Parliament - Live P-Funk Earth Tour (1977)
The genius of George Clinton cannot
be underestimated, but all his studio albums (as Funkadelic as well) are flawed to
some extent. This motherlode of an album, however, is perfect. Life-affirming, definitive versions of Do That Stuff, Dr Funkenstein (clocking in at a memorable 15:07 minutes of supergroovalistiprosifunstikational FUNK, a truly monstrous groove), Night Of The Thumpasorous People (which brings things to a climactic explosive finale), etc. - simply irresistible funkness. When Mothership Connection segues into Swing Down, Sweet Chariot, with its impassioned gospel-flavoured singing, you'll think you've died and gone to P-Funk Chocolate Heavean. The ensemble playing and interaction is superb, there's always a lot of interesting stuff going on (there were literally dozens of people on stage at any time during the shows!). These guys are so tight - and yet so loose at the same time! It's all devastatingly funky and just great.
Pity the mastering job is so sloppy (like on all Casablanca CDs, i.e.: Kiss Alive I and II, etc). The drums
sound like waves crashing, the horns are a little reedy, there's no definition to the sound. A real pity when you're an audiophile, so I advise you to seek out the vynil copy, if you can find it in mint condition. It may well be worth it if you're a P-funkateer at heart - and if you have a good quality stereo to play LPs on. Because this record deserves a monster sound. It's phenomenal. They just don't make them like this any more.
In short, a precious artefact from an incredible era that can really make you feel what it was like back then - and regret not being part of that incredible movement. P-Funk still rules and sounds as fresh as the day it was made. I can't believe this stuff never got to Europe at the time.