Parliament’s 1970 Debut, ‘Osmium’

osmiumI’m not sure if it was seeing old school funk n’ R&B masters Cameo on Friday night that launched me into the frame of mind (probably is), but I’m knee deep into that sound, and in the middle of a Parliament and Funkadelic listen-a-thon the last couple of days. Particularly, I’m hooked in to the early stuff for both of George Clinton’s sister acts. The debuts for both bands came the year I was born: 1970.

I’ve been really digging on Osmium, the debut from Parliament. What a wild, psychedelic, completely unexpected ride where you have no clue what strange and funky sounds are lurking around the next corner. The album has a lot more to do with the guitar-oriented psychedelic soul sound of Funkadelic than the 70’s Parliament funk / Bernie Worrell synth sound they came to be known for (with songs like “P. Funk (Wants To Get Funked Up)”, “Flashlight”, “Up For The Down Stroke”, etc.).

Indeed, it’s the guitar work of Eddie Hazel and Tawl Ross that shines strongest on Osmium – amid the cacophony of unique sounds. There’s soul, Hendrix-inspired rock psychedelia, gospel flavors, and hell, even a country-inspired tune called “Little Ole Country Boy”, which was written by British-born Ruth Copeland. She was married to Motown producer Jeffrey Bowen. When Bowen started producing for the upstart Invictus Label, and Parliament became one of its first signings, Ruth Copeland ended up co-producing the Osmium album with George Clinton, and wrote a couple of the tracks (“The Silent Boatman” being the other).

“Little Ole Country Boy” has a very infectious chorus that will have you singing along after repeating 3-4 times, which you will do because it’s so – out there… I mean, this is Parliament? Awesome!

Oh, and De La Soul fans, you’ll recognize this yodel in “Potholes In My Lawn” from their debut, 3 Feet High & Rising.

Buy Osmium

The Friday Five: April 17, 2009

For those who have not joined in the Friday Five here is all you need to know; each Friday I hit the shuffle button on my iTunes and share my five and drop a little knowledge and insight for each track. Sometimes there is a playlist involved, sometimes there isn’t. Sometimes we have guest, but most of the time it’s just me.

The rest is up to you, our friends and readers! Fire up your media player of choice and share the first five random track of your shuffle in the comments. The more the merrier!

The Five:

Body Movin’ Remix (Fatboy Slim mix)” (mp3) by Beastie Boys (from Best of Grand Royal 12’s)

The classic remix that, in my opinion, was superior to the original cut.

Let Me Clear My Throat (Old-School Reunion remix)” (mp3) by DJ Kool (from Let Me Clear My Throat)

Biz Markie and Doug E. Fresh bring the old school flavor to the late 90’s club smash. I’m doing the Ed Lover dance as this plays; you all can join me…

“I Wish U Heaven” by Prince (from Lovesexy)

For some reason Lovesexy never clicked with me. I’ve listened to it numerous times and “Alphabet St.” is definitely among my favorites from that era but as a whole work it never made an impression.

“Mercy Mercy Me” by Marvin Gaye (from Number 1’s)

Oh, mercy mercy me
Oh, things ain’t what they used to be

Almost 40 years later and nothing has changed (for the better).

“Cholly (Funk Getting Ready to Roll!)” by Funkadelic (from One Nation Under a Groove)

The shuffle ends on a funky note today, good vibes from the original fathers of the funk.

So tell me, what’s funkin’ you out to the weekend?

Ickmusic Live: Parliament Funkadelic, 1978

george clinton

A trip back to 1978, when I was all of 8 years old, buried in the snow of a northern Minnesota winter. Across the pond, George Clinton and his traveling troupe of funkateers were most likely highly enjoying themselves in Amsterdam, taking in the sights, and – no doubt – taking in all the town had to offer.

Parliament Funkadelic
December 8, 1978
Jaap Eden Halle, Amsterdam, Holland
aka Afrolicious & the Electric Pussy


1. Intro
2. Cholly (Funk Gettin’ Ready To Roll)
3. Give Up The Funk (Tear The Roof Off The Sucka)
4. Night Of The Thumpasaurus Peoples
5. James Wesley Jackson Monologue
6. Standing On The Verge Of Gettin’ It On
7. Mothership Connection
8. Flashlight
9. One Nation Under A Groove