Starting as a young bass player for James Brown and moving on to play a central role in George Clinton’s Parliafunkadelicment Thang, Bootsy Collins established his own brand of lighthearted but heavy-thumping funk, topped off by a nasal, affectedly formal tone in which a banal phrase like ”Aaaah, the name is Bootsy, baby!” became a haughtily witty hook. Back in the Day: The Best of Bootsy is an impeccably chosen selection from his Bootsy’s Rubber Band solo albums of the late ’70s and early ’80s, with cuts ranging from the charming ”The Pinocchio Theory” (”If you fake the funk, your nose will grow”) to a masterpiece, ”Body Slam!” only available as a single until this collection.
Collins’ so-called New Rubber Band is a valiant attempt to recapture past glories, but the recently recorded music on Blasters of the Universe lacks the jubilant innocence that made Bootsy so beguiling. That said, jams like ”Back N the Day” and ”It’s a Silly Serious World” are effectively steamy funk workouts. Blasters of the Universe: B
Blasters of the Universe