Bootsy Collins

Glory B da Funk's on Me -- The Bootsy Collins Anthology (Rhino)

Record Reviews

Bootsy Collins

Glory B Da Funk's on Me -- The Bootsy Collins Anthology (Rhino)

The two main signposts for contemporary funk, James Brown and George Clinton, both set their foundations with the string-popping antics of Bootsy Collins. Don't think this flamboyant bassist was just a rhythm machine to the stars, however. His own LPs for Warner Bros., which began appearing at the very height of Parliament/Funkadelic craze, were stone-soul grooves; silly, carnal, and utterly irresistible. He had the elastic voice, high-pitched and oddly atonal. The word "baby" should have been retired from music after Collins first uttered it. He had the band: Brown alums Maceo Parker and Fred Wesley; his brother Catfish, the cream of the P-Funk mafia; and of course, Godfather Clinton himself. And he had the songs, which, at least in the beginning, were a lot more than jam-funk framework. Unlike the P-Funk chaos motif, these were expertly arranged tunes with butt-tight horn charts. "I'd Rather Be With You" and "What's a Telephone Bill?" cram an ungodly amount of soul in their grooves, as does the orally fixated "Munchies for Your Love." Yet even the best Bootsy effort came with filler, which makes the first cream-o-the-crop disc of this 2-CD collection a surprisingly strong testament to the Bootzilla thang. As disco swept the nation, P-Funk began to decline, due in part to Clinton's predilection for the movement's drug of choice. Clinton's hands were all over Bootsy's recordings, so they too began to lose their luster. As a result, the second disc here pales in comparison. Even so, with Clinton and Brown's best work behind them, this collection leaves little doubt about who took the Seventies funk bull squarely by the horns. The name is Bootsy, baby.

****

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