Okay, here's another poll. While I had originally planned on doing a "University Marxist" poll this time, there's just too much weird and wonderful stuff out there to do two Britpop ones in a row. We'll reschedule that one for a little later. This time, let's go back to the 1970s.
When I was a kid growing up in Appleton, Wisconsin, what was then referred to as "urban music" didn't gain much purchase on the local radio. Some of it hit the Top 40 stations, but you were much more likely to hear the Bay City Rollers or perhaps Pure Prairie League on the air where I grew up. Top 40 in Appleton in those days might be more accurately termed "Top 22 3/4" or something like that. Sometimes at night you could pick up WOKY in Milwaukee and you might get a fuller picture of the 70s music scene, but that took more effort than most of us were willing to undertake. The thing I understand now is that the 70s were weird and wonderful and there was a lot of really good music that I never had a chance to hear growing up. Probably the best example of that was the amalgam of bands that George Clinton ran in the 1970s, variously as Parliament, Funkadelic, Parlet, the Brides of Funkenstein, etc., etc., etc. I never heard any of it until I went off to college and even then it was barely on my radar screen. A lot of it is really cool stuff.
Still, it was the 70s, and that meant that the brilliance was heavily slathered with weirdness. And while the music stands up quite nicely 30+ years on, some of the fashions that folks sported back in the day are hilarious. So for today's contest I am offering three choices for your perusal, each somewhat weirder than the next.
The first is one of my all-time favorite tunes, the boogie down epic from the Spinners, making a return from the oblivion of the Obama soundtrack:
Next up, from roughly the same era, a classic bit of foolishness from the Ohio Players, featuring the always-strange "Sugar" Bonner. Also note the mid 70s dance crew that appears mid-song:
Finally, from a 1978 concert in Houston, Texas, George Clinton and crew in all their perverse glory:
Although it's the same era, we're a long ways removed from the Starland Vocal Band. Place your votes!