"Up For The Down Stroke" came in 1974 as a return album for the Funk band Parliament as after their debut in 1970, George Clinton and his crew hadn't performed under this name until this point, where they decided to go back to their more soulful days (which began from their days as a Doo-Wop group going by the name of The Parliaments - and in opposition to the Funkadelic band which has them doing things in a Rock-based style). Here you get a strong line-up as the likes of Eddie Hazel, Bernie Worrell and, most significantly, Bootsy Collins (who had been missing for a couple of years) all appear as part the unit.
1. "Up For The Down Stroke"
They kick off this fresh Parliament release with a titular track and one that appears to take on the sort of structure that was seen on the titular track to "Standing On The Verge Of Getting it" on where they have shown massive progression in creating Funk songs, and so can just come out with a fly display where they don't need much depth to the lyrics and instead they just hype everyone up to get down.
They are seen to move things on by performing a song which appears, much more than the first, to be an updated version of the kind of thing that you got from Parliament's debut where you get a much more soulful, Gospel-style vocal style from George Clinton and with this brought together with their futuristic Funk it makes for a killer joint and is bound to excite listeners from their very early years.
3. "The Goose"
The move into a track that was originally performed by the George Clinton-led Parliaments back in the sixties and are seen to use that throwback material and mix it in with the fresher contemporary style to come out with some pure Funk and the type that few others could match as you feel the energetic composition that has great warmth to it with all the instruments livens taking on a full path, and having them all contributing to the overall thing for a fly jam.
4. "I Can Move You"
This is a straight boogie Funk tune and one designed simply for the dance floors as you find that n it Cordell "Boogie" Mosson lays down some deep bass and forces you into their mindset and form here all the vocalists (who in this case include Clinton, Bootsy and Bernie Worrell) come in with some very relevant lines to ensure that you are on their level and you understand where exactly they are taking the music here.
5. "I Just Got Back"
This is another on the album that finds the band moving back towards the old Parliament days, and as their debut was so inconsistent (due to extensive experimentation) I wasn't quite sure what to expect of such material. However, it seems as though they make sure that their old stuff seems to come through to some degree, but the main focus remains to be developing it (but just not to the quality that is found elsewhere).
6. "All Your Goodies Are Gone"
They get back on track with the every high quality material here as you see that here they get down to one where Tiki Fulwood lays down a funky drum line to set up the rest of the band and ensure that they are all 'on the one' before they get into things. Here you get another throwback tune for the band (clear as it claims that Billy "Bass" Nelson" was part of the writing of it, and he left the band in 1971) and they make sure that it hits hard in these times to fit in with their new style.
7. "Whatever Makes Baby Feel Good"
With a bluesy structure being heard from the overall composition, you find that here you get another tune which seems to update past style and here with the electric makeover that they give to this one, they make sure that it pulls out all the sorts of emotions that you would have got from a track of that style before, but with it feeling right here with Bootsy's eccentric character being let loose all over the song as the lead vocalist and getting Eddie Hazel making everything else happen.
8. "Presence Of A Brain"
The album ends with the band getting into another big one, and ensuring that they really make the effort to leave with a tune that is going to impress listeners and this seems to come through as they lay down one that uses a lots of the kinds of things that were found throughout the album, but has them ending it with a load of experimentation with the instruments and having some oddball lyrics thrown into the mix.
I saw this as a strong return album from Parliament and one that clearly showed a distinctive difference between the two bands and the type of music they play (even though the exact same members are present). It is an album that has them finding exactly what the old sound was about and seeing whether that could be used effectively with this new phase of Funk (which it did).
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Up For The Down Stroke
4 I Can Move You (If You Let Me)
5 I Just Got Back
6 All Your Goodies Are Gone
7 Whatever Makes Baby Feel Good
8 Presence Of A Brain
9 Up For The Down Stroke
11 Singing Another Song