2000s), Clinton's visionary, family-style amalgam of musicians recorded under different names (Funkadelic, Parliament, Bootsy's Rubber Band), but remained true to a tirelessly funky ethos. Parliament, the most commerically successful branch of the P-Funk empire, specialized in highly polished party jams that lacked the grit and grunge of Funkadelic's acid-rock freakouts. In the '70s, Parliament turned out some of the most unique and memorable dance music of that (or any) era.
Since Parliament's studio albums were sometimes uneven, GOLD provides a fine service by bringing together their best material on two discs. Disc One kicks off with the group's first two singles, 1974's "Up for the Down Stroke" and "Testify"--both of which hold up remarkably--and continues through highlights from Parliament's masterpiece, MOTHERSHIP CONNECTION, and its follow-up, THE CLONES OF DR. FUNKENSTEIN. Disc Two contains "Bop Gun (Endangered Species)" and the 12-inch version of "Flash Light," one of the most complex and booty-moving funk compositions ever, before delving into the disco-inflected material from the turn of the decade. Along with the two-disc TEAR THE ROOF OFF (1974-1980), GOLD is the best one-stop purchase for an overview of these funk monsters.