Happy Parliafunkadelicment Thangday! Now with Real Artificial Flavor!

Happy Parliafunkadelicment Thangday!  It is a truly happy one indeed, for the weather is beautiful and I finally started working a little.  Plus, I have the company of Stella, who happens to love Mark Bittman cooking.

stella bittman

Anyways, here is today’s funky offering, Tales of Kidd Funkadelic (1976).  Eddie Hazel did not play much on this record. As a result, there is a lack of guitar for a Funkadelic release.  A  series of outtakes from the same recording sessions Hardcore Jollies (1976), they were given to Westbound by George to fulfill the contract.  The songs were then thrown together and  released by Westbound.  As a result, Tales of Kidd Funkadelic doesn’t work conceptually like many other Funkadelic releases.  Still, it is still a really solid, and overlooked album with plenty of funky produce.   Pedro Bell again contributed warped artwork.



Opening with pounding drums “Butt-to-Buttresuscitation” maintains a frantic pace and shredding groove. “Butt-to-Buttresuscitation” has shredding guitars, deep funky organ, squeling synth, and a hi-hat that holds the center.  Bernie gets to dance over everything on the first half, but the guitars increasingly dominate as the song goes on.  “Butt-to-Buttresuscitation” is one of the songs Eddie did appear on, and it is obvious.  They are still picking up the pace as the song finishes.

Eddie is present again on the short and funky “Let’s Take It to the People,” which has some lovely bass drops and lyrics.  I would like to hear a longer version of this.  It works on the same theme of “Let’s Take It to the Stage”

Poppin’ bass, a cornucopia of keys, and handheld percussive instruments generate an extremely slinky groove on “Undisco Kidd.”  George tells a story of the Undisco Kidd and  while playing with with puns.  The drums play it simple and steady.  Bernie has some outstanding moments.  Rhythm guitar becomes more prominent as the groove builds.  “Undisco Kidd” has outstanding production on it and is exceptionally layered.  I recommend listening to it on headphones.  You really should listen to all P-Funk records at least once with headphones.  Otherwise you miss out on a lot.

“Take Your Dead Ass Home! (Say Som’n Nasty)” is , but it goes on for a bit long.  It should have followed its’ advice and got it on eventually.  The groove is solid, but doesn’t really build.  Bernie’s dominant synth sound also gets a bit irritating.  Plus, the chorus is very repetitive.  I do like the beginning, which has some hilarious and sexual lyrics.  Ultimately though, “Take Your Dead Ass Home! (Say Som’n Nasty)” drags on too long.  It works much better live.

Glen Goins’ outstanding voice is prominent on “I’m Never Gonna Tell It,” which also has strong supporting vocals.  The rhythm of Bernie’s lead synth and the guitar players have a classical  mood to them.  Glen sings about how he is going to keep his suspicion’s about his woman’s cheating ways to himself until he can outright prove it.

“Tales of Kidd Funkadelic (Opusdelite Years)” is another epic, but goes on for too long.  Without Eddie’s shredding ability, the sonic contrast is lacking without Eddie’s interaction with Bernie.    Bernie’s playing is nothing special.  There is some heavy breathing. All in all, there isn’t enough to “Tales of Kidd Funkadelic (Opusdelite Years)” to really make it a song.

Following up the long and stagnant “Tales” with the short, deep and funky “How Do Yeaw View You?”  Funkadelic finishes the album in strong fashion.  “How Do Yeaw View You?” might be the best cut on the record.  There is actually a little guitar shredding, although it is still buried disconcertingly low for a Funkadelic record.  High pitched female vocals provide a nice contrast to the guitar.  George Clinton, Gary Shider, and Gary “Mudbone” Cooper all contribute vocally while Gary “Starchild” Shider played guitar.  It has a nice heavy groove and sonic chaotic slowdown.  Bernie plays some deep synth.  Listen really closely at the beginning and you can hear someone snorting cocaine, which is very fitting for a song about narcissistic, ego-centric individuals.

Personnel (“Funkadelic Main Invasion Force”):

Guitars: Michael Hampton, Gary Shider, Glen Goins
Keyboards, Synthesizers: Bernie Worrell
Bass: Cordell Mosson
Drums: Jerome Brailey
Percussion: Calvin Simon
Vocals: George Clinton, Calvin Simon, Ray Davis, Gary Shider, Fuzzy Haskins,
Grady Thomas, Glen Goins
Backup Vocals (“Maggotusi Vocal Choir”): Debbie Edwards, Pamela Vincent,
Cynthia Davis, Donna Davis, Jessica Cleaves, Debbie Wright, Taka Kahn

Track Listing:

Butt-to-Butt Resuscitation
{G Clinton, Eddie Hazel, B Worrell}  3:51
Let’s Take It to the People
{G Clinton, Garry Shider, E Hazel}  1:48
Undisco Kidd
{G Clinton, W Collins, B Worrell}  6:34
Take Your Dead Ass Home! (Say Som’n Nasty)
{G Clinton, G Shider, B Worrell, Glen Goins}  7:16
I’m Never Gonna Tell It
{G Clinton, B Worrell}  3:39
Tales of Kidd Funkadelic (Opusdelite Years)
{G Clinton, B Worrell}  12:52
How Do Yeaw View You?
{G Clinton, W Collins, B Worrell}  3:40

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