1976 Parliament – Tear the Roof Off the Sucker (Give Up The Funk)

1976 Parliament – Tear the Roof Off the Sucker (Give Up The Funk)

George Clinton and four friends began singing in a doo-wop group called the Parliaments in the late fifties. The group reached #20 on the Hot 100 in 1967 with their single (I Wanna) Testify, a song written by George and Deron Taylor.

The single was middle-of-the-road soul music, with no hint of the funk music that was waiting in the wings, but is still a song that I remember.

The group’s follow-up single stalled at #80. A touring group added five more musicians playing instruments behind the singers.

The group fought with their record label (Revilot Records) and lost the right to record as the Parliaments. George simply took his assembled musicians and signed them to Westbound Records as Funkadelic in 1969. The new group included ten members creating funk-rock music.

Eventually, the five singers reformed and returned to performing as Parliament, but they also were recording music on Casablanca Records that was noticeably funk.

In 1976, the group released Tear the Roof Off the Sucker (Give Up The Funk) as the second single from their Mothership Connection album.

The single peaked at #15 on the Hot 100 and #5 on the R&B chart in 1976.

After that, two chart-topping funk tunes reached the top of the R&B chart amid a series of top forty R&B singles. The group only reached the top forty on the Hot 100 one more time. I’m the first to admit I don’t recall the single Flash Light at all, but it reached #16 on the Hot 100 in 1978.

In the late eighties, several of the long-term members of the groups began leaving. By 1980, Parliament and Funkadelic were no more. George kept touring and sometimes recording with many of his past associates as George Clinton & the P-Funk All-Stars.

George reformed Parliament in 2018 and the group recorded a new album. The single from the album, I’m Gon Make U Sick O’Me, failed to chart.


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