Tuned In To Music

Reflections from a lifetime

Review: Bootsy Collins, Glory B Da Funk’s On Me

Bass player Bootsy Collins began his public career when the band he led with his guitar-playing brother Catfish was called up by James Brown for an on-the-spot replacement of Brown’s band who were in glory brevolt over low pay and difficult working conditions.  Bootsy lasted in Brown’s band for a year after which he joined with George Clinton as a member of Funkadelic and became the person mainly responsible for the rhythm arrangements in Clinton’s primal funk outfit, Parliament.  When Clinton signed Parliament & Funkadelic with Warner Bros. records he cut a separate deal for a series of albums to be fronted by Bootsy.  “Glory B” is a two disc retrospective taken from those Warner Bros. albums.

The 25 tracks on these two discs clearly show that Bootsy was a very talented bass player who, along with Larry Graham, was one of the most influential of the funk bassists.  The collection includes most of the well known tunes from Bootsy’s Warner years such as “Stretchin Out (in a Rubber Band)”, “Ahh . . . The Name is Bootsy Baby”, “The Pinocchio Theory”, “Bootzilla” and “Hollywood Squares”.  In addition to the raw funk workouts the set also includes a number of Bootsy’s “love” songs like “I’d Rather Be With You”, “Munchies for Your Love”, and “Can’t Stay Away”.  Overall, “Glory B” provides a more than adequate survey of Bootsy’s solo output from 1976 to 1982.

The problem with “Glory B” is that it is much too limited to live up to its subtitle “The Bootsy Collins Anthology”.  The collection only includes tracks from Bootsy’s solo Warner Bros. albums which represents only a small, and somewhat limited, portion of his career.  There’s nothing here from the year he spent with James Brown which produced a string of major hits like “Get Up (I Feel Like Bein’ A Sex Machine)” and “Soul Power”, there’s nothing from Funkadelic or Parliament which is, arguably, the most important and influential part of Bootsy’s recorded output, and there’s nothing from any of the albums or solo projects Bootsy undertook with other artists after he left Warner Brothers.  In other words, “Glory B” is not even close to “The Bootsy Collins Anthology”, rather it’s a collection of tracks he released with The Rubber Band during a relatively short segment of his career.  As such, it’s hard to see why the set deserved two discs.  The collection feels unnecessarily padded because too many of these tracks are too similar to each other in style and content. 

Rhino’s packaging is outlandish in mimicry of Bootsy’s mirrored and starred sunglasses Bootzilla personna with a pop-up Bootsy and a fairly fat and useful booklet.  The overall result is a thick package that takes up more shelf space than it’s worth.  Bootsy fully deserves a thorough career retrospective but this isn’t it.

Readers who are interested in learning more about Bootsy Collins and listening to a wider range of his music than can be heard on “Glory B” are invited to listen to the Tuned In To Music Podcasts 16 and 17 “Bootsy Collins (Part 1) – Bootsy in the Band” and “Bootsy Collins (Part 2) – What’s Bootsy Doin?” (forthcoming).

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11/05/2007 - Posted by | CD reviews, music, music reviews

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