October 21, 2003
Rhythm & Blues, Soul, Funk, Psychedelic, Psychedelic Soul, Hard Rock

Album Review

Some Funkadelic fans might be disappointed that the two-CD Motor City Madness: The Ultimate Collection compilation has nothing from the records the group did in the late '70s and early '80s after leaving the Westbound label. But it does most certainly live up to its title: it's the best anthology of the band's work from the first half of the 1970s that's likely to be produced. Crammed with two and a half hours of music, it includes both popular and lesser-known cuts from their 1970-1976 releases, among them several of the songs most associated with the group. "Cosmic Slop," "Free Your Mind and Your Ass Will Follow," "Maggot Brain," "Loose Booty," and "America Eats Its Young" are all here, but so are a bunch of things that won't necessarily be familiar to the man or woman who's only heard Funkadelic records at other people's houses. And though the Westbound singles collection Music for Your Mother is also necessary to get a full view of early Funkadelic at their best, Motor City Madness also puts some of those singles in a different light, since some songs (like "Loose Booty," "Cosmic Slop," and "Standing on the Verge of Getting It On") are presented here in LP versions that are noticeably longer than the 45 versions on Music for Your Mother. Long liner notes also do their part to put the legendarily confusing early history of Funkadelic into some kind of understandable order. It's arguable whether, however, the non-chronological track sequencing was a good decision: it's hard enough to keep the Funkadelic story straight without the dates of the songs jumping back and forth too. You can always fiddle with the sequencing with your CD programmer if you want, of course, and however it's sliced, the range of progressive soul and funk is tremendous, from the nearly psychedelic freakouts and spaced-out makeout music to quasi-Temptations soul with a goofy spin and near-disco.
Richie Unterberger, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. Free Your Mind and Your Ass Will Follow
  2. Red Hot Mama
  3. You Can't Miss What You Can't Measure
  4. Standing on the Verge of Getting It On
  5. Funky Dollar Bill
  6. Hit It and Quit It
  7. Cosmic Slop
  8. Better by the Pound
  9. Take Your Dead Ass Home
  10. Loose Booty
  11. Get Off Your Ass and Jam
  12. Sexy Ways
  13. Music for My Mother
  14. America Eats Its Young
  15. March to the Witch's Castle
  16. Maggot Brain
  17. I'll Stay
  18. I Wanna Know If It's Good to You
  19. Can You Get to That
  20. I'll Bet You
  21. Nappy Dugout
  22. A Joyful Process
  23. Be My Beach
  24. Undisco Kidd
  25. Biological Speculation
  26. You and Your Folks, Me and My Folks
  27. I Got a Thing, You Got a Thing, Everybody's Got a Thing
  28. Baby I Owe You Something Good
  29. Mommy, What's a Funkadelic?