From most angles, 2020 was a brutal, grueling, horrific, challenging year that is mercifully behind us. However, from a musical standpoint it was rhythmically vibrant, especially where new funk and soul releases are concerned.
With that in mind, following are the top 25 albums of 2020, in alphabetical order. Disagree or have something in mind missing from the list? Let us know!
Note: Some may wonder why a band like AC/DC is included. There’s a couple reasons. First, elements of funk can be heard in select riff-based rock like Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Aerosmith and yes, AC/DC (as well as the also included Jimi Hendrix Experience). Just as funk artists include rock in their funk (reference Funkadelic’s “Who Says a Funk Band Can’t Play Rock”) so too do rock artists include funk in their rock (Red Hot Chili Peppers’ “Funky Crime”). Blues in particular runs deep in both hard funk and hard rock. Second, the “stuff” in FUNKNSTUFF accounts for all things beyond funk.
Each album image is linked to samples and purchase. Happy New Year!
Cindy Blackman Santana – Give the Drummer SomeTra’zae Clinton – Tra’zombipulationBootsy Collins – The Power of the One
Exiles of the Nation – Live Each Day Like It’s Your Last
Freekbass (EP)- Krameria
FSQ – Reprise Tonight
The Jimi Hendrix Experience – Live in Maui
Chris Jasper – For the Love of You
Jellybean Johnson – Get Experienced
Mandrill – Back in Town
Lonnie Marshall – Cosmic Relief, Groove Healing & Verbal Remedies
Marlon McClain (EP) – Funky Fridays Vol. 1
Mofo Rising – Mofo Rising
Maceo Parker – Soul Food: Cooking With Maceo
PTFI – The Future is Now
Prince – Sign ‘O’ the Times Super Deluxe
Bonus mention: Mike Sopko/Bill Laswell/Tyshawn Sorey – On Common Ground