Osmium (album)

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Studio album by
ReleasedSeptember 1970
GenrePsychedelic soul[1]
ProducerGeorge Clinton, Ruth Copeland
Parliament chronology
Up for the Down Stroke
Professional ratings
Review scores
Christgau's Record GuideB[3]
The New Rolling Stone Album Guide[4]
Uppity Music(favorable)[5]

Osmium is the debut album of American funk band Parliament, led by George Clinton. The album has a psychedelic soul sound with a spirit of experimentation that is more similar to early Funkadelic than the later R&B-inspired Parliament albums. It was originally released in July 1970 on Invictus Records.[6] The original vinyl release contained a glossy lyric sheet.

Since its re-release in 1990, Osmium has been distributed numerous times by various labels in the U.S., Europe and Japan, sometimes under alternate titles that have included Rhenium and First Thangs. A number of these reissues have featured material that was not included on the original album, such as unreleased tracks and singles that were recorded around the same time as Osmium.

The personnel for this album included the five Parliaments singers and the five backing musicians known as Funkadelic. The same personnel also recorded as Funkadelic, releasing that act's self-titled debut album also in 1970. After the release of Osmium, contractual difficulties prevented further recording under the name Parliament until 1974, when Clinton signed that act to Casablanca Records and positioned it as an R&B-inspired counterpoint to the more rock-oriented Funkadelic.

The yodeling that arguably uniquely identifies one of De La Soul's early hits, "Potholes in My Lawn" (which eventually appeared on De La Soul's 3 Feet High and Rising), comes from Osmium's "Little Ole Country Boy".[7]

This is the only Parliament album that Ruth Copeland worked on.

Track listing[edit]

Invictus – ST-7302[8]

Side one
1."I Call My Baby Pussycat"George Clinton, Eddie Hazel, Billy Nelson3:50
2."Put Love in Your Life"George Clinton, Vivian Lewis5:05
3."Little Ole Country Boy"Ruth Copeland3:57
4."Moonshine Heather"George Clinton4:04
5."Oh Lord, Why Lord/Prayer"Phil Trim, Ruth Copeland4:59
Side two
1."My Automobile"George Clinton, Clarence Haskins4:43
2."Nothing Before Me but Thang"George Clinton, Bobby Harris, Eddie Hazel, Bernie Worrell3:55
3."Funky Woman"George Clinton, Bernie Worrell2:54
4."Livin' the Life"George Clinton, Billy Nelson, Bernie Worrell6:15
5."The Silent Boatman"Ruth Copeland5:50
Total length:45:32
CD Reissue (Edsel Records – EDSS 1031[9])
11."Breakdown" (Mono Single Version)George Clinton, Ruth Copeland, Clyde Wilson2:30
12."Red Hot Mama"George Clinton4:26
13."Come in out of the Rain"Ruth Copeland, Clyde Wilson2:56
14."Loose Booty" 10:18
15."Fantasy Is Reality"George Clinton, Bernie Worrell, Leon Ware3:56
16."Unfinished Instrumental" 5:10
17."Breakdown" (Stereo Unedited Version)George Clinton, Ruth Copeland, Clyde Wilson3:50
Total length:1:18:58

Track listing for First Thangs[edit]

  1. "Red Hot Mama"
  2. "Come In Out of the Rain"
  3. "Fantasy Is Reality"
  4. "Breakdown"
  5. "Loose Booty"
  6. "Unfinished Instrumental"
  7. "I Call My Baby Pussycat"
  8. "Put Love in Your Life"
  9. "Little Old Country Boy"
  10. "Moonshine Heather (Takin' Care of Business)"
  11. "Oh Lord, Why Lord/Prayer"
  12. "My Automobile"
  13. "There Is Nothing Before Me But Thang"
  14. "Funky Woman"
  15. "Livin' the Life"
  16. "The Silent Boatmen"

Track listing for Rhenium[edit]

  1. "Breakdown"
  2. "I Call My Baby Pussycat"
  3. "Put Love in Your Life"
  4. "Little Ole Country Boy"
  5. "Moonshine Heather"
  6. "Oh Lord, Why Lord/Prayer"
  7. "Red Hot Mama"
  8. "My Automobile"
  9. "Nothing Before Me But Thang"
  10. "Funky Woman"
  11. "Livin' the Life"
  12. "Come in Out of the Rain"
  13. "The Silent Boatman"


Note: Personnel as listed in the album credits. Note that some songs also featured session personnel. Garry Shider (guitar), Bernie Worrell (keyboards), and Tyrone Lampkin (drums) also appeared on some non-album tracks that were included in later CD reissues of the album.


  1. ^ Terich, Jeff (August 10, 2020). "Celebrate the Catalog: The Parliament-Funkadelic albums". Treble. Retrieved August 17, 2021.
  2. ^ Raggett, Ned. "Osmium - Parliament | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved August 17, 2021.
  3. ^ 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 robertchristgau.com.
  4. ^ Rolling Stone review
  5. ^ Uppity Music review
  6. ^ Rudland, Dean. "Free Your Mind...And Your Ass Will Follow reissue liner notes". Westbound Records: 3. 2005.
  7. ^ "Detroit's Invictus". Soul Source. June 11, 2007. Archived from the original on July 7, 2009. Retrieved February 16, 2009.
  8. ^ "Osmium". Discogs. Retrieved April 28, 2017.
  9. ^ "Osmium... Plus". Discogs. Retrieved April 28, 2017.
  10. ^ "About Paul Franklin".

External links[edit]