Who sings lead most often?

This is something I could probably piece together with album liner notes, but it’s part of a larger discussion piece. I’m a relatively new p-funk enthusiast so I’m not always sure who is the lead singer when I’m listening to albums. (similar to how, as a new Beatles fan in 2002 I was more concerned with the melody and rhythm and lyrics of the songs and not which Beatle was actually singing; something I revisited much later).

I mean, I know when it’s George, obviously, and I could pick Bootsy’s voice out easily, even if it only turns up about a half dozen times on a Parliament/Funkadelic/GC album. And I know when it’s Ray Davis. But aside from that, I don’t know when it’s Garry, when it’s Junie, when it’s Fuzzy, Shady, Calvin or Glen. As more experienced fans does this come as second nature to you? Or do you find that when you’re listening to the 1970-1985 canon it’s inconsequential who is doing the singing and you don’t really think about it?

Are there some songs you would classify as signature Junie songs that would merit some closer listening in order to get used to his vocal stylings? What about Garry? And out of curiosity, what would you say is the approximate lead vocals breakdown (percentage wise) for parliament/funkadelic/GC albums through about 1985?

Even after listening to these songs I don’t know how many times, I’m still really bad at picking out who’s who :slight_smile: . But for a signature Junie track I would say Grooveallegiance from One Nation. Or maybe even better Super Spirit from the family series.

I’m thinking that maybe Garry Shider was featured the most on vocals, since he was constantly active in the band (both as lead and background vocs). But probably it’s Clinton.

For a signature track for Garry I would say Cosmic Slop. And for Glen Funkin For Fun from Clones.

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As you stated, George, Ray, and Bootsy are easy to distinguish. I agree with @silentboatman that Cosmic Slop is probably the one song that most notably showcases Garry but he sang most of the Cosmic SLop album if I’m not mistaken. He’s also right about Junie on Groovealegiance though he also sang extensively on Motor Booty Affair: Title track, Water Sign, Deep and Aqua Boogie. Honestly, I’d go back and listen to the Ohio Players’ albums up to Angel for some background on Junie’s singing.
Of course everyone I’ve ever known would say Glenn’s shining hour is the end vamp of Mothership Connection or the 2nd coming of Fantasy is Reality, with honorable mention to Children of Production.
Fuzzy most notably sang Standing on the Verge and Eddie also sang on that albums Red Hot Momma.
Was it Eddie or Calvin who sang I’ll Stay??
Of course, I could be wrong or your opinion may differ and it does get sketchy beyond the more obvious examples. I hope you find this helpful.


Dag, how could I forget; Bop Gun is a Glenn Goins joyride!
Wait, did my nose just grow??

And Eddie also sang on Open Our Eyes. But now I gotta go back listen to Motor Booty. :slight_smile:

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Garry is lead on Cosmic Slop, Getting to Know You, Let’s Make it Last, and Sexy Ways and then is featured on different lines and phrases through tons of other songs and once you know his voice you can pick him out anywhere.

Junie has that almost helium tinged cartoonish voice (that I love) and is all over One Nation and MBA, think “this is Howard Codsell testing testing” and then you’ll be able to spot it every time.

Eddie has an amazing voice and once I was familiar with it I can also place it immediately and he shows up a lot pre-1976 stuff - California Dreamin’ (obviously), Let Me Be, Open Our Eyes, Loose Booty (behind George’s raps), Mommy What’s a Funkadelic, Super Stupid etc.
Glenn should be really obvious (Handcuffs, Bop Gun, Smokey)
Calvin has a great voice also and I feel he was underutilized, he’s lead on Qualify and Satisfy and parts of Baby I Owe You Something Good beside Garry
Billy is lead on You and Your Folks and I believe Tawl singing Funky Dollar Bill
Ron Ford was featured a lot in late 70s stuff, that’s him on Into You after Ray’s low stuff and Misunderstanding by Parlet. I’m sure there’s more I’m forgetting but that’s a good start!


“Sweet membrane”!

Damn I AM rusty.

This is great info and insight, everyone… thanks!

As an interesting side note and to make it more confusing there are also non P-Funk artists that have sang lead on the albums like veteran soul singer Clyde Wilson on “Breakdown” and “Come in Out of the Rain” and Ben Edwards from United Soul on “This Broken Heart” and I still can’t figure out who the main vocalist on “Half a Man” by the Horny Horns is, I’m guessing maybe Maceo?

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Vanessa Williams - Do Fries Go With That Shake?.

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