TCS Tapes: The Party Tune

Gregor Forbes 31 October 2013

Once a party tune, always a party tune. ‘Flashlight’, released as a single and as the final track on Parliament’s 1978 album, Funkentelechy vs. the Placebo Syndrome, has it all: catchy chanted refrains, a compulsive rhythm section and perhaps the most recognised synth bass line in music.  

As part of the Parliament-Funkadelic space opera spanning their major albums, ‘Flashlight’ is the joyous confirmation of happiness and groove: “Everybody’s got a little light under the sun.”

Actual Parliament flashlights were available to buy in the late ‘70s and they can be seen in videos of the band playing live at the time. The song was a great crossover hit, reaching #1 in the RnB charts and #16 in the pop charts.

‘Flashlight’ isn’t just a party tune. It’s a track that could drum up a shindig in a garden shed or a knees-up in a library – it positively compels you to dance.