George Clinton

Computer Games

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Following the dissolution of his Parliament-Funkadelic empire, which collapsed in 1980-1981 after a creative and commercial downturn, George Clinton re-emerged in 1982 on Capitol Records as a solo artist. Computer Games, his solo debut, is actually only solo in its billing, however, as the album features several of the core P-Funk musicians with whom Clinton had collaborated in years past, most notably Bootsy Collins, Gary Shider, Fred Wesley, and Walter "Junie" Morrison. All the same, Clinton is clearly in the spotlight throughout Computer Games, and his vocal performances are as wacky and charming as ever, especially on the album's two hit singles, "Atomic Dog" and "Loopzilla." From a musical standpoint, there's a heavy emphasis here on synthesizers and drum machines, considerably more so than on any previous P-Funk effort. This was partly because of the times, for it was the early '80s, after all, but also partly because of the smaller stable of musicians on hand. Whatever the reason, Computer Games marks a sharp break from Clinton's past in many ways, and though it was a tremendously successful rebirth, with "Atomic Dog" topping the R&B chart and eventually becoming immortalized by hip-hop postmodernists, in an unfortunate twist of fate this debut effort also ended up marking the zenith of his solo career, as he would progressively stumble creatively in subsequent years.

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