Thursday, October 4, 2007

No 177: One Nation Under A Groove

Band: Funkadelic
Album: One Nation Under a Groove
Why Rolling Stone gets it right: A loose concept album (at least the beginning of the record follows it) about the "United Funk of Funkadelica," George Clinton's outfit recount some sort of national anthem album for this new funky nation.
Why Rolling Stone gets it wrong: The first appearance P-Funk should be higher than 177.
Best song: "Who Says a Funk Band Can't Play Rock?" and the title track are great songs.
Worst song: The scatalogical "Promentalshitbackwashpsychosis Enema Squad (The Doo-Doo Chasers)" is kind of gross and really goes nowhere.
Is it awesome?: It's pretty great. "Maggot Brain" is probably better.

The various George Clinton outfits are pretty important, in the grand scheme of things and should be higher than 177. That's pretty much a given.

Is "One Nation Under A Groove?" the pinnacle of that stuff? I'd say no, considering Parliament's "Chocolate City," "Up For The Down Stroke" and especially "Mothership Connection," not to mention Funkadelic's "Maggot Brain." Still, it's a wonderful record with only one issue (the grossness of "Promentalshitbackwashpsychosis Enema Squad (The Doo-Doo Chasers)").

The concept of the beginning of the album -- that Funkadelic is going to make a new country where everyone dances is probably the inspiration for the fantastic Onion story. As the record goes on, it wears a little, but still, it's a fine album.

What's striking about the record is the layering of sounds. In addition to the standard guitar/bass/drums combination, Funkadelic uses a sharp Moog to give the record its spacey sound, as well as slight horns and what appear to be found sounds. Whistles hit the 1s and 3s and Clinton croons as his backup singers hit the hooks.

Again, it's not the best of the P-Funk discography; "Mothership Connection" or "Maggot Brain" should probably be higher. Still, it's George Clinton. Did he do anything wrong in the 1970s?

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