Tear the Roof Off (1974-1980)

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The Best of Parliament: Give Up the Funk may capture the band's bare essentials, but given the band's penchant for stretching out on extended jams (which included some of their best songs), it's hard to get anything beyond the most basic overview of their work on just one disc. Unless you're a very casual fan, a much better bet is the double-disc Tear the Roof Off 1974-1980, whose 25 tracks add plenty of much-needed detail behind the best-known and most-sampled hits. Slightly more party-oriented than Funkadelic, Parliament created the wildest atmosphere of all the projects in the George Clinton oeuvre, full of loopy humor and way-out sci-fi concepts. Parliament were also more of a singles act than the frequently album-oriented Funkadelic, and while Parliament produced their share of classic albums, their material doesn't lose any of its potency when boiled down into compilation form. What's more, Tear the Roof Off contains several full-length 12" mixes that were never previously available on CD. These are some of the most unstoppable, widely imitated grooves of all time, and they still carry the same impact today, making Tear the Roof Off an obvious necessity.

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