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George Clinton and Parliament-Funkadelic

How Did George Clinton Start His Career?

Born in North Carolina in 1941 and raised in New Jersey, George Clinton is one of the most important figures in popular music, and considered essential to the creation of the sound of Funk. His bands Parliament and Funkadelic, often overlapping with each other in terms of band members and touring together, found fame by incorporating elements of the surreal, psychedelic and science fiction into funk and soul music.

As a teenager, Clinton formed The Parliaments, a group that had success with only one single, “I Wanna Testify”. Around this time in the late 1960s, Clinton also worked as a producer and a songwriter for Motown. Clinton eventually transformed The Parliaments into Parliament and Funkadelic, with both acts taking in elements inspired by Jimi Hendrix, James Brown, and other contemporaries, with Funkadelic having a more rock-oriented sound out of the two. The collective Parliament-Funkadelic eventually came to be known by its shorthand, “P-Funk”.

Who Were Parliament-Funkadelic?

Band members that played with Parliament-Funkadelic at various points include lead guitarist Eddie Hazel and bassist Bootsy Collins, amongst a collection of many other uniquely talented musicians. The discography of George Clinton and Parliament-Funkadelic followed a similar model to that of fellow experimental musician Frank Zappa, with an extensive list of albums and tracks released over the groups’ lifetimes. Notable albums from Clinton’s career include Maggot Brain by Funkadelic, and The Clones of Doctor Funkenstein by Parliament. A notable hit single for Funkadelic was One Nation Under a Groove, released in 1978, and more typical of dance music than most of the other tracks that were released by the band.

In 1982, George Clinton began his career as a solo artist, which in fact contained most of the same musicians as Parliament-Funkadelic. This name change was primarily due to legal reasons involving copyright and his signing to Capitol Records, along with a separate contract under the name The P-Funk All Stars. The 1980s led to Clinton having hits with “Loopzilla” and “Atomic Dog” along with a few others, but financial difficulties involving copyright issues prevented him from seeing the full extent of this commercial success.

Who Else Did George Clinton Work With?

As a producer, Clinton also worked on the Red Hot Chilli Peppers album “Freaky Styley”, writing the lyrics to its title track as well. George Clinton has had a seminal influence on the development of hip-hop, with his beats being sampled by many prominent names, most notably Dr. Dre, who used Clinton’s style as the influence for his own style, G-Funk. Rappers that George Clinton has worked with include Tupac Shakur, Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar, Kurtis Blow and others.

In 2018, George Clinton released the first new Parliament album in 38 years, “Medicaid Fraud Dogg”, on his own record label.

If you are a fan of George Clinton, P-Funk or any other rock, blues or soul music, why not come down to the best blues jam in London on Tuesdays and Fridays for free?

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