Funkadelic – Standing on the Verge of Getting It On

Back in April, when I was in the C’s and it looked like we were going to be in quarantine for a while (hoo boy), I was forced to admit that I was a latecomer to George Clinton, Parliament and Funkadelic. When I was in high school, “Give Up The Funk (Tear the Roof Off the Sucker)” by Parliament was a big hit, though I didn’t own it or anything related until the mid-‘80s when I picked up Clinton’s “R&B Skeletons in the Closet.” That was toward the end of my vinyl-buying, and i didn’t get anything more in the deep funk territory until some digital buys some years later. I would hear something by Parliament or Funkadelic and dig it , but confusion over what group was what contributed to reluctance, as did a feeling that the album stuff was different or less listenable than the singles. I had “Maggot Brain” digitally, and I played it . . . but I didn’t listen to it. So I’m ashamed to say that I didn’t own my first Funkadelic vinyl until last year, when I bought this at Forever Changes in Phoenixville. Really, I bought it on the title alone. How could anything with this title be bad?

It could not. This is: wow.

Standing on the Verge front cover
One of the all-time great album titles. And an appropriately funky marker cover.

This was Funkadelic’s sixth album. Released in 1974, it featured the return of guitarist Eddie Hazel, who left after their third record, “Maggot Brain,” to which he had contributed a legendary 10-minute guitar solo. On this record, he co-wrote all the songs (which were only seven, often a red flag for me). It is really more funky than “Maggot Brain,” more groove-driven, and completely out there. I’ve said before, there was no way I would have been ready for this when I was a teen . . . as much as I enjoyed top 40 r&b, a brain that had just recently been awakened to music and was deeply into Elton John, John Denver, the Eagles, I just wouldn’t have been ready for this. But now? Now, this is gooood. And I’m happy to have a beautiful new pressing, because there’s a lot of space in this that needs to be free of pops and clicks.

It’s insane to listen to this and think it was nearly 50 years ago . . . it’s still out there. In a good way. And the recording is phenomenal.

Standing on the Verge back cover
“There’s nothing harder to stop than an idea whose time has come to pass! Funkadelic is wot time it is!” Let’s hope.
Verge gatefold left
I’m all in favor of wet epic debauchery . . . but man is this hard to see.
Verge gatefold right
Portraits of the artists
Verge reissue label
Verge reissue label

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