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Free Your Mind... and Your Ass Will Follow

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Free Your Mind... and Your Ass Will Follow
Studio album by
ReleasedJuly 1970
StudioAudio Graphic Services, United Sound Studios, and G-M Recording Studios
ProducerGeorge Clinton
Funkadelic chronology
Free Your Mind... and Your Ass Will Follow
Maggot Brain
Singles from Free Your Mind... and Your Ass Will Follow
  1. "I Wanna Know If It's Good to You?"
    Released: December 1970

Free Your Mind... and Your Ass Will Follow is the second studio album by American funk rock band Funkadelic, released in July 1970 by Westbound Records.[5] It charted at No. 92 in the US, the band's highest charting album release until 1978's One Nation Under a Groove, and included the No. 82 single "I Wanna Know If It's Good to You?"[6]


The album was recorded at United Sound Studios, Audio Graphic Services, and G-M Recording Studios in Detroit.[7] George Clinton described the recording as an attempt to "see if we can cut a whole album while we're all tripping on acid."[5]

The album's gatefold cover forms something of a visual pun, echoing the sentiments of the album title. The woman holding her arms towards heaven in an ecstatic pose is found to be nude upon opening the sleeve.

The original 1970 issue's artwork featured the woman facing downward, and the "Free Your Mind..." title in brown. Reissues beginning in 1990 reversed the woman's direction (substituting an alternate photograph where her head is more inclined and her fingers are more widely fanned), and have varied the placement and color of the text.

Music and lyrics[edit]

The album and its title track, a feedback-drenched number taking a third of the album's length, introduces the subversion of Christian themes explored on later songs, describing a mystical approach to salvation in which "the Kingdom of Heaven is within" and achievable through freeing one's mind, after which one's "ass" will follow. Many of the songs, such as the title track and "Eulogy and Light", subvert Christian themes (including the Lord's Prayer and the 23rd Psalm) and satirize capitalism.[5]


Professional ratings
Review scores
Christgau's Record GuideB−[10]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music[11]
Record Collector[3]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide[13]

On the Billboard charts (North America), Free Your Mind... and Your Ass Will Follow peaked at #11 on the Black Albums Chart and #92 on the Pop Albums chart.[5] The album and eponymous song influenced the band En Vogue, leading to the title of their hit song "Free Your Mind".[14]

In Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies (1981), Robert Christgau said this promising but ultimately confusing album has contradictory messages that might either promote "escapist idealism or psychic liberation", and a disorienting aesthetic that is most successful on "Funky Dollar Bill".[10] He later wrote that it is not surprising that the album became "a cult fave in slackerland," as "not only is the shit weird, the weirdness signifies."[15]

In a positive review, AllMusic's Ned Raggett felt that both the album and title track are worthy of the credo and that the other songs range from "the good to astoundingly great."[8] Record Collector magazine's Paul Rigby called Free Your Mind a "superb" album which mixes "a dirty groove with wacked-out sound effects and razor-sharp lyrics.[3] Pitchfork described it as "a lot more 'rock' and a little less 'soul'" than the band's debut, and compared the title track to "a Sly Stone jam gone haywire, with fuzzed out guitar and bass, distorto-organ, and spoken, chanted or otherwise freaked vox appearing all over the mix."[16] In a retrospective review for Blender, Christgau opined that the album did not live up to the title credo.[9]

Track listing[edit]

Side One
1."Free Your Mind and Your Ass Will Follow"George Clinton, Edward Hazel, Raymond Davis10:00
2."Friday Night, August 14th"George Clinton, Willam Nelson, Edward Hazel5:20
Total length:15:20
Side Two
3."Funky Dollar Bill"George Clinton, Edward Hazel, Raymond Davis3:14
4."I Wanna Know If It's Good to You?"George Clinton, William Nelson, Clarence Haskins, Raymond Davis5:54
5."Some More"George Clinton2:55
6."Eulogy and Light"Eugene Harris3:29
Total length:15:32
2005 CD reissue bonus tracks
7."Fish, Chips and Sweat" (single b side Westbound W 158)George Clinton, William Nelson, Edward Hazel3:22
8."Free Your Mind Radio Advert" 0:55
9."I Wanna Know If It's Good to You" (single a side Westbound W 167)George Clinton, Clarence Haskins, Edward Hazel, William Nelson2:50
10."I Wanna Know If It's Good to You" (single b side instrumental - Westbound W 167)George Clinton, William Nelson, Clarence Haskins, Raymond Davis3:12
  • Track 9 is a mono recording.


Credits are adapted from Muze.[7]


Martha Reeves appeared on this project but wasn't credited. Telma Hopkins and Joyce Vincent, the singers to be known as Dawn, appear on "Friday Night, August 14th."

  • Produced by George Clinton
  • Engineering by Ed Wolfrum, Milan Bogdan
  • Art direction by David Krieger
  • Photography by Joel Brodsky
  • Album design – The Graffiteria, Stanley Hochstadt
  • Album co-ordination – Dorothy Schwartz
  • Production supervision – Bob Scerbo
  • Executive producer – Armen Boladian
  • Orga Dorga Services – Bernie Mendelson


  1. ^ Smith, Chris (2006). The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Rock History: From Arenas to the Underground, 1974-1980. Greenwood Press. p. 9. ISBN 0-313-32937-0.
  2. ^ Needs, Kris (2014). George Clinton & The Cosmic Odyssey of the P-Funk Empire. Omnibus Press. p. 135. ISBN 978-1-78323-037-2.
  3. ^ a b c d Rigby, Paul (June 2009). "Free Your Mind...And Your Ass Will Follow". Record Collector (363): 101. Retrieved November 30, 2013.
  4. ^ "Album Reviews". Billboard. October 24, 1970. p. 60. Retrieved November 30, 2013. Funkadelic is back again, this time bidding to 'free your mind' with more psychedelic-soul that's bound to separate from the sense.
  5. ^ a b c d Rudland, Dean. "Free Your Mind... and Your Ass Will Follow reissue liner notes". Westbound Records: 3. 2005.
  6. ^ Galluci, Michael (20 July 2020). "Funkadelic Get High and Make Second LP, 'Free Your ... And Your Ass Will Follow'". Ultimate Classic Rock. Retrieved 21 August 2023.
  7. ^ a b "Funkadelic - Free Your Mind...And Your Ass Will Follow CD Album". CD Universe. Retrieved November 30, 2013.
  8. ^ a b Raggett, Ned. "Free Your Mind...And Your Ass Will Follow - Funkadelic". AllMusic. Retrieved November 30, 2013.
  9. ^ a b Christgau, Robert (August 2008). "The Guide: Back Catalogue: Funkadelic". Blender. New York. Retrieved November 30, 2013.
  10. ^ a b Christgau, Robert (1981). Rock Albums of the '70s: A Critical Guide. Da Capo Press. p. 144. ISBN 0306804093. Retrieved November 30, 2013.
  11. ^ Larkin, Colin (2011). "Funkadelic". Encyclopedia of Popular Music (5th ed.). Omnibus Press. ISBN 978-0-85712-595-8.
  12. ^ "Pitchfork Media review". Pitchfork. 3 August 2005. Retrieved November 30, 2013.
  13. ^ Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian David (2004). Rolling Stone Album Guide review. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 9780743201698. Retrieved November 30, 2013.
  14. ^ G. Brown (2004). Colorado Rocks!: A Half-century of Music in Colorado. Pruett Publishing. pp. 85–. ISBN 978-0-87108-930-4.
  15. ^ Christgau, Robert (November 2, 1993). "Loose Canon". The Village Voice. New York. Retrieved November 30, 2013.
  16. ^ "Pitchfork Media review". Pitchfork. 3 August 2005. Retrieved November 30, 2013.

External links[edit]