The Parliaments: Good Old Music
From 7″ (Revilot, 1968)

The Magic Tones: Good Old Music
From 7″ (Westbound, 1969)

Funkadelic: Good Old Music
From S/T (Westbound, 1970

I was so enamored with the Magic Tones 7″ I wrote about the other month that I went to go look for other material by this Detroit band and then came upon their version of Funkadelic’s “Good Ole Music.” George Clinton must have straight up loved this song since he basically recorded it three different times. The first came on the pre-P-Funk Parliaments and it’s very interesting to hear how the song sounded in its original form, especially since all the foundational elements are right there – the drum break, the bassline, the guitar riff. By the time the song gets to Funkadelic, Clinton gives it a remarkable makeover. The tempo feels slower and all those key components I just named are made bolder and, in my opinion, better. The drum break, of course, is now legendary but what absolutely crushes in this new recording are those guitars. What was once fuzzed out is now practically heavy metal. Dr. Dre was obviously a big fan of all of this since he used different parts of the song for two of my favorite pre-Chronic productions, Above the Law’s “Another Execution” and The D.O.C.’s “The D.O.C. and the Doctor” (side note: I cannot hear that D.O.C. song without always thinking, “what could have been.” It’s such a monster tune; easily one of the best things to come out of L.A. in the early ’90s).

But wait…I assumed the Magic Tones version was basically the Funkadelic instrumental track with new vocals but given that the Magic Tones single supposedly came out in 1969 and the self-titled Funkadelic LP didn’t drop until 1970, could it be that Clinton used the Magic Tones release as a test run for what would eventually be Funkadelic’s?