What album cover showed Lionel Richie as the Judas of funk?
April 14, 2010 8:54 PM   Subscribe

What album cover featured notable musicians as the twelve apostles of funk, with Lionel Richie as Judas? This was described to me in the early nineties. I think it was the cover of a hip hop album. Perhaps it wasn't an album cover, but some other artwork. Google returns a couple of hits for Richie as "Judas of funk," but other searches led nowhere.
posted by hydrophonic to Media & Arts (10 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: According to Google's book search, the book "The accidental evolution of rock'n'roll: a misguided tour through popular music" has the quote

Rapper Def Jef once put a picture of the "12 apostles of funk" on an album cover, guys like James Borwn and George Clinton; he said Lionel would be Judas.

But it doesn't say for sure that he actually did it. Another blurb on the album doesn't mention anything about it other than the 12 Apostles as "black pop icons". You can look at an image of the album on Amazon. My eyes and general funk knowledge aren't good enough to discriminate if Lionel is in there or not.
posted by mdevore at 10:03 PM on April 14, 2010

Response by poster: Yep, I think that's it. That definitely looks like Richie in the head band, looking down and away. Thanks!
posted by hydrophonic at 10:19 PM on April 14, 2010

Third from left? Looks a bit more like Jimi Hendrix to me.
posted by vickyverky at 10:58 PM on April 14, 2010

Response by poster: Hendrix and Richie (upper right) had similar mustaches, but that looks like Richie's chin to me.
posted by hydrophonic at 11:12 PM on April 14, 2010

I'm intrigued. Why would Lionel Richie be considered the "Judas of funk"?
posted by Dreamcast at 11:16 PM on April 14, 2010

Perhaps because he was in the Commodores, but then later did deeply unfunky stuff like this.
posted by Nothing... and like it at 11:31 PM on April 14, 2010 [3 favorites]

I thought Lionel Richie would be the second from the left (big head, afro, no headband). If that is not Richie, who might it be? Just looks the Lionelest to my eye.

My guesses from left
1. Curtis Mayfield (?)
2. Lionel Richie (afro, standing)
3. Hendrix
4. ? (seated yellow shirt)
5. Isaac Hayes (glasses, standing)
6. ? (centre)
7. Aretha Franklin (standing)
8. Bob Marley
9. James Brown (grinning, standing)
10. ? (seated yellow shirt, reminds me of actor Tim Reid, Venus Flytrap on WKRP)
11. Robert Kool Bell (? Africa pendant blue shirt, looks like Puff Daddy)
12. George Clinton (yellow shirt, red glasses)
13. ? (face cut off)
posted by gspm at 6:33 AM on April 15, 2010 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: 4. Marvin Gaye
6. Def Jef. Yes, he is Christ on his own album cover.

I'm not sold on Curtis Mayfield for the first one. Mayfield wore glasses.
posted by hydrophonic at 7:28 AM on April 15, 2010

Here's a much higher-res version of the cover, in case anybody else is interested in figuring out who those other people are.
posted by box at 7:01 PM on April 15, 2010

Yeah, Mayfield was a guess. Glasses should be there. The facial hair seemed to be the key for me, plus I expected that he should have a place at the table of 12 funk/soul icons. On a similar, note, I figured maybe Sly Stone might a candidate for the table but didn't think any of figures resembled him. Maybe Stevie Wonder as the half shown figure on the far right?

Who knows, maybe DJ Venus Flytrap is on Def Jef's shortlist of funk/soul heavyweights.
posted by gspm at 9:30 AM on April 17, 2010

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