Written By: Derek Tallent
P-Funk All Stars was a band that featured a variety of members from two of the best funk bands of all time: Parliament and Funkadelic. The All Stars lineup included legendary bassists Bootsy Collins and Sly Stone, singers George Clinton and Bobby Womack, guitarists Michael Hampton and Eddie Hazel, and drummer Muruga Booker. The album also features background singers, brass band members, and plenty of special guests. Overall, 38 musicians have writing credits on the album. With so many legends writing the material, you would assume that this album would be worth a listen. But is it?
In short, yes. Parliament and Funkadelic were both known for their catchy riffs, crazy beats, and booty shaking grooves. All of that and more can be found on this album. This is no ordinary funk album, however. The P-Funk All Stars managed to keep the genre fresh and created enough variety that the listener should never be bored.
The album starts off with the song Generator Pop, a groovy techno hit that invokes elements from disco, funk, dance, and electronic music. The bass lays down a simple but catchy bassline that drives the entire song, while the guitars and drums provides a great rhythmic backbone to the entire piece. Clinton and other vocalists display a huge vocal range, with harmonies and melodies that all work great together. The song is complex while being catchy enough to be a great song to dance and boogie too. The album gets off to a great start.
Throughout the album the rhythms and grooves were new and unique, while still maintaining P-Funk’s signature sound. One of my favorite tracks titled Copy Cat featured a booming brass section, freakishly fast guitar playing, and even a few animal noises. The band manages to throw twists and turns in almost every song that keeps listening fun and exciting. Another fantastic track called Acupuncture is slightly more laid back, opening with a slow, sexy saxophone solo and featuring sitar-like guitars with a raunchy vocal from Clinton.
To conclude, this album is a must listen for any funk aficionados. The masterful grooves, brilliant beats, and sensual vocals will be enough to please even the toughest critics. This is also a great album for those unfamiliar with funk, as it captures the essence of funk in its playful melodies and easy to dance to bass-lines.