From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
"Afrofuturist ideas were taken up in 1975 by George Clinton and his bands Parliament and Funkadelic with his magnum opus Mothership Connection and the subsequent The Clones of Dr. Funkenstein, P-Funk Earth Tour, Funkentelechy vs. the Placebo Syndrome, and Motor Booty Affair. In the thematic underpinnings to P-Funk mythology ("pure cloned funk"), Clinton in his alter ego Starchild spoke of "certified Afronauts, capable of funkitizing galaxies." --Sholem Stein
Parliament was originally The Parliaments, a doo-wop group based out of George Clinton's Plainfield, New Jersey barber shop. The name was soon abandoned due to legal issues with Revilot and Atlantic Records, and most of the same people recorded under the name Funkadelic, which consisted of The Parliaments' backing musicians, most importantly Billy Bass Nelson. Soon, Parliament was created in addition to Funkadelic and the two bands consisted of essentially the same people (see List of P Funk members), though both released albums under their respective names.
The legal problems with the name "The Parliaments" were resolved in 1970, and Clinton signed all of Funkadelic to Invictus Records under the name Parliament, releasing Osmium ("The Breakdown" reached #30 on the R&B charts in 1971) but the name Parliament was then abandoned for some time, as Funkadelic was much more successful.
In the early 1970s, Bernie Worrell, Bootsy Collins and Catfish Collins joined Funkadelic, which released five albums by 1974. With only moderate success, Funkadelic signed with Casablanca Records as Parliament, releasing "Up for the Down Stroke" (off the album of the same name) which reached #10 on the R&B charts but peaked at #63 Pop. 1975 saw the release of Chocolate City, which also enjoyed moderate success; the titular track reached #24.
With the ensuing albums, Parliament became one of the most respected bands on the 1970s, and are now recognized as one of the forefathers of funk music. Of particular interest are the spacy themes of Starchild, Sir Nose and other recurring characters from multiple albums. See P Funk mythology.
Parliament discography — Osmium • Up for the Down Stroke • Chocolate City • Mothership Connection • The Clones of Dr. Funkenstein • Funkentelechy Vs. the Placebo Syndrome • Live: P-Funk Earth Tour • Motor Booty Affair • Gloryhallastoopid • Trombipulation