FUNK

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Funk was a dance-oriented offshoot of soul music which originated in the late 1960s. (The term itself had been widely used in hip urban African American circles since the early decades of the twentieth century; it carried several different off-color meanings.) Sylvester Stewart, leader of the band Sly and the Family Stone, was a notable pioneer of the genre. He developed his sound as a session musician in small San Francisco recording studios during the mid-1960s before going on to superstardom with hits such as "Everyday People" and "Dance to the Music."

By the time Sly experienced career burnout in the early 1970s, the chief features of funk were sharply delineated for the next of practitioners: (1) a strong rhythmic emphasis usually centered around a repetitious, thickly-textured bass pattern, and (2) a greater reliance on instrumental ensemble playing than had been typical of either rhythm and blues or soul. Classic exponents of the style who achieved significant success included George Clinton's Parliament/Funkadelic combine, The Ohio Players, Kool and the Gang, and Earth, Wind and Fire.

The genre dominated the black music scene throughout the 1970s, absorbing elements of disco and merging its heavy backbeat with punk's rebellious attitude to create a new stylistic offshoot, funk-punk. The innovative vanguard of funk was eventually co-opted by the growing rap movement of the 1980s.

 

Top Artists and Their Recordings

Bootsy's Rubber Band--Stretchin' Out in Bootsy's Rubber Band (1976); Ahh...The Name Is Bootsy, Baby! (1977); Bootsy? Player of the Year (1978); This Boot Is Make For Fonk-n (1979); Ultra Wave (1980)

Brass Construction--Brass Construction (1976); Brass Construction II (1976); Brass Construction III (1977); Brass Construction IV (1978); Brass Construction 5 (1979); Brass Construction 6 (1980); Attitudes (1982); Conservations (1983)

Brick--Good High (1976; Brick (1977); Stoneheart (1979); Waiting on You (1980); Summer Heat (1981)

The Brothers Johnson--Look Out For #1 (1976); Right on Time (1977); Blam! (1978); Light Up the Night (1980); Winners (1981); Blast! (1983) Out of Control (1984)

George Clinton--Computer Games (1982); You Shouldn't-Nuf Bit Fish (1984); Some of My Best Jokes Are Friends (1985); R & B Skeletons in the Closet (1986); The Cinderella Theory (1989)

The Commodores--Machine Gun (1974); Caught in the Act (1975); Movin' On (1975); Hot on the Tracks (1976); Commodores (1977); Commodores Live! (1977); Natural High (1978); Midnight Magic (1979); Heroes (1980)

Con Funk Shun--Secrets (1977); Loveshine (1978); Candy (1979); Spirit of Love (1980); Touch (1980); Con Funk Shun 7 (1981); To the Max (1982); Fever (1983); Electric Lady (1985); Burnin' Love (1986)

Earth, Wind and Fire--Head to the Sky (1973); Open Our Eyes (1974); That's the Way of the World (1975); Gratitude (1975); Spirit (1976); All 'N All (1977); I Am (1979); Faces (1980); Raise! (1981); Powerlight (1983)

Fatback--Fired Up 'N' Kickin' (1978); Fatback XII (1979); Hot Box (1980); 14 Karat (1980)

Funkadelic--Funkadelic (1970); Free Your Mind...And Your Ass Will Follow (1970); Maggot Brain (1971); America Eats Its Young (1972); Cosmic Slop (1973); Standing on the Verge of Getting It On (1974); Let's Take It to the Stage (1975); Tales of Kidd Funkadelic (1976); Hardcore Jollies (1976); One Nation Under a Groove (1978); Uncle Jam Wants You (1978); The Electric Spanking of War Babies (1981)

The Gap Band--The Gap Band II (1979); The Gap Band III (1980); Gap Band IV (1982); Gap Band V - Jammin' (1983); Gap Band VI (1985)

Graham Central Station--Graham Central Station (1974); Release Yourself (1974); Ain't No 'Bout-A-Doubt It (1975); Mirror (1976); Now Do U Wanta Dance (1977)

Heatwave--Too Hot to Handle (1977); Central Heating (1978); Hot Property (1979); Candles (1980)

Hot Chocolate--Cicero Park (1975); Hot Chocolate (1975); Every 1's a Winner (1979)

Instant Funk--Instant Funk (1979)

Junior--"Ji" (1982); Inside Lookin' Out (1983)

Klique--Try It Out (1983)

Kool and the Gang--Live at the Sex Machine (1971); Wild and Peaceful (1973); Light of Worlds (1974); Spirit of the Boogie (1975); Love & Understanding (1976); Ladies Night (1979); Celebrate! (1980); Something Special (1981); As One (1982); In the Heart (1983); Emergency (1984); Forever (1986)

The Ohio Players--Pleasure (1973); Ecstasy (1973); Skin Tight (1974); Fire (1974); Honey (1975); Contradiction (1976); Angel (1977); Mr. Mean (1977); Jass-Ay-Ly-Dee (1978)

Parliament--Mothership Connection (1976); The Clones of Dr. Funkenstein (1976); Parliament Live/P. Funk Earth Tour (1977); Funkentelechy Vs. the Placebo Syndrome (1977); Motor-Booty Affair (1978)

Billy Preston--I Wrote a Simple Song (1972); Music Is My Life (1972); The Kids & Me (1974)

Rufus--Rags to Rufus (1974); Rufusized (1975); Rufus featuring Chaka Khan (1975); Ask Rufus (1977); Street Player (1978); Masterjam (1979)

The S.O.S. Band--S.O.S. (1980); On the Rise (1983); Sands of Time (1986)

Slave--Slave (1977); Stone Jam (1980); Show Time (1981)

War--All Day Music (1971); The World Is a Ghetto (1972); Deliver the Word (1973); Why Can't We Be Friends? (1975)

Wild Cherry--Wild Cherry (1976)

Zapp--Zapp (1980); Zapp II (1982); Zapp III (1983)

Funk-Punk

Andre Cymone--Survivin' in the 80's (1983); A.C. (1985)

Defunkt

Rick James--Come Get It! (1978); Bustin' Out of L Seven (1979); Street Songs (1981); Throwin' Down (1982); Cold Blooded (1983)

Mary Jane Girls--Only Four You (1985)

Prince--Prince (1979); Controversy (1981); Prince 1999 (1982); Purple Rain (1984); Around the World in a Day (1985); Parade (1986); Sign "O" the Times (1987); Batman (1989); Diamonds and Pearls (1991)

The Time--What Time Is It? (1982); Ice Cream Castle (1984); Pandemonium (1990)

Vanity 6--Vanity 6 (1982)