Sunday, October 01, 2006

Really Getting It On

Funkadelic, Standing on the Verge of Getting It On, Westbound [Reissue]

Several years ago, I loaned my copy of this groovy disc to a co-worker at a certain internet retailer and never got it back (shortly afterwards, we were re-org'ed, then made redundant). I wonder if he was friends with the other wage slave who absconded with my Chambers Brothers cassette back in the 1980s...? Birds of a feather and all that.

So, a few months ago, I added it to my wish list and just received a copy for my birthday (thanks, Mom!). Though I still prefer the harder funk of side one to the more expansive funk of side two, the whole damn thing is essential if you're down with the Mothership.

Standing on the Verge of Getting It On (1974) isn't Funkadelic's best album, nor is it their worst, but it's certainly one of their sexiest ("Red Hot Momma," "Alice in My Fantasies, " etc.). The main reason I mention it is because I started looking through the CD booklet and instantly remembered how fun their crazy credits and Pedro Bell's intricate magic marker-drawn artwork always were--an integral part of the P-Funk package--so I've decided to reproduce my favorite bits.

Front cover: There's a naked ochre-colored fellow in the lower left hand corner holding a sign that reads, "United Streaker Front." His head, which is inordinately large, has a lightning bolt design on it. Also, he's wearing purple roller skates (with blue wings).

Back cover: An African-American guy in the center, wearing an Ancient Rome-meets-Star Trek outfit (breastplate, spiked armbands, etc.), exclaims, "There's nothing harder to stop than a idea whose time has come to pass! Funkadelic is wot time it is!"

Then you open up the booklet. Below the song credits, it reads:

Protect your loved ones from Grand Fraud Railroad.
Tell your local radio station to play FUNKADELIC MUSIC! So Be It!




The band members are listed as follows:

FUNKADELIC

Bernard (Bernie) Worrell: Spaced Viking; keyboards & vocals
Calvin Simon: tenor vocals, congas and suave personality
Clarence "Fuzzy" Haskins: a prototype werewolf;
berserker octave vocals
C. "Boogie" Mosson: World's only black Leprechaun;
bass & vocals
Eddie "Smedley Smorganoff" Hazel: Maggoteer lead/solo guitar & vocals
Gary Shider: rhythm/lead guitar, doowop vocals, sinister grin
George Clinton: Supreme Maggot Minister of Funkadelia; vocals, maniac froth and spit; behavior illegal in several States
R. "Tiki" Fulwood: percussion & vocals;
equipped with stero armpits
Ron Bykowski: rhythm/lead guitar; polyester
soul-powered token white devil
"Shady" Grady Thomas: Registered and licensed genie; vocals
Ray (Stingray) Davis: Subterranean bass vocals,
supercool and stinky fingers

A PARLIAMENTFUNKADELICMENT THANG

Endnote: Man, that is all you need to know about this album. Fuck reviews, fuck liner notes. No, not really. It just felt good to say that. My favorite part: The description of Boogie Mossun as "World's only black Leprechaun"--take that, Michael Jackson! Oh, and George Clinton, AKA Supreme Maggot Minister of Funkadelia, just appeared on the second season premiere of CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother. Will wonders never cease? I meant to tune in, but forgot...I'll be keeping my eye out for the repeat.



I should add that I've been listening to the new Decemberists CD, The Crane Wife, all weekend. Though the only funk in the band is string player Chris Funk, they put just as much care into their packaging. Credit Colin Meloy's companion, Carson Ellis, for another wonderful set of period-perfect illustrations. The LP artwork tradition lives on in the CD era--and in the most unlikely of places, no less. Let's hear it for a P-Funk/Decemberists joint tour! Images from The Mothership of All P-Funk Photo Galleries.

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