For the second week in a row, Flashback Friday has become Funkadelic Friday. Last week, I took a trip to Funkadelic’s funkier side with “One Nation Under A Groove.” This week, the band that once asked “Who Says A Funk Band Can’t Play Rock?” takes a stroll on the rock side of town. And no, it isn’t the old “She’ll Be Comin’ Round The Mountain” most of us know. Well, not exactly anyway.
Songs like this one are why Funkadelic was considered George Clinton’s “guitar band.” Eddie Hazel, whose famous solo on “Maggot Brain” made him something of a guitar legend, did time in this band. In fact, he played on the album today’s song is taken from, but wasn’t given credit—probably because by this time, he had left the group. At this point, the group had hired guitar phenom Mike Hampton, who would make his name on this and subsequent Funkadelic albums for his guitar prowess. As for the solo that takes the song out, it could be Hampton or Hazel; there doesn’t seem to be any definitive information anywhere that says who is actually playing it. All I know is, whoever it is, that cat is doing some serious work. Another fun fact about this song: Buddy Miles is playing the drums! It’s not like Funkadelic didn’t have a drummer, but if you can get Buddy Miles to sit in, why not?
This was the first single released from Hardcore Jollies, the first Funkadelic album to be released on a major label. In fact, it was released one month after the group’s last album to be delivered to its former label, Westbound Records, called Tales Of Kidd Funkadelic. Amazingly, that album, comprised of outtakes from the same sessions as those that formed Hardcore Jollies, performed better sales wise (It’s one single release, “Undisco Kidd,” made it to the R&B top 30). This single could do no better than #54 on the R&B chart in early 1977. None of that matters to me. This joint rocks. It’s funky. It’s perfect for a Friday.
Can a funk band play rock? Absolutely yes. This one did it, and did it well. Happy Friday, and thanks for reading and listening.