The Parliaments: “All Your Goodies Are Gone (The Loser’s Seat)” (Revilot RV 211, 1967)
Before there was Parliament and Funkadelic, there was The Parliaments, George Clinton’s vocal group, which he formed at a Plainfield, New Jersey, barber shop in 1955. Comprised of Clinton, Calvin Simon, Fuzzy Haskins, Ray Davis, and Grady Thomas, they began as a doo wop group and recorded a trickle of singles that trace their evolution into a hard-edged r&b band playing funky Northern soul.
“All Your Goodies Are Gone (The Loser’s Seat)” was one of the singles they recorded for Detroit’s Revilot label during 1967, the year they became suddenly very prolific (its b-side, “Don’t Be Sore at Me,” is nearly as good) and established their own identity. It’s my favorite song by the group when it was still called the Parliaments, and one of several they’d later revisit under the Parliament and Funkadelic banners.
There are hints of psychedelia creeping in already, especially in the intro, and I like the way they kick it off by jumping into the chorus rather than a verse (it also pulls back on the choruses and ramps up for the verses, a nice inversion of usual expectations).
The thing that made me think of this was hearing the 1974 version by Parliament on shuffle while I was driving the other day. That version unfailingly gets this version stuck in my head.