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Parliament

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Parliament was originally The Parliaments, a doo-wop group based out of George Clinton’s Plainfield, New Jersey barber shop. The name was soon abandoned due to legal issues with Revilot and Atlantic Records, and most of the same people recorded under the name Funkadelic, which consisted of The Parliaments’ backing musicians. Billy “Bass” Nelson is credited with creating the name Funkadelic. He also switched from 6-string guitar to bass, creating room for his childhood friend Eddie Hazel to join the group. Soon, Parliament was created in addition to Funkadelic and the two bands consisted of essentially the same people, though both released albums under their respective names.

The legal problems with the name “The Parliaments” were resolved in 1970, and Clinton signed all of Funkadelic to Invictus Records under the name Parliament, releasing Osmium (“The Breakdown” reached #30 on the R&B charts in 1971) but the name Parliament was then abandoned for some time, as Funkadelic was much more successful.

In the early 1970s, Bernie Worrell, Bootsy Collins and Catfish Collins joined Funkadelic, which released five albums by 1974. With only moderate success, Funkadelic signed with Casablanca Records as Parliament, releasing “Up for the Down Stroke” (off the album of the same name) which reached #10 on the R&B charts but peaked at #63 Pop. The song was the biggest hit of P Funk’s career. 1975 saw the release of Chocolate City, which also enjoyed moderate success; the title track reached #24.

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