Is Mothership Connection really Parliament's masterpiece?

I know that to the general music listening public, Mothership Connection is typically known as the high point in Parliament’s discography. But what do the Hardcore Funkateers have to say about that?

Personally, I prefer both Funkentelechy and Motor Booty Affair.

I don’t set out to be a contrarian, but this does seem to be a continuance of a well-established pattern for me. The majority thinks Sgt. Pepper is the Beatles’ best - I prefer Abbey road, Revolver and the white album. The majority likes Dark Side Of the Moon the best - I prefer Wish You Were Here and Animals. The majority likes Exile on Main Street the best - I prefer Aftermath, Between the Buttons, and Sticky Fingers.

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That’s really interesting, for me it’s like choosing a favorite child because those three (plus Clones) are just so amazing. I think Mothership stands high in the critical and mainstream world because it was the first to deliver the definitive P-Funk sound; Moog synth, Sci-fi concept, Mu-Tron bass, Horny Horns, etc. and seemed so unique and groundbreaking and it was so well done. I think Funkentelechy might be an even greater artistic and musical accomplishment but it wouldn’t have existed without Mothership and uses the same basic framework so maybe Mothership is so exalted because it made the mold?


To me the Parliament albums run in two record cycles

Chocolate City Vs Up For Down Stroke- CC has the jams but Stroke is a better musical statement

Mothership Vs Clones- Again, MC jams. Clones is better from a musical standpoint.

Funkentelechy Vs Motor Booty. Well, Funkentelechy stands alone to me because of one song and it ain’t Flashlight. It’s Sir Nose D’Voidoffunk. That to me is the all time zenith of Parliament.

Gloryhallastoopid Vs Trombipulation- Stoopid has the jams. Trombipulation is a better musical statement.

All things considered though, if I have to get right down to it-MC is the high water mark as an album. Don’t take the tracks on it for granted. When you listen to it deeply you realize what a masterpiece every track on it truly is.
But what do I know, I consider America Eats Its Young as Funkadelic’s finest hour.
I’m the same about the Beatles and Pink Floyd, Animals is the one that really gets me. Pigs On the Wing. As for the Beatles, give me Magical Mystery Tour any day.


I often wish they had taken a minute from all 3 long jams and added a 7th song.
Also, Wizard of finance will always be a guilty pleasure for me. :kissing_smiling_eyes:


For me, Clones is the one I always come back to. It was the first Parliament album I got on vinyl and the first one I really got into, so it has a special place in my heart.

Yeah, I think you’re right. The cover also helped, it’s strange but brilliant at the same time.

Interesting, I always seen it like this: First Up For The Down Stroke and CC, linking the doo-wop and the later stuff. And then it’s Mothership Connection, Clones and Funkentelechy, with their space opera feel. And finally Motor Booty, Gloryhallastoopid and Trombipulation, with tons of credits, gatefold covers and moving the storyline to the next level. (And of course Osmium, but that’s a separate beast.)


Yes there is something about Clones that makes me respect it down thru the years even more than MC. It’s got such a consistent, beautifully smooth production throughout. However, I wouldn’t advise a newbie to start there. A younger girlfriend of a girlfriend of mine years ago became bewildered at my total grooveallegiance to the P. Few months later she came across Clones in the record store and put two and two together and bought it. Next time she saw me she was like ‘what is this?’. She absolutely hated it. I told her it was more for the real fans, start with Mothership.
Now the record that has given me the most profound rediscovery is Trombipulation.
It must be given a deep listen to truly appreciate it. I had Let’s Play House going earlier and it dawned on me. There is no excuse for this not to have been a major single off the album. I think it would have hit on the radio.


:point_up:t3:All the 70’s P-Funk Albums are the best.

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I had some similar experience but with Parliament vs Funkadelic. They thought they would get some p-funk with horns, but they got some psychedelic-guitar-stuff :grin:

YES, Easily the best Parliament album, A couple of Funkadelic albums come close but the Mothership rises highest in the cosmos

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I like to think of - and listen to Mothership, Clones and Funkentelechy as parts of the Glen Goins trilogy :smiley:

There’s so much brilliance at work in all three and indeed all things P Funk, but Glen’s voice hooked me way before anything else. That was on vinyl, in the summer of 93, Toronto.

If I’d seen him call down the mothership for real, I suspect my head may have exploded. Still, what a way to go…kablooey!


What I think of as fantasy vs. reality.

Keep hanging in there! It’s the only way.


Looking back while listening to a heavy Parliament mix last night it dawns on me I was really more into Parliament than Funkadelic at the peak commercial years. I discovered Parliament on the radio. When I saw the Egg Tour in 1980 and Funkadelic came out on Alice/Cosmic Slop, my 14 year old mind was just confused.


My personal opinion is yes it is. It’s a solid album from start to finish that had far-reaching effects on music for decades.