George Clinton

George Clinton With Parliament

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Apparently, the superb archival Parliament release First Thangs was released without George Clinton's approval or input. How else to explain this release, which cannibalizes half the tracks on that album, sequences them out of order, and retains the superb liner notes from that anthology, which make references to tracks that are not on this release? Add a contemporary photo of Clinton on the cover, and what results is guaranteed to confuse and irritate consumers. To be fair, the music -- recorded during the sessions for the first Parliament album, Osmium, in 1970 -- is worth hearing. "Fantasy Is Reality" is a gospel-tinged song with psychedelic overtones, and "Breakdown," a hard rock number with fiery lead guitar work from Eddie Hazel, is as superb as anything Parliament and Funkadelic released officially. It is also true that First Thangs suffered from poor distribution upon its release. Still, it would have been more of a treat for fans if the entire album had simply been reissued, rather than a portion (the remaining tracks appear on Tamurinillis). Fans who want to hear this music might make do with this release, but really should expend the effort to track down First Thangs instead.

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