Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Funkiest

I got involved in a discussion this morning regarding which funk song should be recognized as the "funkiest."  A lot of people were pushing for something out of the Parliament/Funkadelic catalog, which is full of good contenders but to me is a little too rooted in rock & roll early on (not that that's a bad thing) and then becomes a little too spacey in the later years. Some good suggestions were thrown around: "What is Hip?" by Tower of Power, "Sex Machine" by James Brown (among many others), and "Jungle Boogie" by Kool & The Gang.  Then somebody reminded me of Earth Wind & Fire's "Serpentine Fire."  While I usually gravitate more towards the raw funk of the late 1960s and early 1970s, I couldn't help but agreeing that this was one of the most undeniably funky songs I had heard.  It was also one of the first funk songs that really captivated me as a kid.  From the rapid-fire brass to the super tight groove provided by Caribbean drums and a bouncy bass-line the song exudes those intangible "funk" qualities.  After looking through some of the other suggestions, I think a case could also be made for songs like Zapp and Roger's "More Bounce to the Ounce" and Stevie Wonder's "Superstition."

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