FUNKNSTUFF’s Top 25 Albums of 2020

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!

AC/DC – Pwr Up

Steve Arrington – Down to the Lowest Terms: The Soul Sessions

AWB – On the Strip: The Sunset Sessions

Danny Bedrosian and Secret Army – Exaltation

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

Public Enemy – What You Gonna Do When the Grid Goes Down
Garrett Shider – Pandemic
Slapbak – The Duty to Funk Vol. 1
Smudge All-Stars – Smudge All-Stars
Tower of Power – Step Up

Bonus mention: Mike Sopko/Bill Laswell/Tyshawn Sorey – On Common Ground

Scott Goldfine

As a fervid lifelong music & film enthusiast / student, I grew up in and around the Los Angeles entertainment industry. I have worked and held many positions in various media realms, since 1998 serving as Editor-in-Chief and now Associate Publisher for Security Sales & Integration, a trade publication serving the electronic security industry. I love several genres of music & film. The former includes funk (Parliament-Funkadelic, Prince, Ohio Players, etc.); blues (Stevie Ray Vaughan, Buddy Guy, Eric Gales, etc.); rock (Jack White, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Neil Young, etc.); hard rock (AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, etc.); jazz (Herbie Hancock, Bob James, Crusaders, etc.); R&B (Stevie Wonder, Chaka Khan, Gil Scott-Heron, etc.); and more. I was a club disc jockey and ran a mobile DJ company (Musical Moods) for more than 15 years, which is where the name Dr. GX originates (Doctor Good Times). Fave film genres include horror (Dawn of the Dead, Evil Dead, Nightmare on Elm Street, etc.); science fiction (Aliens, Terminator, 2001, etc.); action (Warriors, Road Warrior, Die Hard); westerns (Outlaw Josey Wales, Showdown at OK Corral; Wild Bunch, etc.); suspense (Jaws, Inception, Silence of the Lambs, etc.); drama (Apocalypse Now, Goodfellas, Pulp Fiction, etc.); and comedies (Life of Brian, Superbad, Ruthless People, etc.). I have attended many hundreds of concerts and movies (in theaters or screenings). I may as well also throw in a few favorite TV shows to give an even broader taste of my sensibilities. A handful would be Breaking Bad, Walking Dead, Lost, Justified, Fargo, Seinfeld, Sopranos, South Park, Brooklyn Nine Nine, Key & Peele, Monty Python, Inside Amy Schumer, Louie, Modern Family, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Last Man on Earth, Bob Newhart Show, All in the Family and The Office. Fave authors are Stephen King, Clive Barker and Michael Crichton. I am also a big sports fan and lifelong supporter of the Dallas Cowboys (NFL), Los Angeles Lakers (NBA) and Pittsburgh Pirates (MLB). Also enjoy my family of course, electronics/computers/AV gear, and animals, nature and outdoor activities. Graduate of Santa Monica High School, Santa Monica College and California State University Northridge (Radio-TV-Film, Psychology minor). Also studied at UCLA for kinesiology/psychology and earned post-grad Certificate in Accounting from Santa Monica College. Present main occupation is as Associate Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Security Sales & Integration (SSI), which I joined in 1998. I am responsible for overseeing all editorial content in print. online, electronic, in-person and any other media or products for the electronic security industry's leading business-to-business trade publication. SSI is part of Framingham, Mass.-based Emerald Expositions.