David Bederman | Potomac, MD United States | 03/27/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Bursting onto the Detroit music scene in 1970 was a new type of freaky sound, a band by the name of Funkadelic. Originally the backing band for leader George Clinton's "doo wop" (think The Temptations) group The Parliaments, Funkadelic became Clinton's recording name when he was embroiled in a contract dispute.Although the sound quality of the debut album is poorer than most (Westbound,..., have yet to remaster the Funkadelic collection, leaving it in a forgotten shambles), the music itself is A material. Funkadelic was VERY wild from the start, acid-laden rock with one psychadelic core (the band's sophomore album, "Free Your Mind and Your Ass Will Follow", continues this psychadelia to new heights). Their debut is very muted and soft compared to the later, heavier Funkadelic songs. It's a mish-mash of musical styles that manages to stay coherent thanks to the band's talent."Mommy, What's A Funkadelic?" is a very (and I mean VERY) funky 9-minute jam that opens the album. It has one killer bassline, some excellent guitar, and one witty monologue from Clinton about what his band stands for. It also features some amazing guitar work by what appears to be the late Eddie Hazel, a guitar god in his own right. Recently in concert Clinton and co. opened with "Mommy, What's A Funkadelic," a very cool experience (not to mention that live the bass guitar is deafening).Following "Mommy" is "I Bet You", a well-written love song with some freaky feedback experiments. Needless to say, this song was covered by the Jackson 5, and is very Motownish in lyrics. However, the aforementioned feedback experiments are a MUCH different sound than that of Motown, crackling like a cricket's chirping before mysteriously echoing away. Very eerie... As is Funkadelic custom, a wild guitar solo makes up the middle of the song."Music For My Mother" is an underrated song (for its whiny monologue), but the wah-wah guitar and laid-back atmosphere of the song are perfect. It's a song that grows on you over time."I Got A Thing" is the album's best song, a short track that starts with SUBLIME wah-wah guitar. Its lyrics, well-written ones about how all people can/should get along, are inspiring. And although the song begins very relaxed and "empty", in the middle it just jumps right into one of the most insane, unexpected, hardcore bridges ever. Then, the highlight of the song is when Fuzzy Haskins (the singer who became a preacher later) suddenly screams out a lyric, ending the first jam. The song gets relaxed again, but quickly flies into a second jam after the first. For the shortest song on the album, "I Got A Thang" is the best."Good Old Music", another very long jam, features one of the coolest drum intros ever and some wild, WILD guitar."Qualify and Satisfy" is a great blues tune."What is Soul?" closes the album, the trademark early Funkadelic freakout song. Opening with a strange George Clinton monologue, this song is designed to be VERY different; you can hear people taking bong hits in the background. Not to mention the lyrics, describing soul as "a hamhock in your cornflakes." Right.A near-perfect album, "Funkadelic" won't disappoint."
Michael Stack | North Chelmsford, MA USA | 06/20/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A record of mixed forms and styles, Funkadelic's debut shows a group trying to find their way-- they had yet to quite find their own direction and were firing off in many paths. The music that works best on here is the rawest of the material-- loose, open, and feeling like its teetering on the edge, manic guitar lines and seemingly random vocals, this material shines.
Sometimes I think people should throw on this CD and listen to "Mommy, What's a Funakdelic?" until it makes sense with your brain, then skip to the last track ("What Is Soul?") and see what you make of it. I know once I "got it", those two pieces and George Clinton's seemingly nonscensical ramblings
In truth, the band would do stronger material, but there's an edge to this stuff that would never again be duplicated. And for every "I Bet You" that drifts into straight r&b, there's a "Music For Your Mother" that strikes of deep south groove meets blistering city innovation. Its an album of blistering guitar playing (courtesy of unsung monster Eddie Hazel) and laid back grooves. Essential listening."
A very underated album
Meloh | Chocalate City, USA | 08/03/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Lets also consider the fact that this was Funkadelic's full length debut album. Unless you want to considered the failed Osimium album on Invictus, as well as a string of early singles. The track I'll Bet You was so motownish it was later covered by the Jackson5 on their second album ABC! I have seen reviews that copared this album to other psychedelic groups like Rare Earth. Yet I have always felt that the early Funkadelic albums are underated in the since that, they showed that albums can be spacey, trippy, and still hold on to a concept. Further more I would go as far to say that if early Funkadelic was more popular, they would have been just as well recieved as Pink Floyd. With heady music thats held together once again, by Clintons genuis toungue and cheek concept and humour. And ruthless guitar from the late great Eddie Hazel. This self titled album was a sure sign of the innovative Rock/funk to come, and serves as further proof that people of color had more than just a hand in creating what is called Rock/Alternative today."
Who Says a Black Group Can't Play Rock?
Meloh | 10/16/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)
"From a traditional point of view, the first three Funkadelic albums (this, Free Your Mind..., and Maggot Brain) are disasters--the combination of poorly (if at all) conceived songs, bad recording quality, and abysmal production is enough to put off yer tekkie geeks. But if you're interested in the power of the music, the way the elements (however poorly presented) play off of one another and affect the listener emotionally, you'll love 'em. The first three Funkadelic albums are all masterpieces; this is my favorite. Spacey, groovey rock with generous helpings of Eddie Hazel's walloping guitar is what you get here--none of the silly voices, LSD-drenched lyrical droppings, or staid song construction of later Clinton projects are at all in evidence here. Rather than the zaniness for which Clinton projects are known, this has more of a drony stoner vibe. And it rocks. Buy all three of 'em, but start here."
"5 stars for 5 reasons:
1 - this is the longer lp that westbound recorded (except the double alb.).
2 - this album make a transition in the history of soul/funk ; this is 60's funk with a bit of psychedelic like hendris used (weird f.x.)
3 - so it is much soulfull ; this makes the album special.
4 - wonderfull guitar tracks, and the rest of the crew kicks...
5 - i like it because of the vocals look as the temptations (cloud 9...)
this album goes to lovers of soul/funk in 1 ; a peice of collection that is still good to ear!"