Funkadelic and Parliament were inseparable from almost the start.
The first albums by George Clinton‘s two revolving groups were released a little more than half a year from each other, both boasting heavy influences from outside of the R&B and doo-wop worlds that orbited the original Parliaments vocal outfit from the ’60s, as you’ll see in the below list of Funkadelic and Parliament Albums Ranked Worst to Best.
Clinton rechristened the Parliaments Funkadelic, took a bunch of drugs and recorded music inspired by Jimi Hendrix, Sly Stone and a melting pot of period psychedelic, soul and pop bands. Over the years, Parliament were sidelined while Clinton focused on Funkadelic; then it was the other way around for a while.
Sometimes this was a creative decision to sharp-tune whatever group Clinton occupied himself with. Other times, legal issues got in the way. That’s led to some confusion, as well as some confusing records, over time. Funkadelic were more or less the rock version of Parliament, whose main target was dance-oriented music. They shared members, aesthetic, songs and a worldview that blurred the lines among sex, drugs, music, outer space, consciousness and poop jokes.
By the end of the ’70s, with more than a dozen albums between them, and enough dazzling beats to provide foundations to hundreds of hip-hop records, Clinton’s mothership began to stall as key members left and new ones were added. Both groups carried on to the next decade for a short while before Clinton tore it all apart and re-branded the collective for records under various names (including a 1982 solo LP, Computer Games, that’s every bit as good as Funkadelic and Parliament’s best albums).
It’s not easy to just jump into the P-Funk catalog. Do you start with a Funkadelic album or a Parliament one? A psychedelic rock record with 10-minute guitar eargasms or one of those heavy funk LPs with squiggly keyboard runs and super-gooey bass? Sometimes they can be one and the same, as you’ll see in our list of Funkadelic and Parliament Albums Ranked Worst to Best.