With his brother, Catfish Collins, and Kash Waddy and Philippe Wynne, Collins formed a group called The Pacesetters in 1968. Until 1971, the Pacesetters were the backing band for James Brown, and were known in that context as The JB's.
1972 saw both of the Collins brothers, along with Waddy and Wynne, joined Funkadelic. Bootsy played on most of their early albums, garnering several songwriting credits as well. His bass playing was hard, driving and rhythmic, and has been very influential in the development of Funk, Heavy Metal and Soul music. He also took the name "Bootsy" during this time, adopted it as part of an ever-evolving character, an alien rock star who grew gradually more alien, bizarre and flashy as time went on (see P Funk mythology). When Bootsy, Catfish, Waddy, Joel Johnson, Mudbone Cooper, Robert Johnson and The Horny Horns formed Bootsy's Rubber Band in 1976, the character of Bootsy evolved into Bootzilla, a rhinestone-bedecked, flashy rock god.
Bootsy's Rubber Band is a part of the P Funk umbrella of bands. Most of Bootsy's albums in the post-Parliament and Funkadelic days were released under the name Bootsy's Rubber String Band, for which see for more details.
Collins has recorded extensively with Bill Laswell.
The following albums were released under the name Bootsy Collins or William "Bootsy" Collins.
|1980||Ultra Wave||Warner Brothers|
|1982||The One Giveth, the Count Taketh Away||Warner Brothers|
|1988||What's Bootsy Doin'||Columbia|
|1990||Jungle Bass||4th & Broadway|
|1991||Save What's Mine for Me||CBS|
|1994||Blasters of the Universe||Rykodisc|
|1994||Fresh Outta 'P' University||WEA|