“Flash Light” by Parliament (1977)

Parliament/Funkadelic hit their height around 1976 and stayed there until 1979 or so. Doesn’t seem like a long time, but then consider both iterations of the band released an album or so annually, there was a ton of touring, and if George Clinton’s biography is any indication, there were a lot of drugs. Parliament was the more commercial version of the two entities, and “Flash Light” would probably be the most enduring hit of the whole organization if not for George Clinton’s late stage “solo” smash “Atomic Dog” in ’83.

“Everyone’s got a little light under the sun” is a great line and everything, but the best thing about “Flash Light” has to be Bernie Worrell’s keyboard squiggling. Worrell was a synth genius; you can clearly connect the dots from the work he did on records like “Flash Light” to Prince’s early ’80s playing on “Dirty Mind”, “Controversy” and “1999”. Bernie’s playing sounded cartoonish to me as a kid, but I get now how technically proficient and far ahead of his time he actually was.

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