PARLIAMENT "Osmium…Plus"

The first Parliament album as such was a mixed-up mess of an affair -- but would anyone expect anything less? The overall sound is much more Funkadelic than later Parliament, if with a somewhat more accessible feel. Things get going with an appropriately leering start, thanks to "I Call My Baby Pussycat," which makes something like "What's New, Pussycat?" seem like innocent, chaste conversation. After a stripped-down start, things explode into a full-on funk strut with heavy-duty guitar and slamming drums setting the way, while the singers sound like they're tripping without losing the soul -- sudden music dropouts, vocal cut-ins, volume level tweaks, and more add to the off-kilter feeling. Osmium's sound progresses from there -- it's funk's fire combined with a studio freedom that feels like a blueprint for the future. Bernie Worrell's keyboard abilities are already clear, whether he's trying for hotel lounge jams or full freakiness; similarly, Eddie Hazel is clearly finding his own epic stoned zone to peel out some amazing solos at the drop of a hat. As for the subject matter and end results -- who else but this crew could have come up with the trash-talking, yodeling twang of "Little Ole Country Boy" in 1970 and still made it funky with all the steel guitar? Other fun times include the piano and vocal-into-full-band goofy romantic romp of "My Automobile" and "Funky Woman," where over a heavy groove (and goofy Worrell break) the titular character lives with the consequence of her stank: "She hung them in the air/The air said this ain't fair!" Amidst all the nuttiness, there are some perhaps surprising depths -- consider "Oh Lord, Why Lord/Prayer," which might almost be too pretty for its own good (Worrell's harpsichord almost verges on the sickly sweet) but still has some lovely gospel choir singing and heartfelt lyrics. - by Ned Raggett, AllmusicWhile most Educated P-Funk fans will tell you that "Up For the Down Stroke" is Parliament's First album without batting an eyelash, this record begs to differ. Released in 1970, George Clinton and the Parlia-Funkadelic crew team up with songwriter Ruth Copeland and Invictus Records to release the fantastic debut "Osmium". Not only is this a great album, but it bests "Up For the Down Stroke" and maybe even "Chocolate City." The album is creative mix of folk, funk, motown and doo-wop that flows together effortlessly.
"I Call My Baby Pussycat" an early concert favorite, starts off the album. This track features great vocals by the group, most notably Ray Davis. One of the best numbers on the album. It would later the redone on "America Eats It's Young" but this version, with its raw playing and soulful singing, is superior. The intro was later pieced into the song "Hardcore Jollies" off the album by the same name. "Put Love In Your Life" is another great number that changes form many times, almost inheriting a progressive rock feel to it. Again featuring great vocals by Ray Davis and Fuzzy Haskins.
Next is my personal favorite on the album: "Little Old Country Boy." This is a hilarious song about a young man who is sent to jail for spying on his cheating girlfriend. The song has a great groove that is brightened by Fuzzy's over the top vocalizing. Invictus records loved this song so much that it put it as the b-side for all of Parliament's single releases during the time. "Moonshine Heather" is an okey jam song. Not one of the more notable on the album, but nevertheless good. "Oh Lord Why Lord/Prayer" is a heartfelt tribute to god. This song is amazingly beautiful but very unlike Parliaments style. "My Automobile" is a great doo- wopish number that celebrates the casual fun of George Clinton while still making you groove. "Nothing Before Me But Thang", "Funky Woman" and "Living the Life" are your basic rockish tracks. While they are good, they aren't as notable as other songs on this album. "The Silent Boatman," while very out of place, is beautiful on its own right.
The real treat of this album are the bonus tracks. "Red Hot Mama" is an interesting example of this song before it transformed into the version we know on "Standing On The Verge Of Getting It On." Both versions of "Breakdown" are groovetastic and it is very obvious why these songs were successful singles. "Come In Out Of The Rain" is probably one of Parliament's most criminally underrated songs. The song is political cry for change in a troubled era. It contains some of the most soulful moments of George Clinton's career. "Fantasy Is Reality" is another great soulful song that has a very interesting keyboard line. "Unfinished Instrumental" is good and so is "Loose Booty" which later ended up on "America Eats It's Young."
If you would like to buy an early Parliament album but are unsure of which one to get, buy this album. While "Up For the Down Stroke" is a great record. This album has ten times more soul and musical spirit and expresses the great fun and carefree mentality that Parlia-Funkadelic still had in their early days. As a fellow funkateer I promise you will not be disappointed with this album. (Soulsville)

01 I Call My Baby Pussycat 02 Put Love In Your Life 03 Little Ole Country Boy 04 Moonshine Heather 05 Oh Lord, Why Lord/Prayer 06 My Automobile 07 Nothing Before Me But Thang 08 Funky Woman 09 Livin' The Life 10 The Silent Boatman 11 Breakdown (Mono Single Version) 12 Red Hot Mama 13 Come In Out Of The Rain 14 Loose Booty 15 Fantasy Is Reality 16 Unfinished Instrumental 17 Breakdown (Stereo Unedited Version)
...served by Gyro1966...

  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit
  • RSS


Post a Comment


Get Paid To Promote, Get Paid To Popup, Get Paid Display Banner

Environment Powered by Mysiterank
Preview on Feedage: lily-putts Add to My Yahoo! Add to Google! Add to AOL! Add to MSN
Subscribe in NewsGator Online Add to Netvibes Subscribe in Pakeflakes Subscribe in Bloglines Add to Alesti RSS Reader
Add to Groups Add to Windows Live iPing-it Add to Feedage RSS Alerts Add To Fwicki
Feedage Grade A rated Dr.5z5 Open Feed Directory Subscribe My Feed