I have been sitting next to a 17-year-old kid who is proving to be very low maintenance as far as being a seat mate is concerned. Being a product of his time and generation, he has been plugged into his cell phone the entire time but, as with his generation, he has not exhibited any other signs of OCD-ness (fidgeting, et al.) and therefore my need to kill him. Moving on then to a little wewantthefunk with the ‘Funkentelechy vs. The Placebo Syndrome‘ album by Parliament.
Parliament simply poured it on for this amazing album, clearly one of its all-time best. The amount of times this album has been sampled for other music by other artists is uncountable.
Besides having an absolutely wonderful name, it contained at least three of the finest Parliament tunes ever, including arguably its signature song. ‘Flash Light‘, which closes ‘Funkentelechy‘ on a riotous high, has it all – a brilliant fake ending, instant singalong value, a synth-bassline to kill for from Bernie Worrell, and so much more.
As the album ends, so too does it begin, with a stone-cold classic – ‘Bop Gun (Endangered Species)‘. Starting with a brisk little guitar figure and beat, it turns into an instant party on all fronts, with great lead vocals and an addictive chorus, the Horny Horns and company hitting the grooves and blasting hard. Worrell’s laser noises and shimmering keyboard leads and Cordell Mosson’s monster bass squelches send everything all that much more over the top. Another song title says it all – ‘Sir Nose D’Voidoffunk (Pay Attention — B3M)‘. Treated with vocoders to an absurd degree, ‘Sir Nose‘ became the legendary enemy of funk, specifically the Starchild, on many a P-Funk recording (that’s the two of them on the hilarious cover, the Starchild himself operating the Bop Gun). The throwaway lines in this song are almost legendary in and of themselves, while the music itself is a great slow build and burn rhythm that piles more on as it goes, with singers, horns, and more taking it to a climax. ‘Funkentelechy‘ and ‘The Placebo Syndrome‘ both have plenty of goodness as well, while ‘Wizards of Finance‘ is an amusing retro diversion, helping make Funkentelechy the highlight it is.
While I listened to this gem I also destroyed a bag of Bits n’ Bites so now I’m feeling the urge to crop dust a fart through the cabin on the way to the bathroom because, hey, I gotta be me.
Besides, no one ever said that I was low maintenance.