Osmium (album)

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Studio album by Parliament
Released September 1970
Recorded 1969-1970
Genre Funk, psychedelic soul, psychedelic rock
Length 45:53
Label Invictus
Producer George Clinton, Ruth Copeland
Parliament chronology
Up for the Down Stroke
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[1]
Robert Christgau (B)[2]
Rolling Stone 3.5/5 stars[3]
Uppity Music (favorable)[4]

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 September 1970 on Invictus Records.[5] 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".[6]

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

Track listing[edit]

Side One[edit]

  1. "I Call My Baby Pussycat" (George Clinton, Eddie Hazel, Billy "Bass" Nelson) – 4:24 (released as a single-Invictus 9077 under the name "A Parliament Thang")
  2. "Put Love in Your Life" (Clinton, Vivian Lewis) – 5:07
  3. "Little Ole Country Boy" (Ruth Copeland) – 3:58
  4. "Moonshine Heather" (Clinton) – 4:05
  5. "Oh Lord, Why Lord/Prayer" (Copeland, P. Trim, based on Pachelbel's Canon) – 5:00

Side Two[edit]

  1. "My Automobile" (Clinton, Clarence "Fuzzy" Haskins) – 4:45
  2. "Nothing Before Me But Thang" (Clinton, Bobby Harris, Hazel, Bernie Worrell) – 3:56
  3. "Funky Woman" (Clinton, Worrell) – 2:56
  4. "Livin' the Life" (Clinton, Nelson, Worrell) – 5:57
  5. "The Silent Boatman" (Copeland) – 5:45

Reissue Bonus Tracks[edit]

11. "Red Hot Mama"
12. "Breakdown"
13. "Come In Out Of The Rain"
14. "Fantasy is Reality"
15. "Unfinished Instrumental"
16. "Loose Booty"
17. "Breakdown (mono 45 version)"

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


  • George Clinton: lead vocals in "Loose Booty", "Moonshine Heather", "Red Hot Mama", "My Automobile", "Funky Woman"
  • Fuzzy Haskins: lead vocals in "Fantasy Is Reality", "I Call My Baby Pussycat", "Little Old Country Boy", "My Automobile"
  • Calvin Simon: lead vocals in "I Call My Baby Pussycat", "Oh Lord Why Lord", "Livin' the Life"
  • Ray Davis: lead vocals in "I Call My Baby Pussycat", "Put Love in Your Life"
  • Grady Thomas: lead vocals in "I Call My Baby Pussycat"
  • Clyde Wilson: lead vocals in "Come in Out of the Rain", "Breakdown"
  • Ruth Copeland: vocals
  • Eddie Hazel: guitar
  • Tawl Ross: guitar
  • Billy Bass Nelson: bass guitar
  • Mickey Atkins: Hammond organ, piano
  • Tiki Fulwood: drums

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. ^ Allmusic review
  2. ^ Robert Christgau review
  3. ^ Rolling Stone review
  4. ^ Uppity Music review
  5. ^ Rudland, Dean. "Free Your Mind...And Your Ass Will Follow reissue liner notes". Westbound Records: 3. 2005.
  6. ^ "Detroit's Invictus". Soul Source. June 11, 2007. Archived from the original on July 7, 2009. Retrieved February 16, 2009. 

External links[edit]