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JustinGuitar's Top 10 Greatest Funk Guitar Albums

Justinguitar.com Recommendations

Of course this is just my opinion... my Top 10, not a definative list because I don't think that's possible... we all like different music!

There is so much music around I think it can be really helpful to have a list of great albums to check out! I wish someone had given me this list when I was just getting into funk as a teenager, which is why I'm writing it here for you - some of these I only discovered in the last few years which is well disappointing!

I've included links to Amazon mp3 - buying through these links gifts me a small commission.

Hope you enjoy these fine recordings as much as I do!

Justinguitar's Top 10 Greatest Funk Guitar Albums

The Meters Album Cover

The Meters - The Meters (1969)

One of the pioneers of Funk, The Meters are incredible. You'll likely recognize their hits Cissy Strut and Look-Ka Py Py which are Funk classics - but this is an album you NEED to absorb - the grooves are absolutely where the whole Funk thing is at. Guitarist Leo Nocentelli is one of if not THE best Funk guitar player ever. Just get it! Now! :)

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Superfly

Curtis Mayfield - Superfly (1972)

Superfly is a bone fide classic. Incredible musicians, the deepest grooves and incredible guitar playing. There's awesome wah-wah and scratches and backbeat and doubling of the bass and... it's a Funk Masterclass right there. And it was powerful too - when music meant more than money and fame, it was about social movement!

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Devils Music

Average White Band - The Very Best Of... (1975+)

I love the Average White Band, they have some incredible guitar parts and wonderful interplay between the guitarists (Hamish Stuart , Onnie McIntyre & Alan Gorrie). They're Scottish which seems an unlikely place for one of the finest funk bands of all time to have come from, but man they cook up some amazing grooves.

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James Brown Live At The Apollo Cover

James Brown - Live At The Apollo (1962)

Taking it back to where it all began now, this is maybe more a soul album than pure Funk as we think of it today but it's where it came from so having some understanding of the legacy can be very helpful. Guitarist Les Buie plays some very nice lines, and you'll hear lots of doubled bass lines, hits and scratches all over - Funk was being born!

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1999

Prince - 1999 (1999!)

He's left us early but his incredible music will live forever. There are loads of super tasty funk guitar grooves in this - but you gotta listen under the pop synths - great for your listening skills. Get your headphones on and check out his genius! Also try to pay attention to the way the guitar sits with the other instruments, particularly bass and drums!

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1999

Herbie Hancock - Head Hunters (1973)

One off the all time funk classics doesn't have any guitar at all - Herbie is one of the finest jazz keyboard players of all time and so he uses Clavinet which sounds very much like a guitar doing muted lines. Even so this album is essential listening and has incredible grooves and it's sure worth strealing some of Herbie's lines if you get your transcribing ears on! It got a lot of jazz in it which makes it pretty edgy. Awesome!

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1999

Funkadelic - Maggot Brain (1971)

There are a lot of Funk elements in this album but it's also kind rock and experimental too - but I love it and so included it here. There are some superb guitar parts in the record and some aweosme wah wah guitar and some super tight grooves. Well worth a listen and soaking up some of the trips these guys were on!

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1999

Parliament - Mothership Connection (1975)

Parliament is less guitar heavy than other recommendations here but the grooves are so good! There's often guitar in there but it's more the single line variety, sometimes doubling the bass or weaving between the parts but they're adding a lot - see if you can 'zone in' on the guitar. The track Handcuffs is a good one to start with!

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1999

Tower Of Power - Tower Of Power (1987)

Oh man, I love this record, was one of the first real funk records I got into and there are super guitar parts, amazing grooves (bass and drums are off the scale of awesome!) and great songs as well. Really worth checking out this album and digging into the guitar parts. Lot of truth in the lyrics in What Is Hip too! ;)

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1999

Red Hot Chili Peppers - Blood Sugar Sex Magic (1991)

This is a funk rock blend I guess but the funkiness of the band can't be denied and this album really is a superb record on pretty much every level. Give It Away and Suck My Kiss are proper funky ass tunes but even the not so funky songs are killer. Just get it.

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Lesson ID: RE-777