The Five: Best Funk Songs to Start Your Weekend

Nothing starts a weekend off right like good, authentic, get-up-and-dance funk music. Here are our top five favorite funk songs for your Friday.

There are days when I put on a funk record in the morning to start working and without even realizing it, my foot starts to tap underneath my desk. My head starts swaying and then I find myself… well, just plain groovin’. Embarrassing, for sure, but I can’t help it! Funk music makes me wanna get up offa’ that thing. (James Brown reference… had to do it).

So I thought if my mornings become so alive with funk music, why not start my weekend off with some funky grooves, too? Below are our favorite five funk songs to celebrate another week’s end and to keep you dancing through the weekend.


“Dance to the Music” by Sly and the Family Stone.

We kick off The Five with Sly and the Family Stone’s “Dance to the Music” a pop-funk anthem of the late 1960s. The song starts heavy right out of the gates with Sly yelling, “Get up! And dance to the music!” The horn section comes in strong and then is slowed down for a few seconds of a cappella and then you’re brought back up tempo with a smooth bassline, a howling organ, and funky guitar. Throw this song on and I guarantee you’ll find yourself groovin’ in no time. Also check out “Soul Clappin'” and “If You Want Me To Stay” by Sly and the Family Stone. Photo courtesy Rolling Stone magazine. Top photo by Murray Neitlich.


“Too Hot to Stop” by The Bar-Kays

The Bar-Kays are a funk, soul, and R&B band formed in 1966 in Memphis, Tennessee. They began as a studio session band at Stax Records and soon found themselves backing Otis Redding in 1967. “Too Hot to Stop” is a rhythmic electric groove sound influenced by jazz and R&B. The horn section and bass play an integral part. Other Bar-Kay songs to check out include “Shake Your Rump to the Funk” and their most popular hit “Soul Finger.” Photo courtesy official site Wattstax.


“Fire at the Bayou” by The Meters

Oh, how I love The Meters. After hearing “Hand Clapping Song” for the first time while digging through records, I knew I was in… an instant fan. Their sound is less produced than the funk bands that followed in their footsteps. It’s gritty and earthy… a more natural approach to funk music, which inspired so many musicians. Forward-moving guitar and steady keyboard riffs make their sound unlike any other. Be sure to also listen to one the greatest funk songs, “Cissy Strut” as well as my personal favorite, “Hand Clapping Song.” Photo courtesy Rolling Stone magazine.


“The Payback” by James Brown

James Brown, the founding father of funk and the Godfather of soul, needs no introduction. Within the first five seconds I guarantee you’ll be nodding your head. This song is completely timeless and the epitome of cool. Photo courtesy Rolling Stone magazine.


“I’ll Bet You” by Funkadelic

Funkadelic is one of those bands that’s fun and over the top but incredibly talented and innovative. “I’ll Bet You” is off of their first album in 1969. Funkadelic is fronted by the blatantly bold George Clinton and sister band to Parliament, which is essentially the same musicians but under a different record label.  Photo courtesy Rolling Stone magazine.

Have a listen to these funky tunes and more that didn’t make our list here on Spotify. In addition, you can listen to our previous week’s picks on the same playlist!

If you are looking for more funk music, also check out Betty Davis, The Gap Band, Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, Earth Wind & Fire, Parliament, and Dyke and the Blazers.

+ Any funk fans out there? What songs would you put on this list?

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  1. Ahhhh this post makes be so happy!! Recently I’ve been obsessed with Roy Ayers – Everybody Loves the Sunshine (demo version). I’ve also had an album by The Main Squeeze on permanent repeat in my car!! Long live the funk!!

  2. I love Prince and his funk/rock style. If You like funk music check out young and talented guy from Australia named Harts.

  3. Terence Trent D”Arby “Dance Little Sister”….Red Hot Chili Peppers remake of “Higher Ground” (for sure the original by Stevie Wonder)….The Original 7ven.”#Trendin'”…James Brown “Get up Offa That Thing and Livin’ In America”….Just a few of my favorites! :D

  4. Groovy choices, Alana, Kate, 1813leather, and Marianne! Alana and Kate, I had to look up The Main Squeeze and Harts — it’s always interesting and cool to listen to “new” funk. Thanks for the rec! 1813leather, I listened to “War” so much when I was a kid, I just loved it — it’s a legendary funk song. Marianne, I’m diggin’ those choices! Thanks all! xx, Joanna

  5. You are showing out with this fabulous soulful music….Keep it going! !!! The Ojays- Livin For the Weekend

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