Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Free Your Mind...And Your Ass Will Follow
This song is notable for the early use of feedback as part of a musical statement. Many of the songs (such as the titular track, described below, and "Eulogy and Light") subvert Christian themes, including the Lord's Prayer and the 23rd Psalm.
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.
This album and eponymous song influenced the band En Vogue, leading to the title of their hit song "Free Your Mind".
- "Free Your Mind and Your Ass Will Follow" (George Clinton, Ray Davis, Eddie Hazel)
- "Friday Night, August 14th" (Clinton, Hazel, Billy Bass Nelson)
- "Funky Dollar Bill" (Clinton, Davis, Hazel)
- "I Wanna Know If It's Good to You" (Clinton, Clarence Haskins, Hazel, Nelson)
- "Some More" (Clinton, Ernie Harris )
- "Eulogy and Light" (Harris)
- Lead Guitar: Eddie Hazel
- Rhythm Guitar: Tawl Ross
- Keyboards: Bernie Worrell
- Drums: Tiki Fulwood
- Bass: Billy Bass Nelson
- Vocals: Parliament (George Clinton, Ray Davis, Fuzzy Haskins, Calvin Simon, Grady Thomas )
The song of the same name on the album is a feedback drenched number (from Eddie Hazel), with a heavy spoken word quality.
It is written by George Clinton, Ray Davis, and Eddie Hazel.
- "Freedom is free of the need to be free"
- "The kingdom of heaven is within"
- "I don't know what I feel/I can't feel me, I can't live me, I can't be me/My mind, it does not belong to me/I'm so confused/I'm so confused/I can't hear myself/I can't hear myself calling for help/I can't free my mind/So my ass can't follow"
- "Resurrection, free of charge"
The song introduces the subversion of Christianity themes explored on later songs, and describes 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 (perhaps representative of the base and mean aspects of oneself) will follow.
"Eulogy and Light"
The music behind "Eulogy and Light" is from "Open Our Eyes" (Funkadelic, 1967), played backwards.
The lyrics are rapped and backmasked, a remade version of the Lord's Prayer and the 23rd Psalm. When "Maggot Brain" is performed live, the words to Eulogy and Light are sometimes used as an introduction.
"Eulogy and Light" subverts Christian themes, indicting modern organized Christianity for becoming consumerist and materialistic. Many of the lines are, especially in context as parodies of the Lord's Prayer and the 23rd Psalm, are accusatory, directed towards hypocrites would pray and still commit acts of cruelty and insenstivity.
Vocals: George Clinton
"Friday Night, August 14th"
This song's lyrics are relatively simple, particularly compared with the in-depth social and political statements of later albums (and even other songs off this album), concerning partying on a Friday night, for which the singer knows he has an insatiable appetite.
Lead Vocals: Billy Bass Nelson
"Funky Dollar Bill"
"Funky Dollar Bill" concerns, ironically, unFunkiness. Materialism and consumerism (recurring themes on this album) are characterized as leading to a complete lack of Funk (meaning, in context, soul, heart and joy, see P Funk mythology). Much of the song deals with what people will do for money, even as it leads only to a joyless, unFunky existence.
"I Wanna Know If It's Good to You"
The song is clearly about sex, with the singer asking "you" if you enjoy it as much as he does. He wants to know if "your" joy is the reason it feels so good for him.
"Some More" is a song of lost love. The singer claims he's got a headache in his heart, and a heartache in his head but that "it's got nothing to do with you." Instead, he chooses to blame it on "something that can't be explained".
Vocals: Eddie Hazel
- "another example of Funkadelic getting busy and taking everyone with it", 4/5 stars.
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