The Parliament-Funkadelic - "At the Summit"
The Parliaments, the original do-rag, do-wop, processed hair, barbershop quintet found it difficult to stand out in Motown with the spotlight squarely trained on the Four Tops, and the Temptations.
So the original members; George Clinton, Fuzzy Haskins, Grady Thomas, Ray Davis, and Calvin Simon, formed "The Funkadelic", a psychedelic radical band that fused Jimi Hendrix and James Brown into the same light socket.
They added "Parlet" the Parliament's female backup singers, and the "Horny Horns", their all-star horn section that at times included notables such as; Randy and Michael Brecker aka "The Brecker Brothers" and Maceo Parker and Fred Wesley Jr. straight from James Brown's JB's.
This was their pinnacle lineup. A wild and sumptuous army of virtuoso musicians and soul singers that ofttimes merged the Funkadelic and the Parliament groups into one synergistic orgy of deep soul and psychedelic funk.
Perhaps un-ironically it was during the hedonistic disco era that this concept band reached its zenith and predictably then came the drugs, the high costs of an impressive over the top stage show, the lengthy tours, musicians not getting paid, and band members started to come and go without notice, and it was never this good again, not after this.
The clip below is the transcendent, total effect of the "Parliament-Funkadelic-ment thang".
"The church of the p-funk" if you will.
There was some previous success, and there were hits to come later, but this was the pinnacle.
Live clip from the Houston Summit show, 1976 is on YouTube.
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