Mothership Connection

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Mothership Connection
Studio album by
ReleasedDecember 15, 1975
RecordedMarch–October 1975 [1]
StudioUnited Sound, Detroit, Michigan, and Hollywood Sound, Hollywood, California
NBLP 7022
ProducerGeorge Clinton
Parliament chronology
Chocolate City
Mothership Connection
The Clones of Dr. Funkenstein

Mothership Connection is the fourth album by American funk band Parliament, released on December 15, 1975 on Casablanca Records. This concept album of P-Funk mythology is usually rated as one of Parliament's best. Mothership Connection was the first P-Funk album to feature Maceo Parker and Fred Wesley, who had left The J.B.'s, James Brown's backing band.

Mothership Connection became Parliament's first album to be certified gold and later platinum.[4] The Library of Congress added the album to the National Recording Registry in 2011, declaring "The album has had an enormous influence on jazz, rock and dance music."[5]


Describing the album, George Clinton said "We had put black people in situations nobody ever thought they would be in, like the White House. I figured another place you wouldn't think black people would be was in outer space. I was a big fan of Star Trek, so we did a thing with a pimp sitting in a spaceship shaped like a Cadillac, and we did all these James Brown-type grooves, but with street talk and ghetto slang."[6]

Dr. Dre sampled the songs "Mothership Connection (Star Child)" and "P-Funk (Wants to Get Funked Up)" on his album The Chronic.


Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic5/5 stars[2]
Blender5/5 stars[8]
Christgau's Record GuideA–[9]
Pitchfork Media(8.5/10)[10]
Rolling Stone(favorable) 1976[12]
Rolling Stone5/5 stars 2004[13]
Sputnikmusic5/5 stars[15]

On release, Rolling Stone called it a "parody of modern funk" and stated that "unlike the Ohio Players or Commodores, the group refuses to play it straight. Instead, Clinton spews his jive, conceived from some cosmic funk vision."[12] Village Voice critic Robert Christgau said, "That DJ from Chocolate City, or maybe it's the Chocolate Milky Way, keeps the beat going with nothing but his rap, some weird keyboard, and cymbals for stretches of side one. And later produces the galactic 'Give Up the Funk' and a James Brown tribute that goes 'gogga googa, gogga googa'—only believe me, that doesn't capture it."[9]

Retrospectively, it gained high regard, being named TV network VH1's 55th greatest album of all time, and #276 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.[16] Vibe listed Mothership Connection in their "Essential Black Rock Recordings" list, and it was included in the 2005 book, 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. Rolling Stone's 2003 review again gave the record 5 stars out of 5: "The masterpiece, the slang creator, the icon builder, the master narrative--or 'the bomb,' as Clinton succinctly put it before anyone else."

Track listing[edit]

Side One
1."P. Funk (Wants to Get Funked Up)"George Clinton, Bootsy Collins, Bernie Worrell7:41
2."Mothership Connection (Star Child)"Clinton, Collins, Worrell6:13
3."Unfunky UFO"Clinton, Collins, Garry Shider4:23
Side Two
4."Supergroovalisticprosifunkstication"Clinton, Collins, Shider, Worrell5:03
5."Handcuffs"Clinton, Glenn Goins, Janet McLaughlin4:02
6."Give Up the Funk (Tear the Roof off the Sucker)"Jerome Brailey, Clinton, Collins5:46
7."Night of the Thumpasorus Peoples"Clinton, Collins, Shider5:10
2003 CD remaster bonus track
8."Star Child (Mothership Connection)" (Promo Radio Version)Clinton, Collins, Worrell3:08


  • Produced by George Clinton
  • Engineered by Jim Vitti (in Detroit, Michigan), Ralph (Oops) Jim Callow (in Hollywood, California)
  • Mastered by Allen Zentz
  • Photography by David Alexander
  • Art Direction and Design by Gribbitt!

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (1976) Peak
US Billboard 200[17] 13
US R&B Albums[17] 4


Region Certification Certified units/sales
United States (RIAA)[18] Platinum 1,000,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone

Singles released[edit]

  • P-Funk (Wants to Get Funked Up)-NB 852
  • Tear the Roof Off the Sucker (Give Up the Funk)-NB-856
  • Star Child-NB 864


  1. ^ a b "Parliament's 1975 LP Mothership Connection revisited with Bernard Worrell". Retrieved 2015-02-24.
  2. ^ a b Birchmeier, Jason. Mothership Connection at AllMusic
  3. ^ Robins, Wayne (2016). A Brief History of Rock, Off the Record. Routledge. p. 286. ISBN 978-0-415-97472-1.
  4. ^ "American album certifications – Parliament". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 
  5. ^ "Registry Choices 2010: The National Recording Preservation Board (Library of Congress)". Retrieved 2013-07-14.
  6. ^ Niesel, Jeff (2013-06-26). "Cleveland - Music - Turn This Mutha Out". Archived from the original on 2015-10-17. Retrieved 2013-07-14.
  7. ^ "Review: ''Mothership Connection''". Retrieved 2013-07-14.
  8. ^ Review: Mothership Connection[dead link]
  9. ^ a b Christgau, Robert (1981). "Consumer Guide '70s: P". Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies. Ticknor & Fields. ISBN 089919026X. Retrieved March 10, 2019 – via
  10. ^ Review: Mothership Connection Archived February 6, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ Bowden, Marshall. "Review: ''Mothership Connection''". Retrieved 2013-07-14.
  12. ^ a b McEwen, Joe (March 25, 1976). "Mothership Connection | Album Reviews | Rolling Stone". Retrieved 13 November 2011.
  13. ^ Review: ''Mothership Connection''. Retrieved 2013-07-14.
  14. ^ "Review: ''Mothership Connection''". Archived from the original on 2013-07-27. Retrieved 2013-07-14.
  15. ^ "Review: ''Mothership Connection''". Retrieved 2013-07-14.
  16. ^ "500 Greatest Albums of All Time Rolling Stone's definitive list of the 500 greatest albums of all time". Rolling Stone. 2012. Retrieved September 10, 2019.
  17. ^ a b Mothership Connection at AllMusic
  18. ^ "American album certifications – Parliament – Mothership Connection". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 

External links[edit]