“Give Up The Funk (Tear The Roof Off The Sucker)” by Parliament (1976)

Sometimes, the “keep it simple, stupid” theory works. It’s a theory George Clinton learned well as the Seventies progressed and his Parliament/Funkadelic machine began to gain more and more commercial traction. “Give Up The Funk (Tear The Roof Off The Sucker)” became the outfit’s first top five R&B single, largely based on the fact that… Read More “Give Up The Funk (Tear The Roof Off The Sucker)” by Parliament (1976)

“Gigolos Get Lonely Too” by The Time (1982)

Players can be vulnerable, so sings Morris Day on The Time’s 1982 track “Gigolos Get Lonely Too”. Released as the second single from the funk band’s sophomore album, “Gigolos” slowed the pace down from their previous three hits, “Get It Up”, “Cool” and “777-9311”. It offered Morris the chance to do something resembling actual crooning,… Read More “Gigolos Get Lonely Too” by The Time (1982)

“Get Up Offa That Thing” by James Brown (1976)/”Get Up, Get Into It, Get Involved” by James Brown (1970)

James Brown had a way of making magic with just a slogan. That was at least partially due to the ability of his various bands to lock into a stone groove (and speaks highly to JB’s considerable skills as a bandleader). “Get Up, Get Into It, Get Involved” is sort of a political call to… Read More “Get Up Offa That Thing” by James Brown (1976)/”Get Up, Get Into It, Get Involved” by James Brown (1970)

“Family Affair” by Sly & The Family Stone (1971)

Sly & The Family Stone’s “Family Affair” has to be one of the weirdest number one singles ever.  First off, it marked an early experiment with the Rhythm King drum machine, a device that produced an incredibly unique sound. I’m sure it sounded futuristic in 1971. It sounds delightfully primitive (in an endearing way) these… Read More “Family Affair” by Sly & The Family Stone (1971)

“Don’t Stop The Music” (Yarbrough & Peoples, 1980)/”Don’t Stop The Music” (Rihanna, 2007)

Two very different songs from two generations (although the latter song reaches back to the sounds of the generation that made the former song a hit) with one thing in common: if you play them loudly, your ass will start wiggling. You may think Yarbrough & Peoples were a one-hit wonder, but they had a… Read More “Don’t Stop The Music” (Yarbrough & Peoples, 1980)/”Don’t Stop The Music” (Rihanna, 2007)