Funkadelic — Uncle Jam Wants You

This one came out in 1979, and yet, before I bought it last week, I don’t remember ever even seeing it. And it actually did very well: #18 on Billboard, #2 R&B, certified gold. I know I heard the edited version of “(Not Just) Knee Deep” back in the day, but the album itself escaped my notice. I just didn’t have the funk then. Sometimes you don’t see things you’re not looking for.Stylistically similar to their previous album, “One Nation Under a Groove,” it’s got a little more of a military/marching band kind of beat, a more regular rhythm throughout than many P Funk records. Some reviews said it was more “political” than some of their other records; maybe it’s just more obvious.

Uncle Jam Wants You front cover
Uncle Jam Wants You front cover – why, yes, that is a giant flashlight.

It’s just possible that I’m entering the nostalgic phase of my life, or maybe it’s just that in the midst of the pandemic, I have been actively seeking comfort music that sounds like my youth. Because of the last 50 LPs I’ve bought, 19 were from the ’70s. (And the Jefferson Airplane Woodstock set comes very close.) Maybe I’m just making up for things that I couldn’t afford or wasn’t interested in back then?

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