Flash Light (song)

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This article is about the song by Parliament. For the song by DJ Fresh, see Flashlight (DJ Fresh song).
"Flash Light"
German picture sleeve for the single "Flash Light"
Single by Parliament
from the album Funkentelechy Vs. the Placebo Syndrome
B-side "Swing Down Sweet Chariot"
Released January 1978
Format Vinyl 7" 45 rpm
Recorded 1977
Genre Funk

10:42 (extended 12-inch (300 mm) version)
5:46 (album version)

4:28 (single version)
Label Casablanca NB 909
Writer(s) George Clinton/Bootsy Collins/Bernie Worrell
Producer(s) George Clinton
Certification RIAA certified million seller

"Flash Light" is a song by funk band Parliament, released in January 1978 on the album Funkentelechy Vs. the Placebo Syndrome. It was the first #1 R&B hit by any of the P-Funk groups and reached #16 on the Pop charts.[1] The track became Parliament's second certified million selling single, following "Give Up the Funk (Tear the Roof Off the Sucker)".[2] "Flash Light" also gave Casablanca Records its first number one R&B hit.

The song's distinctive bass line is often attributed to Bootsy Collins and was originally written for him. However, the line was actually performed by Bernie Worrell on three connected Minimoog synthesizers.[3] Collins still contributed to the track by handling drum duties. Lead vocals were by bandleader George Clinton, while Bootsy's older brother Catfish Collins played rhythm guitar. "Flash Light" continued the "Fake the Funk/Your nose will grow/Sir Nose D'Voidoffunk" concept that began with Bootsy's Rubber Band's "The Pinocchio Theory". The success of "Flash Light" would greatly influence not only Funk music, but also new wave and hip-hop.

In 2004 Rolling Stone ranked "Flash Light" #199 on its list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. The song is frequently played at United States sporting events.[citation needed]

Clinton recorded a new version of the song, called "Flashlight (Spaceflight)", for the 1999 film Muppets from Space. In 2014, the song was featured in the CSI episode "Killer Moves" as well as a commercial for Grand Theft Auto V.


  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 450. 
  2. ^ RIAA Gold & Platinum Searchable Database - Parliament Singles, Retrieved 2009-07-16
  3. ^ NY Times - Honoring the Moment When Music Met Moog
Preceded by
"It's You That I Need" by Enchantment
Billboard Hot Soul Singles number-one single
March 4–25, 1978
Succeeded by
"Bootzilla" by Bootsy's Rubber Band