P-Funk magic from original Parliament and Funkadelic member Fuzzy Haskins.
For the last two years a new version of Funkadelic has been touring the world. George Clinton, cleaned up and be-suited, has been taking his version of the gospel of P-Funk on the road, whilst younger generations have been paying homage to this titan in the history of black music. However, the Parlifunkadelicment Thang was always a collective operation. It developed from Clinton and his New Jersey buddies taking music in a direction that hadn’t been heard before. In the next year, we will be aiming to shine a new light some of the more obscure P-funk material, starting this month with the recordings of Clarence “Fuzzy” Haskins.
Haskins joined the Parliaments when an original member left. He was there when the group toured on the back of their R&B #1 ‘I Wanna Testify’ and its follow-ups, and was instrumental in helping Clinton create Funkadelic from the members of the Parliaments’ touring back-up band. Funkadelic began as a necessity caused by a contractual dispute over use of the Parliaments’ name, but became a unique and wonderful idea and whose albums for Westbound, recorded between 1969 and 1976, are some of the most influential of the era.
By the time Clinton had re-launched Parliament and was scoring big R&B hits, his empire was rife with in-fighting. Haskins, feeling creatively unfulfilled, recorded his first solo album, “A Whole Nother Thang”, which saw him working with various Funkadelic and Parliament members on classics such as ‘Cookie Jar’ and the much-sampled ‘The Fuz And Da Boog’. It also took some pot-shots at Clinton, most notably in ‘Which Way Do I Disco’.
Despite this, Haskins was back with Clinton for the P-Funk Live Earth Tour, which criss-crossed America from late 1976 through to the summer of ’77. This led to a final break with Clinton, with arguments over money and creative control colliding with the start of a spiritual awakening for Haskins. This became fully realised on His second Westbound album, which although full of great tracks, featured lyrics that made him uncomfortable as he fully connected with his religion. He didn’t promote the record and by the early 80s he had retired from music.
This compilation, carefully put together by renowned P-Funk expert Marcel Visser, includes the best tracks from those albums, plus a couple subsequently found in the vaults, most notably the scorching instrumental ‘Gettin’ It Off’.