After rappers had begun sampling old-school funk tracks from the 1970s, plenty of record companies started knocking out funk compilations to cash in on the newfound popularity of these sampled gems. Funkology is an above-average (and quite generous) version of this kind of collection. Though it runs in to some of the licensing and programming problems that plague similar compilations, it remains a very impressive and diverse sampling of classic funk tunes. Of course, there are plenty of classic jams from the acknowledged masters of the genre: James Brown logs in with "Sex Machine" and "Make It Funky," while George Clinton's P-Funk legacy is represented by such gems as "P-Funk (Wants to Get Funked Up)," "One Nation Under a Groove," and "Atomic Dog." There are also plenty of one-shot hits, like Yarbrough & Peoples' sizzling synth funk classic "Don't Stop the Music" and Charles Wright and 103rd Street Rhythm Band's jazzy, horn-laden "Express Yourself". The poppier tracks on the album are balanced with some sizzling jazz-funk tracks like Billy Cobham's percussion-driven "Stratus (Pt. 1)" and Herbie Hancock's rap/electronic synthesis "Rockit." Rounding out the package are some lesser-known tracks by familiar artists: Bootsy Collins' gleefully goofy funk epics are passed over in favor of "I'd Rather Be With You," a surprisingly sultry ballad laced with some fluid wah-wah guitar licks, and Fred Wesley and the J.B.'s more rootsy tracks are downplayed in favor of "Blow Your Head," a wild funk jam whose squiggly synthesizer leads paved the way for synth funk artists like Zapp. Funkology manages to cover an impressive amount of ground during its generous running time and this makes one of the best compilations for a novice funk fan to pick up.
AllMusic Review by Donald A. Guarisco
Track Listing - Disc 1
Track Listing - Disc 2