Entertainment Weekly

Stay Connected

Subscribe

Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content
Oscars 2017
Everything you need to knowDon't Miss It

Article

Here's Funkadelic's 1984 ''buried treasure''

Posted on

It’s not the funk-rock Holy Grail, but By Way of the Drum, a trippy gem from Funkadelic, is so rare, even George Clinton doesn’t own it. ”If you can find one, send me a copy,” he says. ”I haven’t heard that in 15 years!” In the early 1980s, Clinton signed a deal with MCA Records, which expected catchy electro-funk in the vein of his ’83 hit single ”Atomic Dog.” What they received instead was a fusion of head-tripping psychedelic rock and body-shaking drum-machine beats. (A funked-up cover of Cream’s ”Sunshine of Your Love” is particularly out-there.) MCA rejected the album with a brusque letter: ”We would like to inform you that we will not be releasing the album by your ‘so-called’ concept group, Funkadelic.” The master tapes have gone missing, but some hardcore Funkadelic collectors treasure hissy cassettes of the surprisingly sweet set.

Comments