Friday, June 6, 2008

Funk 101: "Now, Put Some Stank On It!"

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Dictionary definition of Funk: "body odor or the smell of sexual intercourse, commonly was regarded as coarse or indecent".

Who needs melody and harmony when you've got Bootsy Collins or Larry Graham (Sly and the Family Stone) on bass.

Who needs complexity when one pocketful of funk, repeated over and over is more than enough...

Why eat caviar when Archie Bell and the Drells are cooking up a storm on Tighten Up!

Funk probably started with Motown, given the central role of the bass and was picked up by the master, James Brown (Live at the Apollo rules !), Sly and the Family Stone (below: they played Woodstock), George Clinton and Parliament-Funkadelic (I saw them three years ago, he came on wearing a nappy). The first song ever recorded though may have been jazzman Buddy Bolden's "Funky Butt" way back in 1907.

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Top Ten

1 I've Got the Feeling James Brown
2 Soul with a Capital S: Tower of Power
3 Soul Power: Maceo Parker
4 Ride the White Horse The Gap Band
5 Freak George Clinton and parliament-Funkadelic
6 Blow Your Head Fred Wesley and the JB's
7 Freakazoid Midnight Starr
8 Little Old Money Maker The Meters
9 Black Sweat Prince
10 Candy Cameo

(this ones for John!)

Images: Paisley Park

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the post on the funk. I write about many of these artists in my book, Sly: the Lives of Sylvester Stewart and Sly Stone. I hope you'll check it out.