America Eats Its Young

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America Eats Its Young
Studio album by Funkadelic
Released May 22, 1972
Genre Funk, psychedelic soul
Length 69:06
Label Westbound Records
Producer George Clinton
Funkadelic chronology
Maggot Brain
(1971)
America Eats Its Young
(1972)
Cosmic Slop
(1973)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3/5 stars [1]
Blender 2/5 stars [2]
Robert Christgau C+ [3]
Ink Blot favorable [4]
Mojo 4/5 stars [5]
Pitchfork Media (8.1/10) [6]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars [7]

America Eats Its Young is the fourth album (a double album) by Funkadelic, released in 1972. This was the first album to include the whole of the House Guests, including Bootsy Collins, Catfish Collins, Chicken Gunnels, Rob McCollough and Kash Waddy. It also features the Plainfield based band U.S.(United Soul), which consisted of guitarist Garry Shider and bassist Cordell Mosson, on most of the tracks. Unlike previous Funkadelic albums, America Eats Its Young was recorded in Toronto, Canada, and in the UK. The original vinyl version contained a poster illustrated by Cathy Abel. The bottom of the poster features the first widespread appearance of the Funkadelic logo, which would later appear on the cover of the album Standing On The Verge Of Getting It On.

Track listing[edit]

Side One
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "You Hit the Nail On the Head"   George Clinton, Clarence Haskins, Bernie Worrell 7:10
2. "If You Don't Like the Effects, Don't Produce the Cause"   Clinton, Garry Shider 3:43
3. "Everybody Is Going To Make It This Time"   Clinton, Worrell 5:50
Side Two
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "A Joyful Process" (released as the B-side to "Loose Booty") Clinton, Worrell 6:10
2. "We Hurt Too"   Clinton 3:47
3. "Loose Booty" (released as a single-Westbound 205) Clinton, Harold Beane 4:45
4. "Philmore"   Bootsy Collins 2:40
Side Three
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "I Call My Baby Pussycat"   Clinton, Billy Bass Nelson, Eddie Hazel 5:00
2. "America Eats Its Young"   Beane, Clinton, Worrell 5:45
3. "Biological Speculation"   Clinton, Ernie Harris 3:00
4. "That Was My Girl"   Clinton, Sidney Barnes 3:41
Side Four
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Balance"   Clinton, Worrell 5:52
2. "Miss Lucifer's Love"   Clinton, Haskins 5:50
3. "Wake Up"   Clinton, James W. Jackson, Worrell 6:20

Songs[edit]

You Hit the Nail on the Head[edit]

This song is vaguely political, with the central lyrical thrust of the song quoted above. Typically, the lyric functions on both a political and personal level: 'victory in any dispute doesn't confer any moral advantage.'

If You Don't Like the Effects, Don't Produce the Cause[edit]

This song has two interrelated themes. The beginning focuses on hypocrites who want to change reality without accepting the blame if anything goes wrong. This is extended in the latter part of the song to those who make half-hearted attempts at social change, and who protest the "big" problems but are not willing to make changes in their own lives to respect what they claim is right for all of society.

Everybody Is Going to Make It This Time[edit]

The song was recorded in London, with the assistance of English drummer Ginger Baker, who was one of Clinton's favorite drummers.

This song proclaims that the human race (the titular "everybody") is capable of growing and reforming, but at the present, nobody is willing to learn from past mistakes, and has sacrificed wisdom for material comfort.

Personnel:

A Joyful Process[edit]

This song starts off borrowing the music from the children's Christian song, "Jesus Loves Me".

  • String and horn arrangements by Bernie Worrell
  • Drums: Zachary Frazier

We Hurt Too[edit]

This song claims that men are also capable of crying (presumably, in addition to women) and feel just as sad as the other sex.

Loose Booty[edit]

This is widely considered one of the better songs off what is essentially a transitional album. It was a remake of a Parliament song.

This song is an obscene nursery rhyme. This would eventually become a whole group of P funk songs, all with the same nursery rhyme-quality, yet obscene and perverse lyrics.

"Loose Booty" itself was a slang term for a heroin addict-presumably taken from either not being able to sit straight while nodding, or the laxative effects of heroin withdrawal.

Philmore[edit]

This song seems to be about the singer's sexual prowess, as he woos a woman who is uncaring and cruel. This song represents the first major songwriting effort of Bootsy Collins as a member of Parliament-Funkadelic, and is widely considered the introduction to his musical persona.

I Call My Baby Pussycat[edit]

The song is, essentially, about lust and its tremendous power over the singer, who is incapable of resisting his (perhaps former) lover.

George Clinton sang lead vocals, with Frank Waddy on drums.

The song's deliberately suggestive (but oblique) lyrics such as "I'm the tomcat and you're my li'l ol' pussy" and "Wild and warm is my pussy/ My pussy is where it's at" are common for the genre, a tradition followed in R&B.

The song is a remake of a faster version, titled "I Call My Baby Pussycat", recorded by Parliament on their 1970 album Osmium. Two versions of the song (fast and slow), based on the original Parliament version, appear on the 1996 live Funkadelic release Live: Meadowbrook, Rochester, Michigan – 12 September 1971.

This later version of the song was originally retitled "Pussy," and that title appears on the cover of some vinyl versions of the album, and on some modern CD reissues. Under record company pressure, the titled was restored to "I Call My Baby Pussycat," on future Parliament-Funkadelic releases featuring the song, and some future CD pressings of America Eats Its Young. Both titles can be found on modern CD pressings of the album.

America Eats Its Young[edit]

This song has largely inscrutable lyrics that seem to be claiming that America is a "bitch" that "suck[s] the brains" of her "great grandsons and daughters."

Biological Speculation[edit]

This song is about how Mother Nature will fix any unbalanced elements of society, sooner or later. The singer's character takes the position that any oppression is only temporary, and will eventually and inevitably be destroyed by Mother Nature.

That Was My Girl[edit]

This is a love song, in which the singer's character describes his former girl, a beautiful woman who could always "drive the fellas wild."

The song is a remake of a 1965 version by The Parliaments.

Balance[edit]

This song asks Mother Nature basic questions about the human existence. Chorus lyric: Balance is my thing/The snow, wind and rain/Must come

  • Lead Vocals: Bootsy Collins

Miss Lucifer's Love[edit]

"Miss Lucifer's Love" features vocals by Fuzzy Haskins and string and horn arrangements by Bernie Worrell. Its songwriters are George Clinton and Fuzzy Haskins.

In Miss Lucifer's Love, the singer describes his love for "Miss Lucifer." Although she is referred to as "the devil," Miss Lucifer is not necessarily Satan (see Lucifer) as certain critics (predominantly Christian fundamentalists) have argued. The singer could be addressing a former lover, whom, in retrospect, he sees as being similar to the devil in both her exciting, passionate danger and her cruel and sadistic nature.

  • Lead guitar: Eddie Hazel

Wake Up[edit]

This is the only fully developed politically oriented song on the album.

This song exhorts the listener to "wake up" to political and social action. Humanity is characterized as sleeping through oppression, ignoring (by choice) what would otherwise be scandals and outrages demanding immediate action.

Personnel[edit]

Charts[edit]

Album

Billboard (North America)[8]

Year Chart Position
1972 Pop Albums 123
1972 R&B Albums 22
Singles

Billboard (North America)

Year Single Chart Position
1972 “A Joyful Process” R&B Singles 38

References[edit]

External links[edit]