Top 3 most influential funk albums of all time

  1. Mothership Connection by Parliament 1975:

parliament-mothership-connectionPhoto courtesy of Hunkered Down in Brooklyn

Regarded as one of the most influential funk albums ever recorded, Mothership Connection continues to be one of the top selling albums in the funk genre for over 40 years. Led by George Clinton, Parliament was comprised of Bernie Worell on Keyboards, funk bass pioneer Bootsy Collins and horn players Macio Parker and Fred Weslie (formally with James Brown) to name a few. This album was post James Brown hay day and veered away from the visceral, high energy funk that dominated the late 60’s funk sound and went for a slower danceable groove and introduced psychedelic elements and extended songs. Producers like Dr. Dre and artists like Snoop Dog were strongly influenced by this album and it’s easy to hear when you listen to albums like Doggy Style and The Chronic.

  1. Star Time by James Brown 1997:

james brow albumPhoto courtesy of  Amazon

This 51 track, 5 hour box set is the most complete representation of the life works of James Brown. Brown is widely credited for inventing the basic funk rhythm pattern which led to disco and hip-hop. There are many James Brown compilations out there but this one covers it all, from his first releases in the 1950s all the way through to his last recordings in the 1980s. This four disc box set even includes original uncut recordings and previously unreleased material. If you are searching  for the roots of funk than this is a crucial album to own.

  1. Street Songs by Rick James 1981:

rick jamesPhoto courtesy of Amazon

Released by Gordy Records, Rick James’ fifth album Street Songs is considered to be his most recognizable album. Songs on this album include “Give it to me” and “Superfreak” which still has relevance today. Rick James’ music has been sampled by numerous artists including Busta Rhymes, Jay Z, MC Hammer and Common. Songs from this album are also featured on video games such as Grand Theft Auto, Scarface and Skate.

Do you have any albums that you would like to see on this list? What are some of your favorite funk artists?