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“Mothership Connection” stands as the fourth album by the American funk band Parliament, released on December 15, 1975, under Casablanca Records. Widely regarded among the pinnacle releases of Parliament-Funkadelic, this concept album marked the debut of horn players Maceo Parker and Fred Wesley, notable for their prior collaboration with James Brown in the J.B.’s.
The album achieved significant commercial success, becoming Parliament’s inaugural gold-certified album, subsequently attaining platinum status. A major contributing factor was the hit single “Give Up the Funk (Tear the Roof off the Sucker),” which became the band’s first million-selling single. In 2011, the Library of Congress added “Mothership Connection” to the National Recording Registry, citing its substantial influence on jazz, rock, and dance music.
The conceptual framework of the album revolves around an imaginative, escapist theme set in outer space. George Clinton, describing the concept, highlighted the unconventional scenarios he created for black individuals, including situating them in outer space, inspired by his love for Star Trek. The album’s thematic essence carried over into P-Funk’s live performances during the 1970s, featuring the iconic Mothership prop as part of Dr. Funkenstein’s entrance.
Notably, “Mothership Connection” is considered a pioneering work of afrofuturism, envisioning a future universe where black astronauts engage with alien worlds. Reflecting on its significance, journalist Frasier McAlpine noted its emergence as a response to the challenging urban environment of the 1970s, offering a flamboyant and funky expression that was both righteous and joyful.
A1 P. Funk (Wants To Get Funked Up)
A2 Mothership Connection (Star Child)
A3 Unfunky UFO
B3 Give Up The Funk (Tear The Roof Off The Sucker)
B4 Night Of The Thumpasorus Peoples
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