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Standing on the Verge of Getting It On

Standing on the Verge of Getting It On is a 1974 album by Funkadelic, released on Westbound Records.

On this album, the lyrics generally take a backseat to the music and the jamming. It is one of the most popular Funkadelic albums among fans, and considered an essential Eddie Hazel-album. Hazel co-wrote all of the album's songs, and on six of those songs the songwriting credit was in the name of Grace Cook, Hazel's mother (a gambit by Hazel to avoid contractual difficulties with the publishing rights). This is a much more cohesive album than the previous Funkadelic forays; it sticks with a musical style (hard-edged funk) throughout, instead of veering through genres.

Track listing

  1. "Red Hot Mama" (George Clinton, Eddie Hazel, Bernie Worrell)
  2. "Alice In My Fantasies" (Clinton, Grace Cook)
  3. "I'll Stay" (Clinton, Cook)
  4. "Sexy Ways" (Clinton, Cook)
  5. "Standing On The Verge Of Getting It On" (Clinton, Cook)
  6. "Jimmy's Got A Little Bit Of Bitch In Him" (Clinton, Cook)
  7. "Good Thoughts, Bad Thoughts" (Clinton, Cook)

Personnel

(all the below is from the liner notes)

Song information

Red Hot Mama

This song is a remake of a song by the Parliaments. The title of this song has been spelled in three different ways on various Parliaments, Funkadelic, and Parliament releases that have featured a version of the song, with the final word being spelled as "Mama," "Mamma," or "Momma."

The song begins with a spoken word intro that seems to be describing a woman who has the effect of rendering a person unFunky (see P Funk mythology). This intro first appeared in the Funkadelic song "America Eats Its Young", but in this song is played sped up, then slowed down. The second section is sung and includes the second quote above as the refrain. It is not clear whether the first woman is the same as the "Red Hot Mama" from the second section. It is said that Eddie Hazel was asked to play the solo like Jimi Hendrix.

The guitar solo and jam that conclude this song were continued in the studio, and ended up as a B-side titled "Vital Juices," featuring outstanding guitar work by Eddie Hazel and Ron Bykowski. That track is found on Westbound compilation CD Music For Your Mother: Funkadelic 45s, as well as the recent CD reissue of the original album

Alice in My Fantasies

Birthed during Funkadelic concerts as far back as 1971, this song was originally an instrumental jam that was regularly improvised on stage. An early, much longer, and then-untitled instrumental version can be found on the 1996 live release Live: Meadowbrook, Rochester, Michigan – 12 September 1971. The version on Standing on the Verge of Getting It On features the same bassline and guitar riffs from Eddie Hazel (often borrowing from Jimi Hendrix's "Izabella"), plus new vocals by George Clinton, and minus the psychedelic keyboard section by Bernie Worrell.

A rare outtake version of the song (circulating around the internet under the album name "The Ultimate Turd") continues where the glaring fade-out occurs on the album; in the outtake version the band continues to jam for an extra 30 to 40 seconds before suddenly stopping.

Alice is apparently trying to seduce the singer, but he is apparently unwilling to sleep with her. No reason is explicitly given, but it can be inferred that he is unwilling because she will demand a commitment ("The freak said I would even owe her my devotion"). Therefore, the titular "Alice" who exists only "in (the singer's) fantasies" may be an Alice who does not demand the commitment.

Personnel:

-On the Axis of Justice: Vol 1 concert CD the house band which consisted of Serj Tankian, Flea, Brad Wilk, Tom Morello, and Pete Yorn plays this song.

I'll Stay

A remake of I'll Wait by The Parliaments.

The singer of this song proclaims that he will wait for his former lover, whose "head went out to play." He will wait for her even though his friends make fun of him.

Sexy Ways

Like many Funkadelic songs, the singer is here trying to convince a girl to sleep with him.

Standing on the Verge of Getting It On

The singer exhorts the listener to get Funky with it. In contrast to several previous songs with a similar lyrical theme, "Standing on the Verge of Getting It On" shows tremendous growth in songwriting as the suggestion to get Funky also explicitly includes a connection with social change and an awakening of the mind, and not just dancing. The definition of the Funk (as described in P Funk mythology) could be said to have started with this song.

Jimmy's Got a Little Bit of Bitch in Him

This song pokes fun at a gay friend of the band. However it also includes many jokes and puns about fellatio ("So why frown? Even the sun go down!") and it is not clear whether these are also aimed at Jimmy.

Good Thoughts, Bad Thoughts

The oak sleeps in the acorn/The giant sequoia tree sleeps in its tiny seed/The bird waits in the egg/God waits for his unfoldment in man

This is a song of self-empowerment, and of mystical achievement. The quote above is perhaps the best summary of the song as it explains first that the acorn contains within it an oak (an adult acorn), and so on for Giant Sequoias and birds. This is then juxtaposed by the last line, where it is implied (by extension) that each man has the capability of "unfolding" into God.

Critical response

"Standing on the Verge is a full-bodied, crazy mess in the best possible way, with heavy funk jams that still smoke today while making a lot of supposedly loud and dangerous rock sound anemic."

External links

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