Often cited as one of the foremost innovators of funk music, along with James Brown and Sly Stone, The American singer and musician, bandleader, music producer and principal architect of P-Funk, George Clinton, was born 22 July 1941. He pioneered late 1960s and early ’70s funk. The fusion of R&B rhythms, infectious melodies, and psychedelia and also created a new pop/soul/rock hybrid called Funkadelic, the impact of which has proven lasting and widespread. George was the also the mastermind of the bands Parliament and Funkadelic during the 1970s.
The collective’s origins date back to the doo-wop group The Parliaments, which was formed in the late 1950s in Plainfield, New Jersey by a then teenage George Clinton and For a period in the 1960s Clinton was also a staff songwriter for Motown. Despite initial commercial failure (and one major hit single, “(I Wanna) Testify” in 1967), The Parliaments eventually found success under the names Parliament and Funkadelic in the seventies as a funk, soul and rock music collective headed by George Clinton.Funkadelic had a psychedelic rock touch whose influences include the amplifier sounds of Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin, James Brown’s funk, blues, Sun Ra’s experimentation, Frank Zappa’s and the Coasters’ humour, the concept albums of the Beatles and the Who and southern soul artists like Otis Redding and Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, other influences also include the funky side of Hendrix and Sly Stone, Motown soul groups turned funk groups like the Temptations, the political songs of the Impressions, Rufus Thomas’ southern funk, doo-wop groups like the Coasters for the humour and Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers. Their style has been dubbed P-Funk.
Collectively the group has existed under various names since the 1960s and has been known for top-notch musicianship, politically charged lyrics, outlandish concept albums and memorable live performances. Overall, the collective achieved thirteen top ten hits in the American R&B music charts between 1967 and 1983, including six number one hits and and three platinum albums.By the early 1980s, Clinton consolidated the collective’s multiple projects and continued touring under the names “George Clinton and the P-Funk All-Stars” or “George Clinton and Parliament-Funkadelic”. In 1982, Clinton released the songs Computer Games and “Atomic Dog”. During the next four years, Clinton released three more studio albums (You Shouldn’t-Nuf Bit Fish, Some of My Best Jokes Are Friends and R&B Skeletons in the Closet) as well as a live album, Mothership Connection (Live from the Summit, Houston, Texas) and charting three singles in the R&B Top 30, “Nubian Nut”, “Last Dance”, and “Do Fries Go with That Shake?”.In 1985, he was recruited by the Red Hot Chili Peppers to produce their album Freaky Styley, because the band members were huge fans of George Clinton and funk in general. Clinton, in fact, wrote the vocals and lyrics to the title track which was originally intended by the band to be left as an instrumental piece. The album was not a commercial success at the time, but has since sold 500,000 copies after the Red Hot Chili Peppers became popular years later.
Clinton is also a notable music producer working on almost all of the albums he performs on, as well as producing albums for Bootsy Collins and also contribute to several tracks on Primal Scream’s studio album Give Out But Don’t Give Up, and also sang “Mind Games” on the John Lennon tribute Working Class Hero. Clinton also worked with Tupac Shakur on the song “Can’t C Me” from the album All Eyez on Me; Ice Cube on the song and video for “Bop Gun (One Nation)” on the Lethal Injection album (which sampled Funkadelic’s earlier hit “One Nation Under A Groove”); Outkast on the song “Synthesizer” from the album Aquemini; Redman on the song “J.U.M.P.” from the album Malpractice; Souls of Mischief on “Mama Knows Best” from the album Trilogy: Conflict, Climax, Resolution; Killah Priest on “Come With me” from the album Priesthood, and the Wu Tang Clan on “Wolves” from the album 8 Diagrams.
In 1997 Sixteen members of Parliament-Funkadelic (Including Clinton) were inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and P-Funk’s effect on modern popular music is still immense. Besides their innovation in the entire genre of funk music, George Clinton and P-Funk are still heard often today, especially in hip-hop sampling. The song “Atomic Dog” is one of the most sampled songs in the history of hip hop, especially in the sub-genre G-funk. The Red Hot Chili Peppers video for their 2006 single Dani California featured a tribute to Parliament-Funkadelic. Parliament-Funkadelic’s musical influence can also be heard in R&B, Soul music, Electronica, Gospel, Jazz, and New Wave