The 10 Best Parliament-Funkadelic Songs

George Clinton and Parliament-Funkadelic

The musical collective known as Parliament-Funkadelic is also known as P-Funk, which first came together as The Parliaments in Plainfield, New Jersey in 1956 by then fifteen-year-old George Clinton. The band’s name was inspired by a brand product known as Parliament cigarettes. As of the early 1960s, the band became a solid line-up of five musicians. Alongside George Clinton were Ray “Stingray” Davis, Clarence “Fuzzy” Haskins, Calvin Simon, and Grady Tomas. At one point early in their musical career, they rehearsed in a barbershop partially owned by Clinton, entertaining the visiting customers at the same time. It wasn’t until 1967 The Parliaments released their first single ((I Wanna) Testify) when Clinton was commuting to Detroit, Michigan as a songwriter and producer for Motown Records. Alongside with band members of The Parliaments were musicians Clinton put together to accompany them on tours.

He assembled Billy Brass Nelson, Eddie Hazel, Tawl Ross, Tiki Fulwood, and Mickey Atkins whom he later brought forward from their backup positions after he lost a contractual dispute to continue using the name The Parliaments. The inspired Nelson dubbed this new line-up as Funkadelic due to the band’s heavy usage of psychedelic rock, one which they adopted after officially relocating to Detroit. Clinton signed Funkadelic to Westbound Records, which also included members from The Parliaments, whom he registered as guests, which is noted on Funkadelic’s self-titled debut album when it was released in 1970.

Clinton did regain the right to use The Parliaments again but changed it to Parliament. The music style of Parliament, despite having the same ten members also registered with Funkadelic, is a softer brand of funk, serving as Clinton’s counterpoint from Funkadelic’s rock style. In 1974, the bands of Funkadelic and Parliament played as one unit, going with the collective name of Parliament-Funkadelic. As separate entities, both bands achieved great success on the music charts, namely in the rock and R&B genres. Over time, line-up changes between both bands, plus some of the side gigs individual band members took on, eventually saw an official merging that is more commonly referred to today either as Parliament-Funkadalic or P-Funk.

10. I Wanna Know If It’s Good to You? (as Funkadelic)

 

Coming from Funkadelic’s second album (Free Your Mind… and Your Ass Will Follow), which was released in 1970, features a track that peaked as high as #27 on the US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart and #81 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart.

9. I’ll Bet You (as Funkadelic)

 

The 1969 self-titled debut album (Funkadelic) featured one of its two hits (I’ll Bet You), which climbed to #22 on the US R&B and Hip-Hop chart and #63 on the US Billboard Hot 100. This song seemed to serve as the official introduction to music fans that the psychedelic rock style from Funkadelic was about to carve a whole new era of rock music that helped fuel the explosion of disco, new wave, and what rhythm and blues would also adopt hip-hop into its fold.

8. Chocolate City (as Parliament)

 

Peaking as high as #24 on the US R&B/Hip-Hop chart in 1975 is the release (Chocolate City), which comes from the album of the same name. It also reached #94 on the US Billboard Hot 100.

7. Theme from the Black Hole (as Parliament)

 

Coming from Parliament’s 1980 album (Gloryhallastoopid) features the single (Theme from the Black Hole), which peaks as high as #8 on the US R&B/Hip-Hop chart. It also made Parliament’s one and only appearance on the US Dance Club Songs chart, coming in at #69.

6. Up for the Down Stroke (as Parliament)

 

Parliament’s second album (Up for the Down Stroke) features its single with the same name, which charts to #10 on the US R&B/Hip-Hop chart in 1974. With the US Billboard Hot 100, it peaked at #63.

5. Aqua Boogie (A Psychoalphadiscobetabioaquadoloop) (as Parliament)

 

In 1978, as Parliament, the song (Aqua Boogie) is released from their album (Motor Booty Affair). It charted as high as #1 on the US R&B/Hip-Hop chart and #89 on the Us Billboard Hot 100.

4. (Not Just) Knee Deep (as Funkadelic)

 

1979 saw the single (Knee Deep) from Funkadelic’s album (Uncle Jam Wants You) reach #1 on the US R&B/Hip-Hop chart, #43 on US Dance Club Songs, and #77 on US Billboard Hot 100. It is a cult favorite among P-Funk’s fans, one which is played often in clubs that cater to psychedelic funk and rock genres.

3. Tear the Roof off the Sucker (Give Up the Funk) (as Parliament)

 

From the 1976 album (Mothership Connection) that’s credited to Parliament, the song (Tear the Roof off the Sucker) became one of the most famous P-Funk songs of all time and it earned Gold certification from the Recording Industry Association of America. It is considered a cult classic, often chosen as a favorite piece to play by inspired musicians of every musical level. On the US R&B chart, it scored as high as #5 while on the US Billboard Hot 100 at #15.

2. Flashlight (as Parliament)

 

The most commercially successful song (Flashlight) P-Funk is best known for overall comes from their 1978 album (Funkentelechy vs. the Placebo Syndrome). Peaking at #1 on the US R&B chart, as well as #15 on the US Billboard Hot 100, this single also achieved RIAA’s Gold certification. Among most of P-Funk’s fans and music critics worldwide, it is regarded as their all-time favorite.

1. One Nation Under a Groove (as Funkadelic)

 

According to the music charts of 1978, this single from Funkadelic’s album of the same name (One Nation Under a Groove) was one of the “it” songs of its time. It reached #1 on the US R&B/Hip-Hop chart, #28 on the US Billboard Hot 100, and #31 on the US Dance Club Songs chart. Even with the UK Singles Chart, it peaked as high as #9. It is the only single from P-Funk’s entire discographic roster that achieved a chart rank outside the US.

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