Free Your Mind... and Your Ass Will Follow

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Free Your Mind... and Your Ass Will Follow
Studio album by Funkadelic
Released July 1970
Recorded 1970
Genre Funk,[1] psychedelic soul[2]
Length 30:52
Label Westbound
Producer George Clinton
Funkadelic chronology
Funkadelic
(1970)
Free Your Mind... and Your Ass Will Follow
(1970)
Maggot Brain
(1971)

Free Your Mind... and Your Ass Will Follow is the second studio album by American funk band Funkadelic, released in July 1970 by Westbound Records.[3]

Background[edit]

The album was recorded at United Sound Studios, Audio Graphic Services, and G-M Recording Studios in Detroit.[4] The inspiration for this album was, according to George Clinton, an attempt to "see if we can cut a whole album while we're all tripping on acid."[3]

The album's gatefold cover forms something of a visual pun, echoing the sentiments of the album title. The sight of a woman holding her arms towards heaven in an ecstatic pose is subverted upon opening the sleeve to find that she is nude.[citation needed]

Music and lyrics[edit]

The album and its title track, a feedback-drenched number taking a third of the album's length, introduces the subversion of Christian themes explored on later songs, describing a mystical approach to salvation in which "the Kingdom of Heaven is within" and achievable through freeing one's mind, after which one's ass will follow. Many of the songs (such as the title track and "Eulogy and Light") subvert Christian themes, including the Lord's Prayer and the 23rd Psalm.[3]

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[5]
Blender 2/5 stars[6]
Robert Christgau B–[7]
Pitchfork Media 8.8/10[8]
Record Collector 5/5 stars[1]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 3/5 stars[9]
Sputnikmusic 4.5/5[10]

On the Billboard Music Charts (North America), Free Your Mind... and Your Ass Will Follow peaked at #11 on the Black Albums Chart and #92 on the Pop Albums chart.[3] The album and eponymous song influenced the band En Vogue, leading to the title of their hit song "Free Your Mind (song)".[citation needed]

In a 1981 review, Robert Christgau said that the promising but ultimately confusing album has contradictory messages that might either promote "escapist idealism or psychic liberation", and a disorienting aesthetic that is most successful on "Funky Dollar Bill".[7] He later wrote that it is not surprising that the album became "a cult fave in slackerland. Not only is the shit weird, the weirdness signifies."[11] In a retrospective review for Blender, Christgau said that the album's uninhibited guitar exercises were expanded by spoken-word elements and Worrell's classically trained keyboards, which he felt did not live up to the title credo.[6]

In a positive review, Allmusic's Ned Raggett felt that both the album and title track are worthy of the credo and that the other songs range from "the good to astoundingly great."[5] Record Collector magazine's Paul Rigby observed clearly written lyrics and interesting space rock-like funk on what he called a "superb" album.[1]

Track listing[edit]

Side one
  1. "Free Your Mind and Your Ass Will Follow" (George Clinton (lead vocals), Ray Davis, Eddie Hazel) - 10:04
  2. "Friday Night, August 14th" (Clinton, Hazel, Billy Bass Nelson (lead vocals)) - 5:21
Side two
  1. ""Funky Dollar Bill" (Clinton, Davis, Hazel, Tawl Ross (lead vocals)) - 3:15 (released as a single-Westbound 175)
  2. "I Wanna Know If It's Good to You?" (Clinton, Clarence Haskins, Hazel (lead vocals), Nelson (also lead vocals)) 5:59 (released as a single-Westbound 167)
  3. "Some More" (Clinton, Ernie Harris, Hazel (lead vocals)) - 2:56
  4. "Eulogy and Light" (Clinton (lead vocals), Harris) - 3:31
Notes

2005 CD reissue[edit]

  1. "Fish, Chips and Sweat" - 3:22
  2. "Free Your Mind Radio Advert" - 0:55
  3. "I Wanna Know If It's Good to You" - 2:50
  4. "I Wanna Know If It's Good to You (instrumental)" - 3:12

Personnel[edit]

Credits are adapted from Muze.[4]

Funkadelic

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Rigby, Paul (June 2009). "Free Your Mind...And Your Ass Will Follow". Record Collector (363): 101. Retrieved November 30, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Album Reviews". Billboard: 60. October 24, 1970. Retrieved November 30, 2013. "Funkadelic is back again, this time bidding to 'free your mind' with more psychedelic-soul that's bound to separate from the sense." 
  3. ^ a b c d Rudland, Dean. "Free Your Mind... and Your Ass Will Follow reissue liner notes". Westbound Records: 3. 2005.
  4. ^ a b "Funkadelic - Free Your Mind...And Your Ass Will Follow CD Album". CD Universe. Retrieved November 30, 2013. 
  5. ^ a b Raggett, Ned. "Free Your Mind...And Your Ass Will Follow - Funkadelic". Allmusic. Retrieved November 30, 2013. 
  6. ^ a b Christgau, Robert (August 2008). "The Guide: Back Catalogue: Funkadelic". Blender (New York). Retrieved November 30, 2013. 
  7. ^ a b Christgau, Robert (1981). Rock Albums of the '70s: A Critical Guide. Da Capo Press. p. 144. ISBN 0306804093. Retrieved November 30, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Pitchfork Media review". Retrieved November 30, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Rolling Stone Album Guide review". Retrieved November 30, 2013. 
  10. ^ "Funkadelic – Free Your Mind...And Your Ass Will Follow User Opinions". Sputnikmusic. Scroll down to Sobhi Youssef. Archived from the original on November 30, 2013. Retrieved November 30, 2013. 
  11. ^ Christgau, Robert (November 2, 1993). "Loose Canon". The Village Voice (New York). Retrieved November 30, 2013. 

External links[edit]