Building on my research on Betty Davis, I am making new discoveries about FUNK music daily. Today’s research led me to return to Tony Bolden’s The Funk Era and Beyond ((Palgrave MacMillan, 2008). After doing some reading about James Brown over the last couple of days, I wanted to familiarize myself with George Clinton/Parliament/Funkadelic. I read Amy Nathan Wright, “A Philosophy of Funk: The Politics and Pleasure of a Parliafunkadelicment Thang!” So, in order to fully comprehend their evolution as a band into a philosophical (nearly religious) out-of-this-world sound, funk aesthetic experience, I was “forced” to watch George Clinton Parliament Funkadelic: The Mothership Connection, a concert in Houston (produced in 2001, but the concert I believe is from 1983). Of course, I’m looking into Afro-Futurism, too, which I’m sure will also lead me down some unexpected roads. Furthermore, I realize that I have to analyze album covers. Compare the black female body (head) in Parliament’s Maggot Brain to Betty Davis’ sophomore album cover, Betty Davis: They Say I’m Different (1974)? The difference in the woman’s placement–and resultant agency–says a lot about the trouble that Betty Davis faced as a female singer–songwriter who took full control (as long as she could) of her music and production.
Maggot Brain (1971)
Betty Davis: They Say I’m Different (1974)
Other Funkadelic/Parliament album covers are rich for visual analysis as well:
America Eats Its Young (1972)
Chocolate City (1975)