Funkadelic
Free Your Mind...And Your Ass Will Follow


4.5
superb

Review

by benjamin thortenburger USER (11 Reviews)
August 18th, 2014 | 13 replies | 427 views


Release Date: 1970 | Tracklist

Review Summary: "THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN...IS WITHIN!"

8 of 9 thought this review was well written

1970’s Funkadelic was an excellent introduction to the band we came to know as Funkadelic. It was groovy, sexy, and expertly produced by the godfather of funk himself: George Clinton. Yet for all that was great about this album, there was a major drawback that needed to be addressed for later releases: for an album called Funkadelic, it wasn’t really effective in balancing the psychedelic and funk influences; there was a lot more visible influence from the likes of Jimi Hendrix and Frank Zappa than the likes of James Brown and the Isley Brothers. This made tracks sound more like early R&B pumped with hallucinogens than it did a ‘Funkadelic’ album. And while the group’s self-titled was more than able to stand under its own weight, Clinton was going to go nowhere had he moved forward with this sound.

Released the exact same year as their debut, Free Your Mind...And Your As$ Will Follow , otherwise known as Free Your Mind...And The Rest Will Follow or simply Free Your Mind... for obvious reasons, was the album Funkadelic needed. With a crisper sound, greater emphasis on rhythm, and less indulgence on the dark moody echoes that practically defined that of their debut, it set a new direction for the band, and Funkadelic hasn’t looked back since.

Funkadelic from the very start of the album lets listeners know that the title is not a gimmick, but a way of life followed by the Funkadelics religiously. Those who play Free your Mind from the start will be immediately hit up-front with a chant:
“FREE YOUR MIND... AND YOUR ASS WILL FOLLOW;
THE KINDGOM OF HEAVEN...IS WITHIN!”


This is repeated to the tune of heavy guitar distortion and feedback in the background, this goes for two minutes, setting in a weirdly trippy vibe that really sets the tone for the rest of the album. Following those 2 minutes of psychedelic glory, the chant speeds up, and the raw guitar distortion suddenly morphs into a blazing guitar solo courtesy of Eddie Hazel. This, my friends, is simply the opening title-track, much funkier is to come.
The funk climax, ‘Funky Dollar Bill’ shows a new side to Funkadelic, one with a knack for social commentary, that will take a much larger hold as the band progresses. The song is a critique of Americans who strive only to earn cash through the course of their lives, without caring about what truly matters in life.

“It'll buy a war, it will save a land
It pollutes this air, in the name of wealth
It'll buy you a life but not true life
The kind of life where the soul is lost”

Following “Funky Dollar Bill” songs slowly rebound back to psychedelic territory, but still manage to remain funky for the duration of the album. With songs like "I Wanna Know If It's Good To You" displaying increased emphasis on trippy atmospherics reminiscent of the debut, but still carrying the heavy grooves expected of a P-funk album.

Free Your Mind...And Your As$ Will Follow is the album where Funkadelic found the style they were going for, namely one that was flexible enough so that there would be enough unexplored territory to keep the group from running stale. As a result, Free Your Mind... serves as an excellent introduction for anyone wanting their first taste of Funkadelic.



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user ratings (80)
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3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
VaxXi
August 18th 2014



373 Comments


Dat album title tho

SharkTooth
August 18th 2014



4028 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Yeah it's brilliant

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laughingman22
August 18th 2014



1559 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

hell yeah! Sweet album, sweet review

Digging: Casualties of Cool - Casualties of Cool

SharkTooth
August 18th 2014



4028 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

shit, a ghost neg, ain't that just perfect

jefflebowski
August 18th 2014



8033 Comments


amazing title but in truth one of the weaker funkadelic LPs. good review though

Digging: Cymbals Eat Guitars - LOSE

SharkTooth
August 18th 2014



4028 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

In general Funkadelic has an extremely strong discog, I mainly 4.5'd it because it's a great place for anyone to start with the band.

jefflebowski
August 18th 2014



8033 Comments


you think? i'd say overall it's one of the less accessible funkadelic's, it's noisier and just as jammy as the debut but not as melodic

maggot brain, one nation and standing on the verge would probably be my recommended places to start

SharkTooth
August 18th 2014



4028 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Maggot Brain is even less accessible than this imo,
although I agree on One Nation/Standing on The Verge as starting points, though I still think this
would be also a great starting place mainly due to the raw grooves present

jefflebowski
August 18th 2014



8033 Comments


you don't think the s/t grooves harder? and apart from armageddon wars and the t/t (which is a classic
anyway), maggot brain is for the most part poppy and concise

SharkTooth
August 18th 2014



4028 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

When talking about the accessibility of albums, I mainly refer to a straight beginning-to-end listen, Maggot Brain has that epic yet
long guitar solo that might turn some listeners off befote they can hear anything else off the record, and the s/t is a pretty slow,
dense listen throughout, I love both albums, but this is probably the easiest listen off early Funkadelic records.

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
August 18th 2014



15906 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

love the album, nice review

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ComeToDaddy
August 19th 2014



176 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Album grooves, band grooves, review grooves. Pos'd, I prefer this to a lot of their later stuff tbh so good to see it get a review that does it justice

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jefflebowski
August 19th 2014



8033 Comments


picked up a copy of electric spanking of war babies for 2 quid the other day, def one of the most underrated funkadelic LPs



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