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Six Degrees of P-Funk: The Best of George Clinton & His Funky Family

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George Clinton 5/13/2003

Review

This compilation features some of the best solo material from the Parliament/Funkadelic crew during the late '70s and '80s under the direction of George Clinton. Ever the entrepreneur, Clinton had farmed his aggregate of loose booties to no less than five respective (major) labels. While technically Parliament was recording for Casablanca and Funkadelic was signed to Warner Bros., Clinton's short-lived Uncle Jam imprint was issued and distributed by Columbia/Epic. It is here that listeners find the 15 tracks -- nine of which are making their debut in the digital domain -- that comprise Six Degrees of P-Funk: The Best of George Clinton & His Funky Family (2003). While Clinton is the central figure, his most enduring contributions to each of these projects is to simply allow all of the artists involved to develop their unique substrata of funk -- which he does and they most certainly do. The disc rightfully kicks off with a pair of cuts from the P-Funk All Stars' The Awesome Power of a Fully Operational Mothership (1996). "If Anybody Gets Funked Up (It's Gonna Be You)" is a sample-heavy and highly danceable side featuring new breed funk-a-teers Erick Sermon of EPMD and MC Breed. "Funky Kind (Gonna Knock You Down)" contains a midtempo groove featuring a trademark full-ensemble vocal supporting Clinton's lead. This is followed by two cuts from bassist Bootsy Collins off of his sole Columbia long-player, What's Bootsy Doin'? (1988). His hardcore "Party on Plastic" and Prince sound-alike "Leakin'" are included here. Former Ohio Player Walter "Junie" Morrison climbed aboard the Mothership in the late '70s. From his solo projects Bread Alone (1980) and Junie 5 (1981) are the melodic and synthesizer-laden "Love Have Taken Me Over" and "Rappin' About Rappin'." Although business differences put the two at odds, Clinton and Jerome "Bigfoot" Brailey collaborated momentarily on the all-star side project Mutiny, whose hard-hittin' "Lump" and soulful "Funk 'n' Bop" come from their highly controversial and confrontational Mutiny on the Mamaship (1979). Philippe Wynne's Wynne Jammin (1980) was the only long-player that the vocalist issued on Uncle Jam and stands as one of the rare non-P-Funk-related projects that Clinton produced. The former lead singer for the Spinners includes both the ballad "Never Gonna Tell It" and the beat-heavy dance track "Breakout." The unmistakable sound of Bootsy Collins returns for the seminal hearty party fare "Freak to Freak." This is followed by the final non-P-Funk-related tracks from Champaign, IL, natives Micro Wave. The band -- led by multi-instrumentalist Michael Lane -- scored a Top 15 R&B platter with one of the tunes featured here, titled "Misunderstood." ~ Lindsay Planer
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  1. # Track Artist Length
  2. 1 If Anybody Gets Funked Up (It's Gonna Be You) George Clinton 4:21
  3. 2 Funky Kind (Gonna Knock It Down) George Clinton 5:35
  4. 3 Party on Plastic (What's Bootsy Doin'?) Bootsy Collins 3:57
  5. 4 Leakin' Bootsy Collins 4:17
  6. 5 Love Has Taken Me Over Junie 4:1
  7. 6 Rappin' About Rappin' (Uh-Uh-Uh) Junie 4:4
  8. 7 Lump Mutiny 4:35
  9. 8 Funk 'n' Bop George Clinton 4:17
  10. 9 Never Gonna Tell It Philippe Wynne 4:9
  11. 10 Breakout Philippe Wynne 5:4
  12. 11 Freak to Freak The Sweat Band 6:49
  13. 12 Instant Replay Mico Wave 5:5
  14. 13 Misunderstood George Clinton 7:38
  15. 14 One of Those Summers P-Funk All Stars 4:35
  16. 15 Pumpin' It Up P-Funk All Stars 6:59

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