Old/New Albums: Funkadelic’s “Standing On The Verge Of Getting It On”

funkadelicYou’d think by their 6th album, Funkadelic would be losing some vitality. You’d be wrong. Standing On The Verge Of Getting It On was their 6th album in under 4 years, which is remarkable, because it’s teeming with as much funk as Maggot Brain or Free Your Mind…And Your Ass Will Follow. What’s even crazier is that they keep this funk going for like five albums after this one.

But back to SOTVOGIO. Even with only 7 songs, there are a lot of fun ones. With most Funkadelic albums, I enjoy the up-tempo tunes way more than the slower ones. I know this is blasphemous to hardcore Funkadelic fans, but I find Eddie Hazel’s guitar playing too atmospheric and ephemeral in the slow songs.

Also too long. “Good Thoughts, Bad Thoughts” is the album closer, and it’s over 12 minutes long. It’s these overwrought tunes that act as manifestos of the P-Funk Mythology that I’ve always had a hard time really enjoying. This song could be chucked in favor of two fast-paced funk jams and another ballad along the lines of “I’ll Stay.”

However, give me Eddie Hazel in a fast song any day. What was fun about getting into this album is that it felt like a Jimi Hendrix Experience album from bizarro world. I can absolutely see, had Hendrix survived into the ’70s, him moving more heavily towards funk. Funkadelic feels like they’re carrying on Jimi’s banner of psychedelia and hippie weirdness, but couching that within the always-flexible boundaries of funk.

Which makes the faster tunes on this album a lot of fun. I connect most with Funkadelic’s music when they stick with straight-forward, or even off-kilter, funk. “Jimmy’s Got A Little Bit Of Bitch In Him” is a perfect example of off-kilter funk, a song that showcases the weird sense of humor of Funkadelic. That humor also translates into the music itself, and this tune ends up sounding almost silly in how it’s constructed.

But the album opener is a perfect example of what I love and don’t love about Funkadelic. I could do without the weird minute and a half spoken intro to the song, but when the tune actually kicks in, it really knocks me on my keister. Blazing, unapologetic, head-bopping funk. It’s everything that Funkadelic does well.

Top 3 Tunes:

  1. Red Hot Mama
  2. Standing On The Verge Of Getting It On
  3. Jimmy’s Got A Little Bit Of Bitch In Him

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