50 years ago today

Let’s celebrate the start of the Casablanca era. On July 3rd, 1974, Casablanca Records released Up For The Down Stroke by the Funk legends known as Parliament. It would be their first album since their 1970 debut Osmium, which was released on Invictus Records in 1970. The title cut from their Casablanca debut would peak at number 10 on the Billboard R&B singles chart.

Up For The Down Stroke also cements the professional relationship between group leader George Clinton and bassist William Collins, who returns after a two year absence (Collins co-wrote the title track with keyboardist Bernie Worrell (RIP) and vocalist Fuzzy Haskins). Several generations of P-Funk are showcased on the album, including Garry Shider (RIP) and Boogie Mosson (RIP), original Funkadelics Billy Bass Nelson and Eddie Hazel (RIP), and the five Parliaments handling vocals.

UFTDS is also notable for featuring no less than three remakes of earlier Parliaments songs and one re-working of a track originally cut by Rose Williams and the “Funkedelics” (Whatever Makes Baby Feels Good).

Let us give a tip of the brim to those who testified to the everlasting power of the Down Stroke. Calvin Simon (RIP), Fuzzy Haskins (RIP), Grady Thomas, Ray Davis (RIP), Garry Shider (RIP), Eddie Hazel (RIP), Boogie Mosson (RIP), William Collins, Ron Bykowski, Billy Bass Nelson, Gary Brunson, Tiki Fulwood (RIP), the Man In The Box, Bernie Worrell (RIP), Peter Chase, Sidney Barnes, and Maggot Minister George Clinton.

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I love it. This is where I got my first funks from. What’s ironic to me, is just around the corner the band is about to split. Isn’t that how it always goes, once the dollars start to roll in.

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