DJ Soul Sister unearths rare, unheard and forgotten jams from the world of Parliament-Funkadelic and its offshoots.
From one of America’s most iconic music capitals, New Orleans, the queen of rare groove takes an in-depth look into the many tangents of US soul and funk, and discovers a treasure trove of slept-on gospel, go-go, hip-hop and plenty in between. Every month our host DJ Soul Sister digs off the beaten path in search of hot-buttered soul, sought-after funk 45s and obscure breaks, all the while uncovering new and exciting elements of the world’s most sanctified genres. Lost & Found is her journey into the further reaches of soul, funk and disco, Big Easy style.
“Godmoma Here” – Godmoma (1981)
This project of Bootsy Collins’ is probably the least heralded of all the P-Funk girl groups. He produced the set and played bass and drums, alongside a rhythm section including guitarist Phelps “Catfish” Collins, keyboardist Joel “Razor Sharp” Johnson, and other P-Funk vets. The women of Godmoma also sang on Bootsy’s albums during this time. Special note: The song “Be All You Can Be” is co-written by Sly Stone.
“In the Pocket” - Mutiny (1983)
Mutiny was the brainchild of P-Funk drummer Jerome “Bigfoot” Brailey, who left P-Funk in 1978. The group released two albums for Columbia Records, and then issued an independent-label album on J. Romeo Records, which is where this release comes from. It’s the hardest to find of all the Mutiny LPs, and featured guest appearances by P-Funk alumni and vets like Michael Hampton and Rodney “Skeet” Curtis.
“Work That Sucker to Death” - Xavier (1981)
This song, by an R&B vocal band who only released one album on Liberty Records, only lists featured contributions (as opposed to writing and production) from George Clinton and Bootsy Collins. But the song is so immersed in their sound, not to mention multiple appearances by P-Funk character Sir Nose d’Voidoffunk, that it’s my favorite P-Funk release from that year. I’m not certain how true it is, but I was once told a story that Clinton’s solo deal on Capitol Records (both Capitol and Liberty were sublabels of EMI Music) was an indirect result of his successful contributions to this song, a minor R&B hit when it was released.
“Frantic Moment” - Eddie Hazel (1977)
P-Funk’s guitar hero Eddie Hazel released one George Clinton-produced album, the blazing Game, Dames and Guitar Thangs. Included here because there’s likely someone who hasn’t yet been turned on to it, and everyone should. Background vocals are by the original Brides of Funkenstein (Lynn Mabry and Dawn Silva), during their first session with the Funk Mob after leaving Sly Stone.
“Funk with a Capital ‘G’” - Quazar (1978)
Vocalist and guitarist Glenn Goins led many a powerful Mothership landing in the mid-1970s during P-Funk’s live concerts. He left the group to lead his own group, Quazar, but passed away suddenly before the album was released. It’s a brief glimpse into what the world would have seen from Glenn, had he not been stricken with Hodgkin’s lymphoma at age 24. Most of the lead vocals are handled mightily by Glenn’s brother Kevin.
“It’s Too Funky in Here” - P-Funk All Stars (1982)
Originally issued as a 45 single-only release on Hump Records, this cover of James Brown’s 1979 hit is a workout for J.B.’s and Horny Horns veterans, saxophonist Maceo Parker and trombonist Fred Wesley. The label lists that it’s produced by George Clinton, Sly Stone, and Bootsy Collins, with rhythm arrangements by Stone and horn arrangements by Parker.
“We Came to Funk Ya” - Fred Wesley and the Horny Horns feat. Maceo Parker (1979)
Speaking of the horns, P-Funk’s Horny Horns was George Clinton’s answer to James Brown’s J.B.’s. In addition to Wesley and Parker, the horn section was rounded out by trumpeters Rick Gardner and Richard “Kush” Griffith.
“Suburban Family Lament” - Ruth Copeland (1971)
British-born vocalist Copeland’s two Invictus-label albums should be considered alongside the other Funkadelic releases. This song was co-written by Copeland and Eddie Hazel, and features a rhythm section of Funkadelic veterans including Hazel, “Billy Bass” Nelson, drummer Tiki Fulwood, and keyboardist Bernie Worrell.
“Shine-O-Myte (Rag Popping)” – William Bootsy Collins (1982)
I think this is the only Bootsy album where he includes his first name in the credits. In any case, it’s a song that’s not mentioned as much as it should be.
“Knock Down the Walls” - General Caine (1982)
A few years ago, I wrote the liner notes for the CD reissue of this excellent funk album which, as Terry McDowell told me, was heavily influenced by P-Funk. McDowell’s brother Mitch McDowell, bassist and leader of General Caine, filled this song (and its corresponding album, Girls) with plenty of P-Funk members, even though he himself was not directly a member of P-Funk. Brides of Funkenstein member Dawn Silva said, “Mitch called Atlantic Records (the Brides’ label) and wanted to have the P-Funk girls on his album. The Brides had pretty much broken up by then. Jeanette, who was with Parlet, and I were both living in Los Angeles, so I called her. He then asked us if we could get him in touch with (Parliament vocalist) Ray Davis. I called Ray, and Mitch flew him out to L.A.” Other P-Funkers on the album included Kevin Goins, Richard “Kush” Griffith, Maceo Parker and Fred Wesley. Even P-Funk art director Diem Jones created the album’s cover photography and design.
“We Do it All Day Long” - Sweat Band (1980)
P-Funk offshoot group Sweat Band was one of a few acts signed to George Clinton’s Uncle Jam Records, a label which only lasted three years. Its members were essentially Bootsy’s Rubber Band and Parliament-Funkadelic members. It’s an essential release for any P-Funk generalist or funk completist.
“The Party Train” - Bohannon (1982)
This song is usually the one that many P-Funk enthusiasts have never encountered. It’s a 9-minute Bohannon workout, only with vocals by legendary P-members Garry “Starchild” Shider and Ray Davis. If you listen long enough, you’ll hear Davis reprising his “tear the roof off” line from Parliament’s 1975 hit, “Tear the Roof Off the Sucker (Give Up the Funk)”.
“Shake Like T Mofo” - J.S. Theracon (1981)
Theracon is aka Junie Morrison, the mysterious and genius multi-instrumentalist who helped shaped the Ohio Players’ sound in the early 1970s and then, between some solo LPs, helped shape a new Parliament-Funkadelic sound in the late 1970s. By the early 80s, he resumed his solo career, for the most part, and this independent release on his own Akashic Records was all him on the rhythm section. However, he called in help from his P-Funk comrades Maceo Parker and Fred Wesley, as well as percussionist Larry Fratangelo, who was so prominent on Funkadelic’s “One Nation Under a Groove.”
“Uncle Jam Wants You to Join His Army” – Parliament-Funkadelic (1979)
Issued only as an Eva-Tone Soundsheet flexi-disc, recipients of this rare “unfinished” instrumental were instructed to mail in cassette recordings of themselves singing original lyrics, for a chance to win a grand prize of $25,000. A prize was never issued (as I was told), and I’ve heard some of those old cassettes. Some of them were damn good.
“Jam (Let’s Take it to the Streets)” - Five Special (1979)
This song features significant contributions by P-Funk’s keyboard “Wizard of Woo” Bernie Worrell. Detroit vocal group Five Special also included Steve Boyd, who’s been touring with the P-Funk All-Stars since 1995.
“Hydraulic Pump” Part 1 - P-Funk All Stars (1982)
There are additional parts (2 and 3) of this electro-funk hybrid featuring members of Parliament and Funkadelic with Sly Stone, but I’ve included the intro of part 1 so you can hear all the fun.
“Burnin’ Up” - Shider Family Band (Edit by Kon)
“Keep You Burning” was one of the rarest P-Funk-related songs that diggers could get their hands on until recently being reissued (thankfully) by the Headed Up label. Originally released in 1983, the Shider Family Band apparently includes a guest appearance from guitarist/vocalist Garry Shider himself. I’ve included this extended edit by master producer, remixer, and DJ artist KON, cause it’s more of what you’re funkin’ for.
“Standing on the Verge of Getting it On” - New Ghetto Express (circa 1974)
This band does not have any direct ties to P-Funk, but did this great (and sped up) instrumental cover of Funkadelic’s ’74 cut “Standing on the Verge of Getting it On.” Originally released on Unemployed Records.
“Mothership Konnection (Let Me Ride)” - Parliament (Edit by Kon)
Using rare stems and outtakes, remixer/producer KON has crafted this amazing remix of Parliament’s 1975 “Mothership Connection (Star Child).” Just when you thought you’ve heard all the P-Funk things. . .
“Love is Something” - Brides of Funkenstein (circa 1977)
Not released on any of the Brides’ official studio LPs, this was recorded during the sessions for Eddie Hazel’s self-titled debut, and features him on vocals as well.
“What So Never the Dance” – House Guest Rated X (1971)
This is Bootsy Collins’ crew, post J.B.’s and pre-America Eats its Young-era Funkadelic. The group also included future P-Funk vets “Catfish” Collins, guitar, and drummer Frankie “Kash” Waddy, who would also be integral members of Bootsy’s Rubber Band in the mid-late 1970s.
Commercial - George Clinton (circa 1979)
“Help from My Friends” – Parlet (1980)
From Parlet’s third and final LP, Play Me or Trade Me, which is one of the best P-Funk releases of that year. Its release coincided with the demise of Casablanca Records, which probably contributed to the album being lost in the shuffle.