RICKY VINCENT

This list of essential funk recordings is from the book entitled FUNK 'The MUSIC, the PEOPLE, and the RHYTHM of THE ONE' by Rickey Vincent. The ISBN is: 0-312-13499-1. I highly recommend you pick this book up. You can get it used for $10 at Amazon. At the back of the book, Ricky lists a 100 or so funk LPs that he recommends, and this is them. This is how I started my funk LP collection, and many of these records are for sale at this site.


Albums in this list are rated as follows:

***   = Superior - good grooves and good ideas, but could improve
****  = Monster  - killer grooves, and a total listening experience
***** = Classic  - Must listen to it, or you're faking the funk!

"Some of the albums are diverse, while some are all-funk. Commentary explains 
the flavor of each record. Compilations and greatest-hits packages are not
emphasized, and only referred to when an album extends the base of the
artist's catalog. Apologies to artists left off of this list. Albums 
available on CD in the US market as of 1995 are noted at the right."


CHAPTER 5 / THE 196OS: IF 6 WAS 9   Essential Funk Albums of the 1960s

RATING  YR  ARTIST              ALBUM TITLE                         COMMENTS
****    63  James Brown / Live at the Apollo  hottest jam of all time
****    67  Aretha Franklin / Never Loved a Man  the quintessential Aretha, features "Respect"                         CD
****    68  Aretha Franklin / Aretha Now  Aretha gets down and fonky
****    68  Sly and the Family Stone / Dance to the Music  undeniable vibe, monster grooves
*****   69  Sly and the Family Stone / Stand!  the original funk album, a classic                                      CD
***     69  James Brown / Say It Loud  breakthrough funk session, includes "Licking Stick"                             CD
****    69  James Brown / It's a Mother  scandalous proto-funk rhythms
****    69  Isaac Hayes / Hot Buttered Soul  extended soul/rock workouts                                               CD
****    67  The Beatles / Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band  groovy psychedelic rock and proto-funk                CD

CHAPTER 6 / THE RHYTHM REVOLUTION: TIGHTEN UP   Essential Rhythm Revolution Albums

***     65  James Brown / Papa's Got a Brand New Bag  rhythmic madness made sense
****    67  The Bar-Kays / Soul Finger  Memphis groove at its stankiest                                                CD
****    67  Mar-Keys and Booker T & the MGs / Back to Back  utterly stanky jam session
*****   69  The Meters / Here Come The Meters  classic nonstop hard-core funk riffs
*****   70  Charles Wright and the Watts / Express Yourself   grooving masterpiece of soul and rhythm
            103rd Street Rhythm Band
***     73  Manu Dibango / Soul Makossa  African funk at its best
*****   82  James Brown / Can Your Heart Stand It!  one of the nastayest compilations ever
*****   85  Atlantic Rhythm & Blues / Atlantic Rhythm & Blues Vol. 6 (1966-69)  all-star lineup of smelly soul
****    88  Stax / Son of Stax Funk  even more stankier Stax hits                                                      CD
***     94  Rhine Roots of Funk Vol. 1/2  worthy proto-funk selections, includes "Funky Broadway"                      CD

CHAPTER 7 / THE GODFATHER: SOUL POWER   Essential James Brown Funk Albums

***+    68  Live at the Apollo Vol. II  side two workout says it all about the birth of funk
***     69  Say It Loud  mixes proto-funk with soulful ballads                                                         CD
****    69  It's a Mother  primordial funk at its best
****    70  It's a New Day...  churning groove tracks define the original funk
***     70  Sex Machine  relentless funk workout featuring Bootsy and Catfish Collins                                  CD
****    70  Superbad  uneven jam session features ten intense minutes of "Superbad"
****    71  Hot Pants  naked grooves that won't quit. CD has twenty-minute mix of hot pants                            CD
****    72  There It Is  tight, socially conscious and ruthless grooves                                                CD
****    72  Get on the Good Foot  extended, uneven, but jams like crazy                                                CD
****    73  Black Caesar  wicked if understated rhythm session                                                         CD
****    73  Slaughter's Big Rip-Off  instrumental teaser still packs a punch                                           CD
*****   74  The Payback  relentless double barrel of classic funk tracks. The BOMB                                     CD
***+    74  Hell  extended, diverse selections that kick the groove                                                    CD
***+    74  Reality  great arrangements. Includes "Funky President"                                                    CD
****    75  SexMachine'75  forgotten masterwork of stanky, sweaty, extended jams
***     76  Get Up Offa That Thang  hits and misses
***     77  Body Heat  James still has it, but only here and there
***     76  Mutha's Nature  quirky and not well-produced
****    78  jam 1980s  straight dance jams get the job done - "Nature", "Jam" and "Spank' all hit
***     79  For Goodness Sakes...  twelve-minute title jam one of the Godfather's nastayest
*****   72  JBs / Food for Thought  masters of the rhythm tracks in full effect, including the grunt                   CD
****    73  Fred Wesley & the JBs / Doin' It to Death  title says it all                                               CD
*****   74  Fred Westey & the JBs / Damn Right I Am Somebody  funk rhythm masterpiece-taken from Payback sessions      CD
****    75  Fred Wesley & the JBs / Breakin' Bread  the lost Fred Wesley sessions; complex yet loose
****    74  Maceo & the Macks / Us  complex and unrelenting funk assault
*****   83  Doin' It to Death  wicked package of crucial '70-'73 selections
****    84  Ain't That a Groove  tight comp of '66 -'69 crucial jams
****    85  Mother Lode  unreleased gems from the hardcore funk archives
*****   88  In the Jungle Groove  the Bootsy years and then some. Incredible                                           CD
****    86  CD of JB  the JB hit parade. Still kicks                                                                   CD
****    88  CD of JB II  irreverent classics like "Say It Loud" and "I Don't want Nobody To Give Me Nothin'"           CD
*****   90  Star Time  the mother of all compilations                                                                4 CDs

CHAPTER 8 / THE FAMILY STONED: I WANNA TAKE YOU HIGHER   Essential Sly and the Familv Stone Albums

***     68  Dance to the Music  undeniable vibe, monster grooves
***     68  Life  silly and quirky even by Sly's standards
*****   69  Stand!  the original funk album, a classic                                                                 CD
*****   70  Greatest Hits  catchy and relentless funk introduction                                                      CD
*****   72  There's a Riot Goin' On  primordial funk ether. Absolutely crucial                                         CD
*****   73  Fresh  gurgling swamp of funk. All time killer                                                             CD
***     74  Small Talk  uneven but essential Sly experience nevertheless
****    75  I Get High on You  totally underrated seventies sound of Sly
***     77  Heard Ya Missed Me ...  didn't miss much
***     79  Ain't But the One Way  quirky and catchy as usual, just not gripping
*****   81  Anthology   broader selection of infectious humps                                                          CD

CHAPTER 9 / BLACK ROCK: GIVIN' IT BACK   Essential Black Rock Albums

*****   67  Jimi Hendrix / Are You Experienced?  original psychedelic blues. The tip of the iceberg                    CD
*****   68  Jimi Hendrix / Axis: Bold as Love  depressing and inspiring, throbbing and floating ...                    CD
*****   68  Jimi Hendrix / Electric Ladyland  timetraveling, consciousness-warping opus                                CD
*****   70  Jimi Hendrix / Band of Gypsys  Hendrix, Billy Cox, and Buddy Miles at their fonkayest                      CD
            Jimi Hendrix / All other recordings
*****   70  Funkadelic / Funkadelic  spacey, grooving, nastay classic                                                  CD
*****   70  Funkadelic / Free Your Mind and Your Ass Will Follow  searing, dark masterwork                             CD
*****   71  Funkadelic / Maggot Brain  the ultimate Funkadelic                                                         CD
            Funkadelic / All other recordings (See Chapters 17 and 18)
****    71  Ohio Players / Pain  twisting, swarming splatter of genius                                                 CD
****    72  Ohio Players / Pleasure  powerful and diverse features "Funky Worm"
****    73  Ohio Players / Ecstasy  nasty, stomping, sizzling fonk
***     74  Ohio Players / Climax  stanky instrumental workouts
***     68  Muddy Waters / Electric Mud  electric blues at its best
***     70  Buddy Miles Express / Them Changes  left Jimi and kept kickin'
****    71  Buddy Miles Express / Message to the People ...  grooving, soulful, and rocking
*****   69  Sly and the Family Stone / Stand!  the standard for funk-rock fusion
****    69  Isaac Hayes / Hot Buttered Soul  extended brooding ballads redefine soul and rock                          CD
*****   70  Bar-Kays / Gotta Groove  awesome instrumental jam session
***     71  Isaac Hayes / Shaft soundtrack  defined the seventies sound features Bar-Kays at their best                CD
***     71  Bar-Kays / Black Rock  defining workouts for ex-backup act. Thick, but raggedy                             CD
***     73  Bar-Kays / Coldblooded  solid set of twisted brooding, bluesy funk
****    70  Mandrill / Mandrill  disarming extremes of Afro-pop, rock, and funk in one package
****    72  Mandrill / Mandrill Is  stirring synthesis and thick chops
****    73  Mandrill / Composite Truth  multifaceted and memorable, on the verge of superstardom
***     73  Mandrill / Just Outside of Town  catchy, punchy, creative, and tight
***     71  Isley Brothers / Givin' It Back  all acoustic covers 'If rock standards. Unique and compelling
***     72  lsley Brothers / Brother, Brother, Brother  folky, soulful and meaningful
***     73  Isley Brothers / 3+3 Featuring "That Lady"  introduces younger Isleys and jams                             CD
*****   74  Isley Brothers / Live It Up  blends rock, funk, soul, and blues brilliantly. A masterwork
*****   71  War / All Day Music  awesome latin funk mix features "Slipping into Darkness"                              CD
*****   72  War / The World Is a Ghetto  Grammy-winning masterpiece of grooves and realism                             CD
****    73  War / Deliver the Word  no pop hits, but still hits powerful grooves                                       CD
****    74  War / War Live  brilliant live set recorded in 1972 Chicago snowstorm                                    2 CDs
****    75  War / Why Can't We Be Friends?  catchy, charming, and diverse                                              CD
*****   76  War / War's Greatest Hits  all-time jams and disc logo a cultural artifact                                 CD
*****   77  War / Platinum jazz  best of instrumental jams, plus many new ones. A monster                             CD
***     70  Santana / Santana  mind-blowing expanse of rhythm, rock riffs, and stirring vocals                         CD
****    71  Santana / Abraxas  fierce instrumental jams, and latin rock classic "Oye Como Va"                          CD
***     72  Santana / Santana  captures west-coast rock and soul flavors while still kicking jams                      CD
****    73  Graham Central Station / Graham Central Station  indescribably delicious soulful rock
****    74  Graham Central Station / Release Yourself  hard, deep, gospel-flavored rock and funk
****    75  Graham Central Station / Ain't No Bout a Doubt It  throbbing funk opus. Features "The jam"
***     76  Graham Central Station / Mirror  crazy funk and apocalyptic gospel-rock
****    77  Graham Central Station / Now Do You Wanta Dance  misnamed funk-rock blow-out
****    78  Graham Central Station / My Radio Sure Sounds Good to Me  old-school vibe in stellar funk age
****    76  Johnny Guitar Watson / Ain't That a Bitch  stylish and sassy masterpiece                                   CD
****    77  Johnny Guitar Watson / A Real Mother for Ya  strong and snappy follow-up                                   CD

CHAPTER 10 / FUNKY SOUL: EXPRESS YOURSELF   Essential Funky Soul LPs

****        Ray Charles / The Essential Ray Charles  works out in any format. Can't miss
***     68  Temptations / Cloud Nine  stirring breakthrough of psychedelic Motown                                      CD
***     70  Temptations / Psychedelic Shack  spacey, deep, and grooving
***     72  Temptations / All Directions  grooving, kicking, and deep                                                  CD
***     75  Temptations / Song For You  monstrous. Features P-Funkers E. Hazel and B. Nelson
****    70  Undisputed Truth / Undisputed Truth  underrated psychedelic soul masterpiece. Features "Smiling Faces"
***     71  Stevie Wonder / Music of My Mind  oozing, subconscious exploration                                         CD
****    72  Stevie Wonder / Talking Book  liquid soul-funk genius                                                      CD
*****   73  Stevie Wonder / Innervisions  the all-time funk-soul album                                                 CD
****    74  Stevie Wonder / Fulfillingness' First Finale  meticulous, masterful creation                               CD
*****   76  Stevie Wonder / Songs in the Key of Life  endless, elaborate opus                                          CD
*****   71  Marvin Gaye / What's Goin' On  political, moral manifesto of soul                                          CD
****    73  Marvin Gaye / Let's Get It On  erotic, exquisite manifesto of sexuality                                    CD
****    75  Marvin Gaye / I Want You  breathy package of grooving genius                                               CD
****    79  Marvin Gaye / Here, My Dear  bittersweet palate of sweetly layered groove                                  CD
****    70  Donny Hathaway / Everything Is Everything  flowing, strong, and deep. Features "The Ghetto"
*****   75  Barry White / Greatest Hits  sexy, strong, and thick. Awesome
***     72  Aretha Franklin / Young, Gifted and Black  inconsistent but daring. Includes "Rock Steady"
****    72  Curtis Mayfield / Superfly Soundtrack  definitive funky soul soundtrack
****    73  The New Birth / Birth Day  grooving and raw
***   73-78 MFSB / Best of Phase I  compilation of catchy instrumetal grooves
****    72  O'Jays / Back Stabbers  intricate and compelling soul manifestos                                           CD
****    74  O'Jays / Ship Ahoy  powerful, artistic, consciousness-raising session                                      CD
***     75  O'Jays / Survival  punchy and street-smart package of soul-funk
****    76  O'Jays / Family Reunion  heartfelt synthesis of Gamble & Huff brilliance. Also jams

CHAPTER 11 / JAZZ-FUNK FUSION: THE CHAMELEON   Essential Jazz-Funk Albums

***     70  Miles Davis / Bitches Brew  oozing, primordial proto-funk
****    71  Miles Davis / Jack Johnson  hard rock under the label of jazz
****    71  Miles Davis / Live at Fillmore  scorching, thrashing splatter
***     73  Miles Davis / On the Corner  Miles doing his best to reach the kids. Dissonant, irreverent jam session
***     74  Miles Davis / Big Fun Miles  trying again to reach the youth. Spacy, and slick
*****   75  Miles Davis / Aghartha and Pangea Live  masterwork from Japan. His last for over five years
***     81  Miles Davis / The Man with the Horn  underrated comeback album for Miles. Features "Fat Time"
***     83  Miles Davis / You're Under Arrest  flashes of brilliance, flashes of the end to come
*****   93  Miles Davis / Doo Bop  original hip hop jazz. Slickest, tightest, hardest jamsession of 1993!
*****   73  Herbie Hancock / Headhunters  magnificent and defining fusion of jazz and funk                             CD
***     74  Herbie Hancock / Thrust  grooving and experimental workouts
****    75  Herbie Hancock / Man-Child  well-packaged, with slick and sharp funky jams                                 CD
****    76  Herbie Hancock / Secrets  diverse masterwork of moods, grooves, and jazz-funk riffs                        CD
***     77  Herbie Hancock / V. S. O. P.  Very Special Onetime Performance includes nasty funk sides
***     78  Herbie Hancock / Sunlight  somewhat digitized treatment of jazzy  dance music
*****   79  Herbie Hancock / Feets Don't Fail Me Now  underrated masterpiece of disco and funk                         CD
*****   75  Headhunters / Surival of the Fittest  vicious, scandalous, twisted funk stew
****    74  Crusaders / Southern Comfort  vast and intensely creative two-disc set of funky jazz
****    75  Crusaders / Chain Reaction  tight, thumping liquid flow
***     73  Donald Byrd / Blackbyrd  pioneering grooving jazz session with R&B backup
***     75  Donald Byrd / Places and Spaces  tight package of slick funk and easy jazz
****    74  Blackbyrds / The Blackbyrds  brilliant, fluid groove session introduces instant stars
****    75  Blackbyrds / Flying Start  smoothly packaged set includes pop hit 'Walking in Rhythm'
*****   75  Blackbyrds / City Life  wild and highly creative set of Monster Jams. Essential
***     76  Blackbyrds / Unfinished Business  slicker and smoother. Kicks but doesn't elevate
****    75  Ramsey Lewis / Sun Goddess  wild flavors of jazz, funk and percussive groove                               CD
***     76  Ramsey Lewis / Don't It Feel Good  thumpinq, focused set of thick funk jazz
****    77  Ramsey Lewis / Salongo  elegant and diverse
****    75  Minnie Riperton / Adventures in Paradise  warm and joyous, deceptively funky, and sexy
****    74  Quincy Jones / Body Heat  steamy gurgling swamp of funky soul and jazz
****    75  Quincy Jones / Mellow Madness  varied and rich, with touches of nastayness
****    75  Grover Washington, Jr. / Mr. Magic  exquisitely groovy; definitive funky soul-jazz                         CD
*****   76  Grover Washington, Jr. / Feels So Good  monstrous. Hard and thick                                          CD
****    77  Grover Washington, Jr. / Reed Seed  blends with band Locksmith to bring funky jazz to its peak
*****   77  Grover Washington, Jr. / Live at the Bijou  an elevated level of warmth, technique, and funk groove
****    77  George Duke / Reach for It  smorgasbord of styles, topped off with monster jam "Reach for It"              CD
****    78  George Duke / Don't Let Go  slicker, smoother, and even nastayer                                           CD
****    76  Stanley Clarke / School Days  most thoroughly, thumpalistic funk sessions                                  CD
***     75  Return to Forever / No Mystery  elaborate and spastic set of funky jazz-fusion
***     78  Weather Report / 8:30  best example of bassist Pastorious' mutant grooves and band's warped senses
***     70  Tower of Power / East Bay Grease  sloppy, and raggedly horn-heavy R&B. Smelly                              CD
****    73  Tower of Power / Tower of Power  unbridled mastery of funk, jazz, and soul styles                          CD
***     74  Tower of Power / Back to Oakland  inspired workouts
***     74  Tower of Power / Urban Renewal  can't miss session of catchy jams
***     76  Tower of Power / Live and in Living Color  out of control workouts still jam
*****   77  Pleasure / Joyous   forgotten masterpiece of flavors and styles
***     78  Pleasure / Future Now  rugged and thumping jam session. Features "Glide"
****    88  Ornette Coleman / Virgin Beauty  twisted, grooving, harmolodic funk                                        CD
*****   80  Defunkt / Defunkt   propulsive and stinky                                                                  CD
****    82  Defunkt / Thermonuclear Sweat  scandalous, rugged riffs. Features Vernon Reid's guitar                     CD
***     81  James "Blood" Ulmer / Black Rock  spastic and irreverent guitar noise
***     92  Mike Clark and Paul Johnson / The Funk Stops Here  the funk kicks here                                     CD

CHAPTER 12 / POWER TO THE PEOPLE: IT'S JUST BEGUN   Essential Black Power Albums

*****   71  James Brown / Revolution of the Mind  quintessential live LP of Brown's political era                      CD
****    70  Curtis Mayfield / Curtis  scorching, purposeful, and rich
***     70  Curtis Mayfield / Roots  heartfelt and somber
****    71  Curtis Mayfield / Curtis Live  powerfully hopeful
****    73  Bill Withers / Bill Withers Live  radical, yet touching
****    69  Gil Scott-Heron / Small Talk at 125 St. & Lenox  vicious anti-establishment rap                            CD
****    70  Gil Scott-Heron / Pieces of a Man  from sentimental jazz to revolutionary poetry                           CD
****    74  Gil Scott-Heron / The First Minute of a New Day  richly musical, and deeply political
****    75  Gil Scott-Heron / Winter in America  bittersweet and introspective
*****   81  Gil Scott-Heron / Reflections  cutthroat assault on Reagan
*****   70  The Last Poets / The Last Poets  as nasty and truthful as it gets                                          CD
*****   71  The Last Poets / This Is Madness  thematic, truthful, and balls to the wall                                CD
***     72  Lightnin' Rod / Hustler's Convention  the original gangsta rap track                                       CD

CHAPTER 14 / UNITED FUNK: THE SHINING STAR   Essential United Funk Albums

****    72  Jimmy Castor Bunch / It's Just Begun  brilliant, grooving, and diverse
***     74  Jimmy Castor Bunch / Butt, of Course  silly, thick groove sessions
***     75  Jimmy Castor Bunch / The Everything Man  ruthless stomp-fest, like all his later LPs
****    70  Kool & the Gang / Kool & the Gang  rhythmic horn-heavy instrumental jam blowout
****    71  Kool & the Gang / Live at the Sex Machine  grooving, meaningful and meticulous funk session
****    72  Kool & the Gang / Music is the Message  catchy and polyrhythmic set of lovable jams
****    73  Kool & the Gang / Good Times  tight, snappy, soulful and brilliant
*****   73  Kool & the Gang / Wild & Peaceful  masterful package of grooving funk, jazz, and messages. All-time
*****   74  Kool & the Gang / Light of Worlds  jazz and funk fused with finesse. A classic, including "Summer Madness"
****    75  Kool & the Gang / Spirit of the Boogie  ruthlessly creative, deceptively spiritual. A crime it's not on CD
****    76  Kool & the Gang / Love and Understanding  classy jam sessions from New York and London. Icy
***+    76  Kool & the Gang / Open Sesame  spiritual, avante-garde, deep funk
*****   80  Kool & the Gang / Spin Their Top Hits best available package of KG favorites                               CD
****    70  Earth, Wind & Fire / Earth, Wind & Fire  snappy, well-balanced teaser of what's to come
****    73  Earth, Wind & Fire / Head to the Sky  extended, layered grooving and meaningful jams                       CD
****    74  Earth, Wind & Fire / Open Our Eyes  the complete package of soul, funk, and jazz                           CD
*****   75  Earth, Wind & Fire / That's the Way of the World  has everything. The ultimate seventies album             CD
*****   76  Earth, Wind & Fire / Gratitude  the ultimate live sessions. An all-time classic                            CD
****    77  Earth, Wind & Fire / All & All  complex and intense package. Their funkayest                               CD
*****   74  Average White Band / AWB  pulls it all together from the start. A classic                                  CD
***     75  Average White Band / Cut the Cake  snappy hits, here and there                                             CD
*****   76  Average White Band / Soul Searching  underrated masterpiece of moods, soul, and funk                       CD
****    76  Average White Band / Person to Person  loose live sessions do the trick, but could have done more          CD
***     74  Rufus featuring Chaka Khan / Rags to Rufus  wild, clumsy mix that includes classic Rufus funk
****    75  Rufus featuring Chaka Khan / Rufusized  total package of soulful funk, warm snappy grooves                 CD
****    76  Rufus featuring Chaka Khan / Rufus Featuring Chaka Khan  brilliant jam sessions and ballads                CD
****    77  Rufus featuring Chaka Khan / Ask Rufus  classy and subdued work of art                                     CD
*****   74  Isley Brothers / Live It Up  underrated masterpiece of rock, blues, soul, and funk
****    75  Isley Brothers / The Heat is On  deserving classic. All jams on side A, ballads on B                       CD
****    76  Isley Brothers / Harvest for the World  classy package of some of their best material                      CD
*****   77  Isley Brothers / Go for Your Guns  non-stop barrage of open-fire funk                                      CD
****    78  Isley Brothers / Showdown  grooving, locked-tight package of A-1 funk tracks
***     79  Isley Brothers / Winner Takes All  extended workouts still fill 2 LPs with jams                            CD
****    72  Ohio Players / Pleasure  powerful and diverse. Features "Funky Worm"
*****   74  Ohio Players / Skin Tight  fantastic fusion of slick and nasty, standard and strange jams                  CD
*****   75  Ohio Players / Fire  even more originality, catchy licks, and killer jam factors                           CD
****    76  Ohio Players / Honey  intensely creative set of classic jams                                               CD
***     76  Ohio Players / Contradiction  inconsistent but shows genius
****    76  Ohio Players / Gold  essential compilation of the best of the last four years                              CD
****    77  Ohio Players / Angel  inspired, slightly looser mix of band's magical vibe                                 CD
*****   74  Commodores / Machine Gun  unknown, brilliant package of vicious funk
****    76  Commodores / Hot on the Tracks  catchy, varied mix of uniquely funky soul jams                             CD
****    77  Commodores / The Commodores  tight, funky tracks with pop appeal, featuring "Brick House"                  CD

CHAPTER 16 / DANCE FUNK: DO YOU WANNA GET FUNKY WITH ME?   Essential Dance Funk

***     74  K.C. and the Sunshine Band / K.C. and the Sunshine Band  energetic breakthrough dance track sessions       CD
***     75  K.C. and the Sunshine Band / Part 3  brain-dead boogie at its best
****    75  Brass Construction / Brass Construction  surprisingly stanky. Classic jams "Movin'" and "Changin'"         CD
****    76  Brass Construction / II  even more surprisingly  diverse and original
*****   75  B.T. Express / Do It 'Til You're Satisfied  utterly awesome dinosaur funk                                  CD
***     74  Fatback / Yum Yum  stirring mix of funk and disco at the crossroads
***     80  Fatback / Hot Box  best session includes biggest hits "Backstrokin' "and "Gotta Get My Hands On Some Money"
***     79  Chic / C'est Chic  slick and tight. Too slick                                                              CD
***     80  Chic / Good Times  massive and influential at the time. Useless musically                                  CD
****    79  Michael Jackson / Off the Wall  original and awesome funk sessions reclaim pop throne                      CD
***     75  Rose Royce / Car Wash  prototype of disco-dance soundtrack record. still kicks
***     77  Rose Royce / In Full Bloom  well-packaged funky soul
****    77  Maze / Maze featuring Franky Beverly stirring, down home sound                                             CD
****    79  Maze / Inspiration  best funky soul since Marvin gaye                                                      CD
****    80  Maze / Joy and Pain  flowing, inspired funky soul masterwork                                               CD
***     76  Heatwave / Too Hot to Handle  snazzy, soulful, and sharp                                                   CD
****    77  Heatwave / Central Heating  complete package of high-energy riffs and soulful snippets                     CD
*****   76  Brothers Johnson / Look Out for #1  unmitigated masterpiece
****    78  Brothers Johnson / Right on Time  well-produced session of lite-funk
****    79  Brothers Johnson / Blam!  thick and phat
****    77  Cameo / Cardiac Arrest  stanky, unique, and very happening                                                 CD
****    78  Cameo / We All Know Who We Are  meanly grooving, original sessions
****    79  Cameo / Ugly Ego  exquisitely stanky mess of throbbing funk licks
***     80  Cameo / Secret Omen  disappointing disco mishmash does salvage itself with "I Just Wanta Be"
****    76  Brick / Good High  catchy, creative, and quirky cuts support all time monster jam "Dazz"
*****   77  Brick / Brick  delectable set of massively, thumping funk classics
****    77  Slave / Slave  ruthless groove workouts and outrageous effects
***+    78  Slave / The Hardness of the World  subdued yet lethal in parts
*****   79  Slave / The Concept  awesome scorching workouts and brooding, hypnotic groove tracks
***     80  Slave / Just a Touch of Love  slick and uninspired, yet still kicks in places
****    76  Bar-Kays / Too Hot to Stop  non-stop session of all-beef funk and soul tracks
***     77  Bar-Kays / Flying High on Your Love  smoother mix still gets rough here and there
****    78  Bar-Kays / Money Talks  resurrected from Stax vaults delivers deadly dinosaur funk licks
****    78  Bar-Kays / Light of Life  tight mix of catchy and upbeat grooves
***     77  Con Funk Shun / Secrets  uneven showcase for first hit "Ffun"
****    78  Con Funk Shun / Loveshine  smooth, delicate masterpiece of weet funky soul
***     79  Con Funk Shun / Candy  rougher, thicker, and stankier set
***     75  Undisputed Truth / Cosmic Truth  out the box, Funkadelic wanna-bes still hit
****    75  Undisputed Truth / Method to the Madness  inspired lunacy
***     77  Undisputed Truth / Higher Than High  sloppy and comically nasty
***     77  War / Galaxy  unrelenting thump-fest proves band's resilience                                              CD

CHAPTER 17 / THE P-FUNK EMPIRE: TEAR THE ROOF OFF THE SUCKER   Essential P-Funk Hit Albums

*****   74  Parliament / Up for the Down Stroke  unheralded erotic adventure                                           CD
****    75  Parliament / Chocolate City  twisted, scalding sessions of harmony and groove                              CD
*****   75  Parliament / Mothership Connection  divine funk                                                            CD
*****   76  Parliament / Clones of Dr. Funkenstein  the resurrection of divine funk                                    CD
*****   77  Parliament / Funkentelechy vs. the Placebo Syndrome  new age has dawned                                    CD
*****   78  Parliament / Motor Booty Affair  divinely inspired, drug-infested underwater fantasy                       CD
*****   79  Parliament / Gloryhallastupid  preposterous                                                                CD
****    80  Parliament / Trombipulation  twisted and irreverent, yet wearing thin                                      CD
*****   76  Bootsy's Rubber Band / Stretchin' Out  rhythmically assaulting debut of number-one funkateer
*****   77  Bootsy's Rubber Band / Aah The Name Is Bootsy, Baby  nastayest record ever made
*****   78  Bootsy's Rubber Band / Bootsy? Player of the Year  bizarre and tight at the same time
****    79  Bootsy's Rubber Band / This Boot Is Made for Fonkin'  subdued and ill, yet underrated
*****   80  Bootsy's Rubber Band / Ultra Wave  preposterous
****    81  Bootsy's Rubber Band / The One Giveth ...   rarely heard gems. A lost classic
*****   78  Funkadelic / One Nation Under a Groove  funk-rock opus                                                     CD
***     79  Funkadelic / Uncle Jam Wants You  wild and ragged setup for fifteen minutes of "Knee Deep"                 CD
*****   81  Sweat Band / Sweat Band  non-srop liquid Bootsy throb. Unbelievable
****    79  Mutiny / Mutiny on the Mamaship  scandalous manifesto of anti-P-Funk P-Funk!
***     80  Mutiny / Funk Plus the One  working, ripping rhythm session
****    79  Quazar / Quazar  utterly obnoxious funk chops from spinoff band featuring Brailey & Goins
****    83  P-Funk All-Stars / Urban Dancefloor Guerillas  underrated package of premo P                               CD
*****   82  George Clinton / Computer Games  surprisingly groovalistic comeback for the Doctor featuring "Atomic Dog"  CD
****    83  George Clinton / U Shouldn't Nuf Bit Fish  ridiculous                                                      CD
****    85  George Clinton / Some of My Best Jokes Are Friends  packaged synth-funk at its stankayest                  CD
***     87  George Clinton / R&B Skeletons in the Closet  brilliant concepts, not brilliant music                      CD
***     89  George Clinton / Cinderella Theory  forgettable                                                            CD
***     94  George Clinton / Hey, Man, Smell My Finger  endless and overproduced, but still stanky                     CD
****    93  George Clinton & P-Funk All-Stars / Greatest Hits 1972-1993  endless live mixes all too short            4 CDs
*****   89  P-Funk All-Stars / Live at the Beverly Theater  Awesome package of '83 L.A. concert                      2 CDs
****    94  Parliament / Tear the Roof Off: Parliament Funk Essentials  standard set of hits and quirky jams         2 CDs

CHAPTER 18 / THE METAPHYSICS OF P: THE MOTHERSHIP CONNECTION   Essential Cosmic P-Funk Albums

*****   70  Parliament / Osmium  trashy country funk and apocalyptic gospel-rock anthems of salvation                  CD
*****   77  Parliament Live / P-Funk Earth Tour  stanky, and sanctified, the ultimate live P-Funk recording            CD
*****   70  Funkadelic / Funkadelic  spacey, grooving, nastay classic                                                  CD
*****   70  Funkadelic / Free Your Mind & Your Ass Will Follow  searing, dark masterwork                               CD
*****   71  Funkadelic / Maggot Brain  the ultimate Funkadelic                                                         CD
****    72  Funkadelic / America Eats Its Young  crunchy and country-fried filth                                       CD
****    73  Funkadelic / Cosmic Slop  coherent package of sick, twisted flesh                                          CD
*****   74  Funkadelic / Standing on the Verge of Gettin' It On  inspired and anthemic                                 CD
*****   75  Funkadelic / Let's Take It to the Stage  massive groovallegiance. Ultimate P-Funk                          CD
*****   76  Funkadelic / Tales of Kid Funkadelic  swarming liquid stinkfest                                            CD
****    81  Funkadelic / Electric Spanking of War Babies  politically charged rhythm riot                              CD
*****   93  Funkadelic / Music for Your Mother  compilation of warped Westbound 45s includes great notes             2 CDs
*****   78  Eddie Hazel / Games, Dames and Guitar Thangs  forgotten slab of divine funk
*****   95  Eddie Hazel / Rest in P  unearthed posthumous guitar grooves                                               CD
*****   79  Bernie Worrell / All the Woo in the World  eclecticism at the height of P-Funk popularity
***     92  Bernie Worrell / Funk of Ages  creative yet meandering comeback project                                    CD
***     94  Bernie Worrell / Blacktronic Science  clumsy mix of jazz and digital funk is still memorable               CD
*****   92  Praxis / Transmutation  modern funk fusion masterpiece, features Bootsy, Bernie and others                 CD
****    94  O.G. Funk / Out of the Dark  Billy "Bass" Nelson goes for his

CHAPTER 19 / FUNK IN THE 1980S: SUPER FREAKS   Essential Naked Funk Albums   Eighties Funk

****    78  Rick James / Come Get It  monstrous debut of a funk dominator                                              CD
***     79  Rick James / Bustin' Out of L-7 stomping showcase for hit singles
***     80  Rick James / Fire It Up  nasty and on target
*****   81  Rick James / Street Songs  inspired anthems of street smart eighties funk                                  CD
***     82  Rick James / Standing on the Top  uninspired, yet hard-driving
***     83  Rick James / Coldblooded  well-packaged and uniquely arranged
****    86  Rick James / The Flag  surprisingly deep and hard comeback album
****    79  Prince / Prince  subtly titillating exploration of identity of little-known artist                         CD
***     80  Prince / Dirty Mind  wicked and wild, definitive naked funk                                                CD
***     81  Prince / Controversy  overtly political, overtly nasty                                                     CD
*****   82  Prince / 1999  epic album of social unrest and self-expression                                             CD
****    84  Prince / Purple Rain  pop standards, absurd and incoherent riffs all in one                                CD
****    85  Prince / Paisley Park quirky, consistent fantasyscape                                                      CD
***     86  Prince / Sign O' The Times  grooving, licking, churning, grinding                                          CD
****    88  Prince / Lovesexy  stirring, stunning, and sharp                                                           CD
****    91  Prince / Diamonds and Pearls  daring diversity, deeper funk. Features "Gett Off"                           CD
***     80  The Time / The Time  locked tight. As simple as they wanna be                                              CD
***     81  The Time / What Time Is It?  redefined rightness in a band. Introduces Morris Day's persona                CD
****    84  The Time / Ice Cream Castles  surprisingly complete and kicking                                            CD
***     89  The Time / Pandemonium ...  works, but times have changed                                                  CD
***     85  Jesse Johnson / Jesse Johnson's Revue  slick, liquid, nasty nasty nasty licks
***     86  Jesse Johnson's Revue / Shockadelica  standard set features Sly Stone duet "Crazay"
***     88  Morris Day / Color of Success  ridiculous, pretentious, and totally grooving                               CD
***     80  Zapp / Zapp  quirky and cute grooves. Features "More Bounce to the Ounce"                                  CD
*****   81  Zapp / Zapp II  monstrous hooks, ruthless licks. A masterpiece                                             CD
***     82  Zapp / Zapp III  stanky and swanging digitized blues
***     83  Zapp / Zapp 4 U  original and energetic. Features "Computer Love"
*****   81  Roger / The Many Facets of Roger  brilliant artist packages, brilliant album
***     80  Slave / Just a Touch of Love  slick and uninspired, yet still kicks in places
****    81  Slave / Stone Jam  thumpasaurus jam session puts it all together
****    82  Slave / Showtime  awesome package of grooving, nastay dance funk
***     83  Steve Arrington / Hall of Fame  ex-Slave singer deservedly kicks his own flavor
***     85  Steve Arrington / Feel So Real  born-again funk in full effect
***     94  Slave / Best of Slave  features Arrington solo hits, but not enough stomping Slave jams                    CD
****    80  Cameo / Cameosis  complete package of band renewing itself and redefining funk                             CD
****    81  Cameo / Knights of the Sound Table  masterful, unrelenting groove session                                  CD
*****   82  Cameo / Alligator Woman  underrated stroke of new-wave funk genius
***     84  Cameo / She's Strange  catchy rap flavor and hard riffs on inconsistent album                              CD
****    86  Cameo / Word Up  sparse, swanging monster hit parade                                                       CD
***     94  Cameo / Best of Cameo Funk Essentials  tired mix of eighties funk only
***     81  Lakeside / Fantastic Voyage  thumping, grooving, smelly set
***     83  Lakeside / Untouchables  thumping, grooving, smelly set
***     84  Lakeside / Outrageous  thumping, grooving, smelly set
****    81  Bar-Kays / Nightcruising  slick, new, nasty sound elevates ageless band
***     82  Bar-Kays / Propositions  assertive, soulful package of naked funk
***     84  Bar-Kays / Dangerous  derivative even by Bar-Kays' standards
****    89  Bar-Kays / Animal  surprisingly tight and energetic comeback of funk Methuselahs                           CD
****    94  Bar-Kays / Best of Bar-Kays Funk Essentials  comprehensive and entertaining package                        CD
****    81  Earth, Wind & Fire / Raise!  tough and rugged no-nonsense comeback                                         CD
***     83  Earth, Wind & Fire / Powerlight  still strong, but running on fumes                                        CD
***     87  Earth, Wind & Fire / Touch the World  quirky, digitized comeback yet again                                 CD
***     82  S.O.S. Band / S.O.S. Band  tight and catchy funky pop
****    84  Midnight Star / No Parking on the Dancefloor  polished, pumping funky pop
****    83  Michael Jackson / Thriller  greatest-selling LP ever still true to funk roots                              CD
***     87  Michael Jackson / Bad  could have been stronger                                                            CD
****    86  Janet Jackson / Control  surprisingly, strong, tight, and nasty                                            CD
*****   89  Janet Jackson / Rhythm Nation  conscious crossover funk album of the decade                                CD

CHAPTER 20 / HIP HOP AND BLACK NOISE: RAISING HELL   Essential Eighties Underground Funk

***     82  Afrika Bambaataa / Planet Rock  absurd and irreverent Nigs in space vibe
***     84  Afrika Bambaataa & James Brown / Unity (12")  noisy and chaotic tribute to the Godfather
****    86  Afrika Bambaataa / Beware, The Funk Is Everywhere  vicious, throbbing industrial fonk
****    88  Afrika Bambaataa / The Light  exquisitely enlightened, ruthless grooves
****    82  Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five / The Message  original album packed with jams                        CD
***     84  Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five / Beat Street  boldest political rap of the decade                    CD
****    84  Run-D.M.C. / Run-D.M.C.  here come the heavyweights                                                        CD
*****   86  Run-D.M.C. / Raising Hell  awesome package of catchy hooks, funny raps, and thick funk                     CD
****    86  Beastie Boys / License to Ill  trashy white boys mix the funk like pros                                    CD
****    83  Herbie Hancock / Future Shock  groundbreaking industrial funk sessions. Killer                             CD
****    84  Herbie Hancock / Hardrock  a second helping of rough-edged industrial funk                                 CD
***     88  Herbie Hancock / Perfect Machine  slick, overproduced collaboration with Bootsy and Sugarfoot
****    84  Malcolm X / No Sellout (12")  groundbreaking Tackhead beat track featuring Malcolm X voice
****    84  Tackhead / The Game (12")  insanely hard industrial funk beat
***     83  Fats Comet / Eat the Beat (12")  bizarre, thumping throb track
*****   85  Artists United Against Apartheid / Sun City  magnificent political message; monstrous funk
***     86  Sly & Robbie / Language Barrier  wicked extended riffs, yet somewhat confined                              CD
****    87  Sly & Robbie / Rhythm Killers  ridiculous, rock hard riffs, expanded by P-Funk guest players               CD
***     85  Bill Laswell / Basslines  oozing funk jazz from industrial funk pioneer and producer
*****   88  Various / Celluloid Trilogy  awesome cross-section of best underground grooves of the decade
****    88  Gettovetts / Missionaries Movin  thoroughly noisy and conceptual industrial New York rap                   CD
*****   92  Praxis / Transmutation  modern funk fusion masterpiece, features Bootsy, Bernie, and others                CD
***     83  Art of Noise / Who's Afraid Of ...  best and most thumping industrial funk from Britain
***     82  Kraftwerk / Numbers  quirky and ethereal digitized funk beats from German trio
****    81  Talking Heads / Remain in Light  scandalous, offbeat, nastay new-wave funk                                 CD
****    84  Talking Heads / Speaking in Tongues  deeply thumping funk disguised as modern rock                         CD
***     85  Talking Heads / Stop Making Sense  live session features keyboard work of guest Bernie Worrell             CD
***     82  Tom Tom Club / Tom Tom Club  complex, silly, and cute mix of grooves. Features "Genius of Love"            CD
*****   82  Trouble Funk / Drop the Bomb  relentless and totally hype percussion overload                              CD
****    84  Trouble Funk / In Times of Trouble  awkward mix of studio efforts and vicious live tracks
*****   85  Trouble Funk / Saturday Night Live  incredible live session. Absolutely essential
***     87  Trouble Funk / Trouble Over Here  overproduced disappointment                                              CD
****    85  Various Go Go bands / Paint the White House Black  strong and stirring set of nasty funk
****    85  Various Go Go bands / Good to Go soundtrack  scattered samplings of Go Go from movie Short Fuse
****    88  Looters / Flashpoint  unheralded political funk rock of the future                                         CD
***     85  Red Hot Chili Peppers / Freaky Stylee  wicked and ridiculous. Produced by George Clinton
***+    88  Red Hot Chili Peppers / Mother's Milk  tight and yet still preposterous
****    92  Red Hot Chili Peppers / Blood Sugar Sex Magik  deep, strong, and stanky                                    CD
***     88  Primus / Suck On This  grungy and thick, like all their stuff
***     89  Fishbone / Truth & Soul  tight and spastic, like all their stuff
***     88  Living Colour / Vivid  tight and noisy black-rock breakthrough
***     91  Brand New Heavies / Brand New Heavies  noble effort to bring back real funk and soul                       CD
****    94  MeChell NdegeOchello / Plantation Lullabies  ruthless bass-driven rap and funk                             CD

CHAPTER 21 / FUNK IN THE NINETIES: RETURN OF THE FUNK   Essential P-Funk Hip Hop Albums

****    86  Schooly D / Saturday Night, The Album  loud and comical. One of the original P-funk samplers
*****   87  EPMD / Strictly Business  icy and thick. Devastating breakthrough LP, first Zapp sample                    CD
***     88  EPMD / Unfinished Business  monsterjams and nasty samples                                                  CD
*****   88  Boogie Down Productions / By All Means Necessary  brilliant and funky political manifesto                  CD
****    89  Boogie Down Productions / Ghetto Music: The Blueprint of Hip Hop  crucial political education
            All Boogie Down Productions
****    87  Public Enemy / Yo Bum Rush the Show!  crucial rock-hard street beats                                       CD
*****   88  Public Enemy / It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back  anthem of conscious Hip Hop                  CD
****    90  Public Enemy / Fear of a Black Planet  scandalous issues sensibly delivered                                CD
****    91  Public Enemy / Apocalypse '91: The Empire Strikes Black  sinister and smart
            All Public Enemy
*****   89  De La Soul / 3 Feet High and Rising  psychedelic hard-core hippie trip of the highest order                CD
***     90  Jungle Brothers / Done by the Forces of Nature  accessible Afro-centric rap                                CD
*****   90  X-Clan / To the East, Blackwards  assaulting, Afro-centric raps and killer funk loops                      CD
****    93  Digable Planets / A New Refutation of Time ...  eccentric, streetwise, and jazzy, but deep into funk       CD
*****   93  Miles Davis / Doo Bop  original hip hop jazz. Slickest, tightest, hardest jam session of 1993!             CD
***     93  Arrested Development / 3 Years, 5 Months & 2 Days in the Life of ...  liberated, southern-fried rap and country funk  CD
****    89  lce-T / Power  brilliant, historically minded package of nasty L.A. attitude                               CD
*****   90  Digital Underground / Sex Packets  indescribable cartoon-minded funk genius rap                            CD
****    92  Digital Underground / Sons of the P  powerful, far-reaching statement of funk authority                    CD
****    88  The D.O.C. / No One Can Do It Better  scandalous Dr. Dre produced tracks put west coast on the map
****    93  Dr. Dre / The Chronic  apocalyptic niggerish manifesto, the dominant rap record of '93                     CD
****    91  Too Short / Life Is Too Short  breakthrough pimp-rap from Oakland's own                                    CD
****    89  N.W.A. / Straight Outta Compton  devastating gangsta rap showcase                                          CD
****    91  N.W.A. / NIGGAZ4LIFE  cutthroat tracks and rhymes                                                          CD
***     90  2-Live Crew / As Nasty As They Wanna Be  ridiculous, filthy, and uneven, but historically important        CD
****    91  Paris / The Devil Made Me Do lt  articulate, grooving debut of "Black Panther of Hip Hop"                  CD
*****   92  Kam / Neva Again  politically charged yet street strong and funky masterpiece                              CD
*****   91  Ice Cube / Death Certificate  the ultimate in urban indignation                                            CD
***     94  Ice Cube / Lethal Injection  well-packaged and deeply funk-centered                                        CD

Essential Funk Compilations

******  91  K-Tel "Superbad"  One of the earliest pkgs gets it right the first time.                                   CD
******  91  Priority "All Star Funk"  out of print ace of rare extended P-funk goodies.                                CD
*****   94  Priority "All Star Funk vol. I"  well-known humps, little p                                                CD
*****   94  Priority "All Star Funk: Vol. 2"  Thumpasorus tracks for all occasions.                                    CD
******  93  Polygram "Best of Funk Essentials"  One of the strongest packages ever.                                    CD
***     94  Polygram "Funk Funk: Best of Funk Essentials"  vol. 2 lots of leftovers                                    CD
******  93  Rhino "History of Funk" Vol 1  All-purpose early funk starter kit                                          CD
*****   93  Rhino "History of Funk" Vol 2  Much stanky all-time early 70's classics                                    CD
*****   93  Rhino "History of Funk" Vol 3  Clumsy mix and edits, but still rocks                                       CD
*****   93  Rhino "History of Funk" Vol 4  Tasty outrageous mix of late 70's jams                                      CD
******  93  Rhino "History of Funk" Vol 5  Monster pile of raw-dog rare & classic shit                                 CD
*****   94  Rhino "Phat Trax" Vol 1  Awesome lineup and rocking mix                                                    CD
****    94  Rhino "Phat Trax" Vol 2  'One Vation' 12" and other monsters                                               CD
****    94  Rhino "Phat Trax" Vol 3  Hits getting too thin                                                             CD
****    95  Priority "Da Funk"  Some bombs, some quirky misses                                                         CD
****    95  Priority "Funkdafied"  Crazy splatter of oldies. Who did those notes?                                      CD

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