George Clinton is an American musician, songwriter, and record producer who has been active in the music industry since the 1950s. He is best known as the leader of the funk and soul collective Parliament-Funkadelic, which he founded in the late 1960s. Clinton’s music is characterized by its complex rhythms, groovy basslines, and energetic horn sections, and has been hugely influential on modern funk, hip-hop, and electronic music.
Clinton was born in Kannapolis, North Carolina in 1941 and grew up in Plainfield, New Jersey. He began his musical career as a doo-wop singer in the 1950s and later formed the Parliaments, a soul group that achieved some success in the 1960s. In the late 1960s, Clinton began incorporating psychedelic and funk influences into his music, and the Parliaments evolved into the larger collective known as Parliament-Funkadelic.
Clinton’s music and live performances were known for their outrageous costumes, elaborate stage shows, and a free-wheeling, improvisational spirit. He became a cult figure in the 1970s and 1980s, with hits such as “Flash Light,” “Atomic Dog,” and “One Nation Under a Groove” becoming anthems for a generation of funk enthusiasts. In addition to his work with Parliament-Funkadelic, Clinton has produced records for a wide range of artists, including Red Hot Chili Peppers, Prince, and Outkast. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997.
1. Atomic Dog
“Atomic Dog” is a funk classic by George Clinton, released in 1982. With its infectious beat and catchy chorus, the song became an instant hit and remains an iconic party anthem today. Clinton’s unique blend of funk, soul, and R&B, along with his signature humor and irreverence, make “Atomic Dog” a must-listen for fans of 80s music. The lyrics speak to the primal urge to dance and let loose, and the song’s driving bassline and synth hooks keep listeners grooving from start to finish. “Atomic Dog” is a true gem of the funk genre, and a testament to Clinton’s musical genius.
2. Do Fries Come with That Shake?
“Do Fries Come with That Shake?” is a funk song by George Clinton, released in 1986. The song is known for its catchy, upbeat melody and humorous lyrics, which describe a man’s attempts to woo a woman by offering her various fast food items. The song features Clinton’s signature use of complex funk rhythms and horn sections, as well as a prominent bassline and catchy chorus. “Do Fries Come with That Shake?” was a hit on the R&B charts, and remains a popular example of Clinton’s unique blend of humor and musical talent.
“Loopzilla” is a funk classic by George Clinton, released in 1982. The song features a deep bassline and groovy synth hooks, creating a hypnotic and infectious rhythm that’s impossible not to dance to. Clinton’s iconic use of vocoders and talk boxes adds a futuristic, almost robotic element to the track, giving it a unique sound that was ahead of its time. “Loopzilla” is a celebration of funk and the power of the groove, and it’s easy to see why it remains a beloved classic among fans of 80s music. With its catchy hooks and irresistible beat, “Loopzilla” is a true testament to Clinton’s musical genius.
4. If Anybody Gets Funked Up (It’s Gonna Be You)
“If Anybody Gets Funked Up (It’s Gonna Be You)” is a funk song by George Clinton, released in 1996. The song features the signature sound of Clinton’s Parliament-Funkadelic collective, with a funky bassline, horn section, and layered vocals. The lyrics are playful and suggestive, urging the listener to let loose and get funky. The song was a hit on the R&B charts and has remained a popular example of Clinton’s unique brand of funk. Clinton’s music continues to inspire and influence generations of musicians in the funk, hip-hop, and electronic genres.
5. Nubian Nut
“Nubian Nut” is a funk song by George Clinton, released in 1995. The song features Clinton’s trademark use of complex funk rhythms, driving basslines, and layered vocals. The lyrics are playful and suggestive, describing a woman who is as irresistible as a “Nubian Nut.” The song is notable for its use of samples from classic funk tracks, including James Brown’s “Funky Drummer” and Funkadelic’s “One Nation Under a Groove.” “Nubian Nut” showcases Clinton’s musical prowess and ability to blend traditional funk sounds with modern production techniques, cementing his place as one of the most innovative and influential musicians of his time.
6. Last Dance
“Last Dance” is a soulful ballad by George Clinton, released in 1985. The song showcases Clinton’s incredible vocal range and emotional depth, as he sings about the pain of lost love and the struggle to move on. The sparse instrumentation and haunting melody create a melancholic and introspective atmosphere, making “Last Dance” a standout track in Clinton’s discography. Despite its somber tone, the song is a beautiful and powerful tribute to the human experience of heartbreak and resilience. “Last Dance” is a reminder that even in our darkest moments, we can find solace and strength in the power of music.
7. Double Oh Oh
“Double Oh Oh” is a funk song by George Clinton, released in 1989. The song features a funky bassline, guitar riffs, and a horn section, all of which are typical of Clinton’s signature sound. The lyrics are playful and suggestive, describing a woman who is as dangerous and seductive as a secret agent. “Double Oh Oh” was a hit on the R&B charts and remains a popular example of Clinton’s unique blend of humor and musical talent. Clinton’s music continues to inspire and influence generations of musicians in the funk, hip-hop, and electronic genres.
8. Paint the White House Black
“Paint the White House Black” is a politically charged rap song by George Clinton, released in 1993. The track features scathing commentary on issues of racism, police brutality, and social inequality, calling for radical change and justice in the face of systemic oppression. The hard-hitting lyrics are matched by a heavy and aggressive beat, creating a sense of urgency and anger that perfectly captures the mood of the times. “Paint the White House Black” is a powerful protest song that resonates just as strongly today as it did when it was first released, and a testament to Clinton’s commitment to using music as a tool for social change.
9. One Nation Under A Groove
“One Nation Under A Groove” is a funk classic by George Clinton and his band Funkadelic, released in 1978. The song features a driving bassline, infectious rhythm, and an anthemic chorus that celebrates unity, love, and the power of music to bring people together. The lyrics, which encourage listeners to “dance their way out of their constrictions,” are a call to action to transcend societal divisions and embrace a collective spirit of joy and freedom. “One Nation Under A Groove” was a hit on the R&B and pop charts and remains a timeless example of Clinton’s musical and cultural impact.
10. You’re Thinking Right
In 1987, The Tracey Ullman Show had a theme song that was written by George Clinton. “You’re Thinking Right” was his creation as a songwriter. This was a great tune to rev up the audience to tune in and enjoy a televised program that ran from 1987 until 1990. The show itself was sketch comedy, combined with musical acts and dance numbers. Clinton’s musical composition was perfect as a funky number to get each episode started with whatever theme came to mind, episode for episode.