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O.G. Funk - Out of the Dark (1993)

  • Billy "Bass" Nelson - 4 & 8 string basses, guitars, vocal
  • Jerome "Bigfoot" Brailey - drums
  • Bernie Worrell - Hammond organ, electric piano, synthesizers, vocals
  • Spacey T. Singleton, Blake Smith & Billy Spruill - guitars
  • Grandmaster Melle Mel, Prince Whipper Whip, Gary Mudbone Cooper & Bernard Fowler - vocals
  • Bill Laswell & Billy "Bass" Nelson - producers
William "Billy Bass" Nelson (born 1951) is a U.S. musician, who was the original bassist for the P Funk band.

Billy was born in Plainfield, New Jersey and worked at George Clinton's barbershop, sweeping the floor and singing and dancing for the customers. Clinton, Nelson and some friends soon formed a doo wop barbershop quintet called The Parliaments. Nelson joined late because was in jail in Brooklyn, New York for joyriding. He was originally the guitarist, only later switching to bass when Eddie Hazel was recruited to replace him.

Due to legal problems, The Parliaments alternated between the names Parliament and Funkadelic during the 1970s. Nelson invented the name "Funkadelic" to reflect the style (funk) and connect it with the then burgeoning psychedelic music scene.

Billy Bass Nelson left the group in 1971 after a financial squabble with George Clinton. He later played with The Commodores, Chairman of the Board, Fishbone, Jermaine Jackson, Parlet, Lionel Richie, Smokey Robinson, The Temptations and Lenny Williams. He also rejoined Funkadelic to record the bassline on "Better By the Pound" (Funkadelic, Let's Take It To The Stage, 1975).

In 1994, Nelson had enjoyed a surge of name-checking by such legendary bassists as John Norwood Fisher (of Fishbone) and Flea (of the Red Hot Chili Peppers) and he rejoined P Funk, releasing Out of the Dark with many old Funksters under the name O.G. Funk.

In 1996, Billy Bass Nelson contributed to the CD of cHUCk dA fONk fISHMAN writing and recording the debut from Fishman dubbed The Squishy Declaration. He still contributes with Fishman today, and will appear on the upcoming CD from Fishman's new band fONKSQUISh.

"No real new ground is broken on this record, but its exuberant nature can't be denied. Everyone is clearly having a great time here, and it shows. Even if the music is somewhat derivative of classic Funkadelic, no one's made that kind of music for 20 years, so that sort of copying is quite welcome. It's hard, wailing, guitar-based music with taste and style, and it shows how significant Billy Bass was in the early days of the band. Also to be noted is the joyous presence of old school rapper supreme Melle Mel, who brings a ferocious energy to the lyrics. The album combines the twin early influences of early Funkadelic and early old school rap, and that vibe works well. I would recommend this album to any fan of Funkadelic's heavier guitar works" (Rob Clough)

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