Funkadelic - The Electric Spanking of War Babies (1981)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 7:21 AM

A superb album, with the newer, younger funk lineup (Blackbyrd McKnight, Ron Dunbar, Ron Ford, Donnie Sterling, Lige Curry, etc). This was originally scheduled to be a double album, with tracks like "Atomic Dog" and "I Angle" on it, but Warner Bros. vetoed that idea. It's tough to imagine it being stretched out that far, because the album is a very diffuse collection of styles, which might have been hard to swallow with many more songs. Instead, it's a great selection of ideas and new artists, with every track bringing its own surprises. "Electric Spanking..." is a Junie extravaganza, with Michael Hampton doing the guitar intro. Another dance track in the vein of "Knee Deep", this one examines the baby boomer generation and the things they've seen. "Electro-Cuties" is a clever, pun-filled song playing on electromagnetism and sexual attraction. Great bass playing by Jimmie Ali here. "Funk Gets Stronger I" has a great rhythm guitar line set up by future Zapp frontman Roger Troutman. It also features a nice, dirty horn riff and some great singing. It's just a very funky track, with great interplay between the guitar and basslines. "Brettino's Bounce" is a fun percussion instrumental, unique amongst Funkadelic songs. Better yet, it fits perfectly in the flow of songs, much the same way "Nappy Dugout" does on Cosmic Slop. "Funk Gets Stronger II" is a rollicking, powerful funk free-for-all. New Funkadelic Sly Stone teams up with Eddie Hazel to put together a track that wouldn't be out of place on an early Funkadelic album. George is having a great time doing his rap here, and Sly shines lyrically and musically, singing in a raspy, funky whisper. The same dirty horn riff on the first version of this song pops up again here. A snippet of the Beatles' "She Loves You" can be heard at the end of the song, sung by Funkadelic. "Shockwaves" is a bizarre reggae-funk composition by new guitar hero Blackbyrd McKnight and late-period P.Funk contributor Ron Dunbar, again with funny lyrics to back up the music. That slides into a soul-dance number, "Oh, I" that features great singing. The Funkadelic story ends with the immortal "Icka Prick", a song every bit as nasty and funny as "Mommy, What's A Funkadelic", the first song on the first album. "Icka Prick" features an unforgettable, hilariously obscene rap by George Clinton, backed by another great Hampton lick and some excellent backup singing. Similar in nature to Blowfly's outrageousness, it was certainly a pre-cursor to hardcore hip-hop's nastiness, but with a much better sense of humor. 'You ain't seen obscene yet!'...'...doing pushups with his clit'... 'graffilthy! Suck my mind!'...

The album overcomes the absence of Bernie Worrell with great performances by the young musicians. The material is fresh and fun, and lots of it is reminiscient of earlier Funkadelic material without being derivative. The album succeeds because Clinton isn't trying to milk a formula here; instead, he's allowing people to do their own thing. At its best, Funkadelic was a lab for musical experimentation, and it's alive and well on their final release.
1. Electric Spanking Of War Babies
2. Electro-Cuties
3. Funk Gets Stronger (Part 1)
4. Brettino's Bounce
5. Funk Gets Stronger-She Loves You
6. Shockwaves
7. Oh, I
8. Icka Prick

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