The Parliaments were a doo-wop quintet from Plainfield, New Jersey, formed in the back room of a barbershop in the late 1950s and named after the cigarette.
They were: George Clinton, Ray Davis, Fuzzy Haskins, Calvin Simon, and Grady Thomas. George Clinton was part owner of the barber shop and originally they were just playing to entertain customers while they got their haircut.
As a group, many found them too raunchy, too dirty, too heavy and too “far out” (funky was not yet a musical adjective in the 50’s). Contemporary audiences thought this band lacked the shine necessary to cut it in the world of militantly perfect doo-wop. Their suits were always dirty, they were fucking up their dance steps, they were always drunk, ect ect.
that's my hand at 0:11
They put out a single, “(I Wanna) Testify” and then shit got messed up with their bankrupt label. They lost the right to the name the Parliaments so they changed their name to Funkadelic in order to sign to another label. You probably know what’s up from here. Clinton re-started another band (really the same band) called Parliament so he could have two bands making slightly different brands of funk for two labels. The point is, before all the funk, before the success, before they took acid and before they were standing on the verge of getting it on, they were a doo-wop band, called the Parliaments.
Most of these songs you might know in their later versions, recorded for either Funkadelic or Parliament albums with bigger budgets and glossier production. Here they are as they originally were. It’s raw, heavy, doo-wop perfection. The bridge between funk and soul, between romance and lust. Since they just released a few singles, a ‘best of’ is the best way. This is my favorite ‘best of’ of all time and a truly special record.