Monday, May 21, 2007


There is little doubt that Parliament/Funkadelic is one of the most influential bands in the history of popular music. It's impossible to even entertain a guess as to what the last 30 years of funk, r&b, hip hop and soul music would sound like without them.

But let's go back even farther. Prior to the initial formation of P-Funk, Clinton spearheaded a slick soul outfit known simply as The Parliaments. Formed in 1955 and disbanded around 1968, the group released a string of consistently strong singles. The most well known of these is undoubtedly "Testify," which Wikipedia tells me hit #3 on the R&B charts and #20 on the pop charts. I'm particularly surprised by their cracking the top 20, as history always paints the Parliaments as the obscure doo-wop predecessor to P-Funk. So props to them. The Parliaments are not merely a curiosity for P-Funk fans (although this is admittedly how I found their work). Rather, their recordings stand on their own as solid r&b/soul sides.

Clinton re-recorded a number of the group's strongest tunes with Parliament ("Testify," "All Your Goodies Are Gone, "The Goose that Laid the Golden Egg"). In each case, both versions are strong, and indicative of Clinton's capabilities as a producer and arranger in their respective eras.

A few different compilations of The Parliaments' singles saw release in the 1990s, although all are sadly out of print for now. This collection was released by the Connoisseur label in 2000, and appears to be the most comprehensive disc yet.

1. Testify
2. I Can Feel the Ice Melting
3. All Your Goodies Are Gone
4. Don't Be Sore At Me
5. Little Man
6. The Goose that Laid the Golden Egg
7. Look What I Almost Missed
8. What You Been Growing
9. Good Old Music
10. Time
11. A New Day Begins
12. I'll Wait
13. I'll Wait (instrumental)
14. All Your Goodies Are Gone (instrumental)
15. Baby I Owe You Something
16. Let's Make it Last
17. She's Always There
18. Heart Trouble
19. That Was My Girl

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