4 October 2016, No. 197, Parliament, ‘Tear the Roof Off the Sucker (Give Up the Funk)’

Maybe I take back all that stuff I said about “Flash Light.” Maybe No. 197, “Tear the Roof Off the Sucker (Give Up the Funk),” is the definitive Parliament song.

I think I first saw/heard Parliament in 1994’s P.C.U., in which I identified most with Jon Favreau’s character, and he was the one who ran into and recruited Parliament to play the pivotal party. In an unrelated note, before I saw the song’s title in print, I always thought they were saying “give us the funk” instead of “give up the funk.” I believe I’ve mentioned elsewhere that I mostly don’t pay attention to lyrics.

I generally double-check the song titles when I’m writing these things so as not to introduce errors, and in checking today’s title I realized that the LP version of this tune has the title and subtitle reversed—“Give Up the Funk (Tear the Roof Off the Sucker)”—and is a couple minutes longer. The version I have on file is the seven-inch version, so that’s what we’re reporting here. It’s a real type of thing.